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Maximising social interactions and effectiveness within distance learning courses: Cases from construction

Ingirige, MJB and Goulding, JS 2009, 'Maximising social interactions and effectiveness within distance learning courses: Cases from construction' , Journal for Education in the Built Environment, 4 (1) , pp. 75-99.

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Abstract

Advanced Internet technologies have revolutionised the delivery of distance learning education. As a result, the physical proximity between learners and the learning providers has become less important. However, whilst the pervasiveness of these technological developments has reached unprecedented levels, critics argue that the student learning experience is still not as effective as conventional face-to-face delivery. In this regard, surveys of distance learning courses reveal that there is often a lack of social interaction attributed to this method of delivery, which tends to leave learners feeling isolated due to a lack of engagement, direction, guidance and support by the tutor. This paper defines and conceptualises this phenomenon by investigating the extent to which distance-learning programmes provide the social interactions of an equivalent traditional classroom setting. In this respect, two distance learning case studies were investigated, covering the UK and Slovenian markets respectively. Research findings identified that delivery success is strongly dependent on the particular context to which the specific distance learning course is designed, structured and augmented. It is therefore recommended that designers of distance learning courses should balance the tensions and nuances associated with commercial viability and pedagogic effectiveness.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This paper was published as the culmination of the research for: Ingirige, MJB and Amaratunga, D and Sexton, MG and Ahmed, V and Baldry, D and Aouad, G 2004, Guidelines for improving social outcomes gained through distance learning tools , Project Report, University of Salford, Salford, UK.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Asynchronous tools, Construction education, Distance learning, Social interactions, Synchronous
Themes: Subjects / Themes > L Education > LB Theory and practice of education
Subjects / Themes > L Education > LC Special aspects of education
Subjects / Themes > T Technology > TH Building construction
Built and Human Environment
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
Journal or Publication Title: Journal for Education in the Built Environment
Publisher: CEBE Cardiff University
Refereed: No
ISSN: 1747-4205
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Institutional Repository
Date Deposited: 15 Oct 2009 10:53
Last Modified: 20 Aug 2013 15:59
URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/2225

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