Distance Education and Technology Infrastructure: Strategies and Opportunities
Distance education provides a wealth of opportunities and areas for innovation, but it also presents unique challenges for implementation and eventual success. To mitigate these challenges, this chapter will present four critical components—systems, objectives, evaluation, and personnel—that combine into one to create a technology infrastructure that can support distance delivery. Through this chapter, e-learning leaders will gain the knowledge to not only identify key features of tools used for distance delivery, but also understand and appreciate the correlation between a holistic infrastructure approach and quality distance delivery. The absence of one of these critical components will likely result in an unsuccessful technology integration. To aid in the explanation of these critical components, the chapter will focus on three main distance education delivery forms—webinars, classroom captures, and e-learning modules. The chapter will provide an overview of the types of questions and elements that should go into consideration of any distance education tool, and will aid in the effective assessment and evaluation of these tools, as well as personnel considerations that should be taken into account.
KeywordsTechnology infrastructure Web conferencing Webinars e-Learning modules Instructional design Distance education Evaluation Classroom capture Interaction
- National Center for Education Studies. (2016). Digest of Education Statistics, 2014 (NCES 2016-006). Retrieved from http://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=80.
- Balch, O. (2014, April 13). Four mobile-based tools that can bring education to millions. The Guardian. Retrieved from http://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2014/aug/20/mobile-phones-smartphone-education-teaching.
- Bosch, A., Hartenberger Toby, L., & Alkhomsi, A. R. (2015). In a world of explofing possibilities in distance learning, don’t forget about the light bulb. The Quarterly Review of Distance Education, 16(2), 129–138.Google Scholar
- Paul, J.A & Cochran, J.D. (2013). Key interactions for online programs between faculty, students, technologies, and educational institutions: A holistic framework. The Quarterly Review of Distance Education, 14(1), 49–62.Google Scholar
- Preset, A., & Andrews, W. (2015, December 28). Magic quadrant for web conferencing. Retrieved from http://www.gartner.com/document/3181419?ref=lib.
- Simonson, M., Smaldino, S., & Zvacek, S. (Eds.). (2015). Teaching and learning at a distance: Foundations of distance education (6th ed.). Charlotte, NC: Information Age.Google Scholar