Higher Education

, Volume 49, Issue 4, pp 467–493 | Cite as

‘Distance education’ and ‘e-learning’: Not the same thing

Article

Abstract

This article examines the distinct differences between ‘distance education’ and ‘e-learning’ in higher education settings. Since the emergence of the new information and communication technologies (ICT), many have related to them as the new generation of distance education, and some have referred to their implementation in academia as challenging the very existence of campus-based universities. Many policy makers, scholars and practitioners in higher education use these two terms interchangeably as synonyms. But the fact is that distance education in most higher education systems is not delivered through the new electronic media, and vice versa – e-learning in most universities and colleges all over the world is not used for distance education purposes. ‘Distance education’ and ‘e-learning’ do overlap in some cases, but are by no means identical. The lack of distinction between ‘e-learning’ and ‘distance education’ accounts for much of the misunderstanding of the ICT roles in higher education, and for the wide gap between the rhetoric in the literature describing the future sweeping effects of the ICT on educational environments and their actual implementation. The article examines the erroneous assumptions on which many exaggerated predictions as to the future impact of the ICT were based upon, and it concludes with highlighting the future trends of ‘distance education’ and ‘e-learning’ in academia.

Keywords

distance education distance teaching universities e-learning higher education information and communication technologies 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. AFT2000Distance Education: Guidelines for Good PracticeAmerican Federation of TeachersWashington, D.C.Google Scholar
  2. AFT2001A Virtual Revolution: Trends in the Expansion of Distance EducationAmerican Federation of TeachersWashington, D.C.Google Scholar
  3. Arnold, R. 1999‘Will distance disappear in distance studies? Preliminary considerations on the didactic relevance of proximity and distance’Journal of Distance Education.1419Google Scholar
  4. Bates, A.W. 1999Managing Technological Change: Strategies for Academic LeadersJossey BassSan-FranciscoGoogle Scholar
  5. Bates, A.W. 2001National Strategies for E-learning in Post-secondary Education and TrainingInternational Institute for Educational PlanningUNESCO, ParisGoogle Scholar
  6. Bell, R., Tight, , M.,  1993Open Universities: A British TraditionThe Society of Research into Higher Education & The Open University PressBuckinghamGoogle Scholar
  7. Blumenstyk G. (2003). ‘For-profit colleges attract a gold rush for investors’, The Chronicle of Higher Education, 14 March 2003Google Scholar
  8. Bradburn, E.M. 2002Distance Education Instruction by Postsecondary Faculty and Staff at Degree-Granting InstitutionsU.S. Department of Education National Center for Education StatisticWashington, D.CNCES 2002-155Google Scholar
  9. Carlson S. (2003). ‘Old computers never die – they just cost colleges money in new ways’, The Chronicle of Higher Education, February 14Google Scholar
  10. CHEPS2002‘Successful conference on ICT in Rotterdam’CHEPS Unplugged.22Google Scholar
  11. Collis, B., Moonen, J. 2001Flexible Learning in a Digital World: Experience and ExpectationsKogan PageLondonGoogle Scholar
  12. Collis, B., Wende, M. 2002Models of Technology and Change in Higher Education: An International Comparative Survey on the Current and Future Uses of ICT in Higher EducationUniversity of TwenteCHEPSGoogle Scholar
  13. Curran C. (2001). ‘Universities and the Challenge of E-Learning: What Lessons from the European Universities?’ Presented at the University Teaching as E-Business, October 2001, Center for Studies in Higher Education, University of California at BerkeleyGoogle Scholar
  14. Daniel, J.S. 1990

    ‘Distance education in developing countries’

    Croft, M.Mugridge, I.Daniel, J.S.Hershfield, A. eds. Distance Education: Development and Access.ICDE ProceedingsCaracas101110
    Google Scholar
  15. Daniel, J.S. 1996The Mega-Universities and the Knowledge MediaKogan PageLondonGoogle Scholar
  16. Enders, J.Fulton, O. eds. 2002Higher Education in a Globalising World: International Trends and Mutual ObservationsKluwer Academic PublishersDordrechtGoogle Scholar
  17. Evans, T.Nation, D. eds. 2000Changing University Teaching: Reflections on Creating Educational TechnologiesKogan PageLondonGoogle Scholar
  18. Fetterman, D.M. 1998‘Webs of meaning: Computer and Internet resources for educational research and instruction’Educational Researcher272231Google Scholar
  19. Garrison, D.R. 1993

    ‘Multifunction computer enhanced audio teleconferencing: Moving into the third generation of distance education’

    Harry, H.John, M.Keegan, D. eds. Distance Education: New Perspectives.RoutledgeLondon200208
    Google Scholar
  20. Garrison, D.R. 1999‘Will distance education disappear in distance studies? A reaction’Journal of Distance Education.141013Google Scholar
  21. Garrison, D.R.Anderson, T. eds. 2000Changing University Teaching: Reflections on Creating Educational TechnologiesKogan PageLondonGoogle Scholar
  22. Gladieux, L.E., Swail, W.S. 1999The Virtual University and Educational Opportunity: Issues of Equity and Access for the Next GenerationThe College BoardWashington, D.C.Google Scholar
  23. Guri-Rosenblit, S. 1999Distance and Campus Universities: Tensions and Interactions – A Comparative Study of Five CountriesPergamon Press & The International Association of UniversitiesOxfordGoogle Scholar
  24. Guri-Rosenblit, S. 2001‘The Tower of Babel syndrome in the discourse on information technologies in higher education’Global E-Journal of Open, Flexible and Distance Education.12838Google Scholar
  25. Guri-Rosenblit, S. 2001‘Virtual universities: Current models and future trends’Higher Education in EuropeXXVI487499CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Guri-Rosenblit S. (2002). ‘A top down strategy to enhance information technologies into Israeli higher education’. International Review of Research in Open and Distance Education 2(2)Google Scholar
  27. Harasim, L., Hiltz, S.R., Teles, L., Turrof, M. 1995Learning Networks: A Field Guide to Teaching and Learning OnlineMIT PressCambridge, MAGoogle Scholar
  28. Harley, D., Henke, J., Lawrence, S., Maher, M., Gawlik, M., Muller, P. 2002An Analysis of Technology Enhancement in a Large Lecture Course at UC Berkeley: Costs, Cultures, and ComplexityA Final Report. Center for Studies in Higher EducationUC BerkeleyGoogle Scholar
  29. Holmberg, B. 1989Theory and Practice of Distance EducationRoutledgeLondonGoogle Scholar
  30. Keegan, D. 1986The Foundations of Distance EducationCroom HelmBeckenhamGoogle Scholar
  31. Keegan, M. 2000E-Learning: The Engine of the Knowledge EconomyKeeganNew YorkGoogle Scholar
  32. Laurillard, D. 2001Rethinking University Teaching2Routledge FalmerLondonGoogle Scholar
  33. Littleton, K.Light, P. eds. 1999Learning with Computers: Analysing Productive InteractionRoutledgeLondonGoogle Scholar
  34. Matkin G.W. (2002). The Whys and Hows of Online Education at UC: A Dean’s Perspective, UC TLtC News & Events. http://www.uctltc.org/news/2002/06/matkin.htmlGoogle Scholar
  35. Morrison T.R. (1992). ‘Learning, change and synergism: The potential of open universities’, Presented at the Annual Asian Association of Universities, Seoul, Korea, Proceedings, pp. 19–54Google Scholar
  36. National Research Council2002Preparing for the Revolution: Information Technology and the Future of the Research UniversityThe National Academies PressWashington, D.C.Google Scholar
  37. Niper, S. 1989

    ‘Third generation distance learning and computer conferencing’

    Mason, R.Kaye, A. eds. Mindweave: Communication, Computers and Distance Education.Pergamon PressOxford6373
    Google Scholar
  38. Olsen F. (2002). ‘MIT’s open window – putting course materials online, the university faces high expectations’, The Chronicle of Higher Education 6 December 2002Google Scholar
  39. Peters, O. 1994

    ‘Distance education and industrial production: A comparative interpretation in outline’

    Keegan, M. eds. Otto Peters on Distance Education.RoutledgeLondon107127
    Google Scholar
  40. Peters, O. 2001Learning and Teaching in Distance Education: Analysis and Interpretations from an International PerspectiveKogan PageLondonGoogle Scholar
  41. Robinson S., Guernsey L. (1999). ‘Microsoft and MIT to launch I-Campus’, International Harold Tribune 6 October 1999Google Scholar
  42. Ryan, Y. 2002Emerging Indicators of Success and Failure in Borderless Higher EducationThe Observatory on Borderless Higher EducationLondonGoogle Scholar
  43. Scott H., Chenette J., Swartz J. (2002). ‘The integration of technology into learning and teaching in liberal arts’, Liberal Education (Spring) 2002, 30–35Google Scholar
  44. Selinger, M.Pearson, J. eds. 1999Telematics in Education: Trends and IssuesPergamon PressOxfordGoogle Scholar
  45. Somekh, B.Davis, N. eds. 1997Using Information Technology Effectively in Teaching and LearningRoutledgeLondonGoogle Scholar
  46. Toffler, A. 1980The Third WaveWilliam MorrowNew YorkGoogle Scholar
  47. Trow, M. 1999‘Lifelong learning through the new information technologies’Higher Education Policy.12201217CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Twigg, C. 2001Innovations in Online Learning: Moving Beyond the no Significant DifferenceThe Pew Learning & Technology ProgramTroy, N.Y.Google Scholar
  49. S.Department of, Education 2002A Profile of Participation in Distance Education: 1999–2000National Center for Educational StatisticsWashington, D.C.NCES 2003-154Google Scholar
  50. Molen, H.J. eds. 2001Virtual University? Educational Environments of the FuturePortland Press LtdLondonGoogle Scholar
  51. van der Wende M.C. (2002). The Role of US Higher Education in the Global E-Learning Market. Research and Occasional Paper Series: Center for Studies in Higher Education. 1.02, Higher Education in the Digital Age Project, University of California at BerkeleyGoogle Scholar
  52. Vest C.M. (2001). Disturbing the Educational Universe: Universities in the Digital Age – Dinosaurs or Prometheans? Report of the President for the Academic Year 2000-1, MITGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Education and PsychologyThe Open University of IsraelRamat-AvivIsrael

Personalised recommendations