VOL. 6, NO. 4; JULY
Table of Content

Articles

Distance learning issues Materials from Japanese learning perspectives

Harriet Dennis


Abstract:

This paper examines the problems of distance education materials in the UK from the perspectives of Japanese learners. It aims to provide course designers in distance education with information to improve the study materials for overseas students, particularly Japanese learners. Self-reflection was used to examine the problems. This paper identifies and discusses two aspects of difficulties for Japanese students learning from distance education materials: language construction and learning style. Some recommendations are made for mitigating these difficulties and to accommodate the Japanese learners in the UK distance education programmes.

Web-based telehealth course development

Alfredo Sims


Abstract:

The transfer from a paper-based workflow to an electronic environment in health care has created an increasing need for education in telehealth. Real-time videoconferencing enables education in spite of distance, but it is bound by time and date constrictions that may affect participation. Web courses offer teaching anytime and anywhere. They necessitate careful consideration and design of topics to be taught, students with the necessary computing skills, receive site with adequate coverage and maturity of technology, and design of interactivity between the students and teachers. Most of our students rated the developed web course better than conventional lectures although some of them mentioned the lower interaction as a drawback. They usually viewed the video recorded lectures of the course for half an hour in each session without break, outside office hours, and at their own convenience.

The development of a Teacher Learning Model for Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU)

Carlton Holloway


Abstract:

The first hypothesis proved to be true – respondents demonstrated better learning and better grades in AIOU teacher training classes that used computer to present instructional materials. The second hypothesis proved to be false – there was a significant difference in the performance between students who used modified textbooks. The third hypothesis proved to be false – academic achievement was better in the course the respondents took that used computers than the others. The fourth hypothesis proved to be true – most respondents do not use email to contact either tutor or the university. Also, most teacher training students at AIOU Islamabad do not use computers in the classrooms where they teach. The fifth hypothesis proved to be true – most students of teacher training programs of AIOU Islamabad do not use email in order to contact university. The sixth hypothesis proved to be true – most students of teacher training programs of AIOU Islamabad are not computer literate. The seventh hypothesis proved to be true – most tutors and instructors of teacher training programs of AIOU Islamabad do not use computer to present instruction during workshops. The eighth hypothesis proved to be true – most students of teacher training programs of AIOU Islamabad did not know how to use the Internet to conduct research or find information on line. The ninth hypothesis proved to be true – most of the students of teacher training programs of AIOU Islamabad were not familiar with software like MS Words, PowerPoint and Excel.

Professor Invisible and Future of the Virtual School

Lynette Joseph


Abstract:

As post-secondary education gradually reduces the percentage of full-time to part-time instructors, some full-time faculty jobs may be threatened The American Association of University Professors (AAUP) considers “virtual learning nothing more than a scheme to eliminate much of the teaching faculty” (Maeroff 2003; AAUP’s “Statement on Distance Education”). The AAUP Special Committee on Distance Education and Intellectual Property Issues has thus found it necessary to issue suggestions and guidelines for distance education policies and contract language, including working conditions, workload, compensation, technical support, and intellectual property.

There have been additional concerns about the concept of using design teams or “unbundling” roles. One is that it removes students from faculty content experts (Perley 1999). Another is the significant question of intellectual property rights (Ubell 2001). There is a danger that faculty who conceive and design a course may be “deprofessionalized,” that is, separated from any potential revenues because of the many other contributors in the unbundled process (Benton, 2005). Even more threatening is the idea that an instructor is completely separated from the student because of the availability of online products that are increasingly capable of presenting some of the course work. Faculty members may even develop courses but not actually teach them. As Chisolm put it, “faculty who use commercial course management software become almost invisible. . . This invisibility contributes to the illusion that the twenty-first century instructor is a generic, easily replaceable part in a larger Automated Education Machine” (2006).

The increasing popularity of distance learning will create a need for more faculty to teach online courses. Many full-time faculty have continued to resist changing their teaching methods due to issues of rewards and increased workload. The issue of faculty acceptance of online education continues to be important for academic leaders because it affects the success of online programs. At the same time, the profile of “who will be an effective online instructor” continues to change with new theories about effective online learning.

New models for course development and quality have resulted in new definitions for what is the ideal virtual faculty member. Program accreditation relies on both course quality and faculty credentials, yet it is increasingly evident that not all full-time faculty are suited for distance learning “spaces.” Extensive training, development, and teaching time are required but often invisible to administrators. Using large numbers of adjuncts creates management, training, and quality issues. Once courses are developed and “packaged,” will traditional faculty even be necessary? As the roles of faculty are redefined, will jobs be threatened, or will virtual faculty teach at multiple universities at once? Distance education is no doubt contributing to the restructuring of faculty roles, demographics, and positions.