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3 Theories of Distance Education

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Deborah Dunn

on 9 February 2015

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Transcript of 3 Theories of Distance Education

3 Theories of Distance Education
Andragogy Theory
summarized by Amanda Page ..
Equivalency Theory
summarized by Debbie Dunn...
Knowles defined andragogy, although a term coined in the early 1950’s for adult learning in general, as “the art and science of helping adults learn” (Adult, 2007).
Knowles identified the six principles of adult learning:

• Adults are internally motivated and self-directed
• Adults bring life experiences and knowledge to learning experiences
• Adults are goal oriented
• Adults are relevancy oriented
• Adults are practical
• Adult learners like to be respected

(Adult, 2007)

Citations: Andragogy

Adragogy and situated learning theories. (2013). Retrieved from YouTube.

Adult learning theory and principles. (2007). Become familiar with adult learning theory and the six principals of adult learning.
Retrieved from http://www.qotfc.edu.au/resource/?page=65375

Andragogy (Malcolm Knowles). (2013). Retrieved from http://www.instructionaldesign.org/theories/andragogy.html

Smith, M. K. (2002). Malcolm Knowles, informal education, self-direction and andragogy. The Encyclopedia of Informal Education. Retrieved from http://infed.org/mobi/malcolm-knowles-informal-adult-education-self-direction-and-andragogy/
Knowles outlined the principles for applying adult learning theory to lessons:

1. Adults need to be involved in the planning and evaluation of their instruction.
2. Experience (including mistakes) provides the basis for learning activities.
3. Adults are most interested in learning subjects that have immediate relevance to their job or personal life.
4. Adult learning is problem-centered rather than content-oriented.

(Andragogy, 2013).

Knowles also points to “crucial assumptions” revolving around
the required characteristics of adult learners in respect to andragogy including:

1. Self-Concept
2. Experience
3. Readiness to learn
4. Orientation to learning
5. Motivation to learn
(Smith, 2002)

Perraton's Synthesis of
Existing Theories
by Danielle Jernigan

Thomas Keegan developed this theory in 1995, suggesting that distance learning should produce equivalent outcomes in learning as a face-to-face learning experience.

The instructional designs may/should be different between the two different environments, but the end result of learning content or a skill is the same.
Equivalency Theory Principles:
1. Equivalency-
Students should not have to compensate for differences with distance education. The educator or teacher should design equivalent experiences.

Just as a triangle and a square can be created to have the same area, so can a distance education course have the same educational outcomes as a local or face-to-face course.
2. Learning experience

The distance education designer should provide resources and experiences that add up to an equal experience to that of a local class.

For example, if a local class goes to the school library to gather resources for a research project, a distance educator should provide links to library databases or tools to gather online research sources.
3. Appropriate Application

The distance educator should provide learning experiences that are available, suitable to the learner, proper, and timely.

For example, if an activity requires collaboration with peers, the distance educator needs to provide the tool(s) to do so online or at a distance.
4. Students

Students are defined by their enrollment in the course and not their location.

They seek institutionally based, recognized, and accredited organizations for learning.
Learning is a significant change in cognition that can be measured.

The success of equivalency in a distance education course may be measured by followup enrollment in another distance education course by the learner and/or the application of skills learned in the current course in future course work or the job force.
Citations for Equivalency Theory:
Bernard, R.M., Abrami, P.C., Wade, A., Borokhovski, E. (2004). The Effects of Synchronous and Asynchronous Distance Education:
A Meta-Analytical Assessment of Simonson’s “Equivalency Theory”. Association for Educational Communications and Technology, Washington, DC. Retrieved from: http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED485078.pdf

Simonson,M., Scholossen,C., Hanson, D. (1999). Theory and Distance Education: A New Discussion. American Journal of Distance Education, 13,1. DOI:10.1080/08923649909527014. Retrieved from: http://www.c3l.uni-oldenburg.de/cde/found/simons99.htm

Simonson,M., Smaldino, S., Albright, M., Zvacek, S. (2012). Teaching and Learning at a Distance- Foundations of Distance Education. Boston, MA: Pearson.
A summary of the theory in video format. (Not me.)
I suggest watching on MUTE; great information overview, horrible music.
Critical Questions (by Deborah Dunn):
1. Compare & Contrast the goals concerning the outcomes of learning, the experience of learning and teacher preparation when following each of these theories of distance education.

2. What technologies are needed to support these theories of distance education?

3. What perceptions do you sense about each theory and are there barriers to overcome?

Example by Deborah Dunn:

The emphasis in this theory is on the student being an active learner and the teacher of the distance education course being a facilitator. Dialog between both provides valuable feedback and therefore an effective les well. Interestingly, this theory chooses a systems approach (vs. a constructivarning experience at a distance. Multimedia use is necessary for effectiveness aist approach) to course design.

An instructor would set clear learning goals and objectives at the beginning of the course and choose resources that help the learner reach those goals or competencies in advance. The instructor would know their role and job ahead of time and this would not be expected to change as the course continues. The instructor provides resources and allows students to take charge of their learning from there. Feedback given to students via d.e. dialog using a discussion board , skype and/or instant messaging would be used to keep students on track with attaining the goals of the course and preparing well for the evaluation or assessment. BSU blackboard courses may fit into this description minus our projects, which lend themselves more to a constructivist assessment.

It is a composition of existing
distance education methodologies
and theories that work to explain how this mode of delivery can be used to maximize
education and learning, increase dialogue
amongst members, and be multifaceted
in its structure to best transfer knowledge
from people to people via media.
1. The Components of Synthesis
2. Learning Experience
4. Students

3. Appropriate Application
Perraton's (1988) theory of distance education is composed of elements from existing theories of communication and diffusion as well as philosophies of education. It is expressed in the form of fourteen statements, or hypotheses.


Students are able to be reached in various ways
outside of the normal face to
face classroom atmosphere through a combination of media that facilitates learning.

Because more students may be reached
with distance education tools, classroom
quantities are not limited to facility
capacity levels.
The level of communication among students is highly controlled by the type of medium being utilized and the knowledge proficiency of those tools.

Information and communication tools that allow for discussions, collaborations, and group work can all be used to increase dialogue among students.

Examples are the following:
Google Drive
Google Docs
GroupMe app
Microsoft Office SharePoint
Microsoft Office OneDrive
The opportunities for students to familiarize
themselves with classmates is provided and intentional.
Group work, group deadlines, and group scores
force people to communicate with one another.
Welcomes and introductions
are vital components to the cohesion among the cohort.

Learning experiences are all preserved in
text via distance education or recordable through video.

Soft skills may be compromised due to the
infrequency of physical interactions while
professionalism in textual communications increase.
Michael, S., Charles, S., Dan H., (2009). Theory and Distance Education: A New Discussion. The American Journal of Distance Education, 13(1999), 5-19.
Michael, S., Charles, S., Dan H., (2009)
Michael, S., Charles, S., Dan H., (2009)
Michael, S., Charles, S., Dan H., (2009)
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