Final OMDE603 Post

The blog activity for OMDE603 was very interesting. It gave students an opportunity to post what they have learned in the course and respond to other students.  As I responded to my classmates blogs on Distance Education and Technology I came across some very interesting post, some which were similar and some different. However, this post gave everyone a chance to interact through the use of technology. I would definitely consider creating another blog in the future. Overall, I have learned a lot about distance education and its effect on technology.  Since I enrolled in OMDE603, I have changed my views on distance education; I learned that it’s more than the use of technology but influences of teachers and course teams to make the course creative. Again, this was a good activity and I look forward to expand on my knowledge of distance education.

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Designing and Delivering DE using Technology

In Discussion 4, we touched basis on two important topics (1) design and delivery and (2) the role of the instructor. According to assigned readings and outside research I found that there are several similarities and differences between designing and delivering DE and F2F courses. However, both forms of education successful planning of assignments and required readings. Even though, both DE and F2F courses require the teacher to be knowledgeable of the subject, there methods of design and delivery are different. According to Moore and Kearsley (2012) there is a model that represents DE design called instructional systems design process (ISD) it focuses on(analysis, design, development, implementation and evaluation) with a great emphasis on planning the course material. The text also states that the design of a distance education course is a team effort. Another important aspect of DE course is that teachers must receive copyright privileges before using someone else work (p.102).
Distance education is delivered through technology. “ Rather than attending a course in person, teachers and students may communicate at times, of their choosing, through the exchange of electronic media, or can communicate in real time, with the proper infrastructure” (Brown, Grice, Turner, & Hankins, 2012, p.94). On the other hand, face-to-face instruction gives both the students and teachers time to communicate and interact in person. In distance education courses all materials are posted in the course classroom and students will post responses to assignments and discussions in a designated area, teachers will then provide feedback and post grades to assignment. In a face-to-face classroom setting teachers are able to teach at pace that works for the student. It’s different in distance education and hard for the teacher to know if the student lacks understanding unless the student contacts the teacher through technology.
There are some differences in the role of the instructor in distance education courses compared to face-to-face classroom. According to Moore & Kearsley (2012) “as an instructor, you will not know how students react to what you have written, unless you ask them to tell you through feedback mechanism” (p.126). Therefore, distance education can be a challenging role for the professor since there is no direct eye contact. There are certain functions of the professor in distance education courses (content management, student progress and learner support). Three types of interaction necessary which includes learner-content interaction, learner-instructor interaction, and learner-learner interaction.Teachers in distance education courses have to spend more time planning the course material and explaining the information in a way that the students will understand. The teachers have to periodically check the classroom area for posting on discussion boards and assignments and communicate frequently with the students.
Suarez-Brown, T.L., Grice, H., Turner,T., Hankins, J. (2012). THE CHALLENGES OF DELIVERING QUALITY ONLINE DISTANCE EDUCATION COURSES. Review of Business Research, 12 (5), 94-104.
Moore, M. G., & Kearsley, G. (2012). Distance education: A systems view of online learning. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Web 2.0 Technologies

In Discussion 3, we discussed social media as it relates to distance education. We were asked to identify a social media that we found helpful and that we would consider. There were several types of social media that were introduced in this discussion that’s relative to the course.

Social media is an importance aspect of distance education as it is the primary means of communication in most instances. The demand for social media in distance education is relatively high, without it there is limited to no connectivity. With the introduction of Twitter, Facebook, Skype, etc., social media has been the primary source of communication for many individuals in today’s society, making it hard to ignore.

According to the Blog “100 Ways to Use Social Media in the Classroom” I found some of the examples interesting. The suggestions that I found of interest are as follows:

(1)   Join twitter to follow professional scholars, this gives students the opportunity to follow information that these scholars post such as articles and journals related to the student’s class.

(2)   Connect through Skype, this gives professors, students and classmates the opportunity to communication with each other at a distance without physically being in the same room. They could set up a time to meet and connect at a click of a button. I find this option of interest.

(3)   Recruiting guest speakers, this is a good idea, in another course that I’m taking there has been a few guest speakers. The professor would have a specific time (ex: few days) for the guest speaker to visit the course, giving students the opportunity to ask questions and receive feedback during the time the speaker is available.

In week 3 discussion, we also discussed the OER movement and its impact on distance education. The class was asked to review Tony Bates blog “ The good, the bad and the ugly”. This blog presented the advantages and disadvantages of open content. Bates made some very important points in his blog, he mentioned that open content alone will not help in an open learning environment. This is very true, even though I rely heavily on open content it will not assist in open learning. To be successful in distance education it takes a lot of communication between professors and students. However, the open content that is available she be used accordingly and students should apply it in their education.

(2010). 100 Ways to Use Social Media in the Classroom. Retrieved from, http://www.onlineuniversities.com/blog/2010/05/100-inspiring-ways-to-use-social-media-in-the-classroom

Bates, T., (2011). OERs: The good, the bad and the ugly. Retrieved from, http://www.tonybates.ca/2011/02/06/oers-the-good-the-bad-and-the-ugly/

Asynchronous & Synchronous Technologies

In Discussion 2, we discussed the differences between synchronous and a-synchronous technologies and advantages and disadvantages of both as it relates to the required readings. The definitions vary, but both types of technologies have advantages and disadvantage depending on an individual’s personal learning styles and behaviors.

Synchronous learning takes places through real time interaction. There are several examples of learning that can be classified as synchronous learning. A good example would be an online chat where students are able to receive immediate feedback from other students. This is done by posting a comment to a chat area and receiving a reply immediately, similar to instant messaging. Conference calls and video conferences are also a form of synchronous learning, it consists of real time involvement. A disadvantage of this type of learning is it’s difficult for some student to engage as it doesn’t allow for flexibility but more like availability.

A-synchronous learning does not take place in real time, this is done with a gap in time. There are several examples of learning styles that are associated with a-synchronous learning. This incudes, emails that are sent and responses aren’t received immediately, it can take from minutes to hours to get a response. Another example would be discussion forums, where a student would post a response and other students will come and reply to the response at their leisure. A disadvantage of a-synchronous learning is that it doesn’t include one on one interaction.

Both types of learning styles are beneficial depending on a individuals personal needs.

McGreal, R., & Elliott, M. (2008). Theory and practice of online learning (2nd ed.). Retrieved from http://www.autopress.ca

Stewart, A. R., Harlow, D. B., & DeBacco, K. (2011). Students’ experience of synchronous learning in distributed environments. Distance Education. Retrieved from, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01587919.2011.610289

Distance Education Terminology & History

In Discussion 1, we discussed distance education terminology and history with its contribution to technology. The term distance education is very broad as it covers many areas of education, not just learning over the internet. If someone would’ve asked before enrolling in OMDE603, “what is distance education? “, my response would’ve been learning over the internet using a computer. However, distance education has changed since it was first introduced years ago. Distance goes much deeper than online media. As I read the text for OMDE603, I realized that there are several generations of distance education. These generations include (1) correspondence (2) broadcast radio & television (3) open universities (4) teleconferencing and (5) internet/web. As I learn more about distance education, I understand that it’s not only learning over the internet, it’s more complex, it involves students, teachers and resources that are separated by time and location. It’s learning at a distance without being in a traditional classroom.

Moore, M. G., & Kearsley, G. (2012). Distance Education: A Systems View of Online Learning. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning