Jeannette McDonald


We are constantly being asked to compare distance education to traditional education. But by striving to make distance education “as good as” face-to-face education what are we overlooking or sacrificing? In this paper we explore these issues by first reviewing background information from the literature about new teaching theories, methods and technology. We’ll also look at the impact of online learning and whether it can support, or even expand, the new teaching theories and strategies, based on research. We’ll then get a general overview of quality distance education principles and guidelines currently in use, finally addressing the question of whether our evaluation methods and questions serve to free or limit the potential of online learning, perpetuating “doing things differently or doing different things”.



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