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Do the modern distance learning tools sufficiently address the social issues in learning?

Keraminiyage, KP, Ingirige, MJB and Amaratunga, RDG 2006, Do the modern distance learning tools sufficiently address the social issues in learning? , in: Education in a Changing Environment, 12-13 January 2006, University of Salford, UK.

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    Abstract

    Modern Computer Mediated Communication (CMC) tools have been identified as one of the primary enablers of delivering modern Distance Learning courses. However, it is increasingly becoming apparent that these CMC tools are often developed to cater to structural and management needs of courses (e.g. number of students who can log in at one time, downloadable lecture content, downloadable speeds etc.,). The social aspects of a classroom setting (e.g. guidance and support, body language, feedback, interactions with other learners etc.,), which are highly valued in face-to-face classroom settings often tend to be ignored. This is evidenced through the feel of isolation expressed by the distance learning communities in some of the satisfaction surveys conducted. This is the main focus of this ongoing research under the Teaching Learning Quality Improvement Scheme (TLQIS) of Salford University. This paper details how perspectives of facilitators in DL, experts in DL provision and learners are compared in identifying the social dimension, which becomes the basis for proposing guidelines for improvement. First, the paper reviews literature in the area and sets out the overall research methodology of the paper. Then, through a survey of DL courses within the UK, the paper will discuss how some of the tools deal with different distance learning settings (e.g. synchronous / asynchronous, time zone problems, etc,). The paper will also discuss some of the preliminary interview results addressing the social dimension, current capacities and capabilities of DL tools and the degree of facilitator intervention in conducting DL programmes in the UK. The results presented in this paper will inform the process of preparing guidelines for improvement of DL education considering the various settings, hence benefiting HE institutions, FE institutions and HE policy makers mainly in the UK.

    Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
    Additional Information: ISBN: 9781905732074
    Themes: Subjects / Themes > L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
    Subjects / Themes > Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA075 Electronic computers. Computer science > QA076 Computer software
    Subjects outside of the University Themes
    Schools: Colleges and Schools > College of Science & Technology > School of the Built Environment
    Colleges and Schools > College of Science & Technology > School of the Built Environment > Centre for Disaster Resilience
    Refereed: Yes
    Depositing User: Institutional Repository
    Date Deposited: 02 Jun 2009 12:46
    Last Modified: 20 Aug 2013 16:57
    URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/2009

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