Defining Distance Education

Review of Class Assignment

Peters Overview

My online notes start here


A broad field of educational theory and practice that contrasts with the narrower concerns of curriculum development or educational technology. Includes social and psychological concerns. Two interesting examples are:

The Shaping of Theory

Peters sees a need to start the development of a Distance Education pedagogics with the following:

Taking Stock

Chapter 1 is a consideration of some elements that are current concerns of distance education. They include:

Traditional Access

This area is see by Peters to reflect the general manner in which we view education; reading, listening to lectures, viewing media, etc.

The Concept of "Three Generations"

  1. Correspondence School and Independent Study
    • Takes the components of traditional access and moves them to distance education
    • Reflects early implementations like mail and paper-based study
    • Individualistic
  2. Teleconferencing
    • This almost seems to be a retreat from the independence of the first generation
    • Primarily audioconferencing
    • Audio/Video/Computers
    • Group
  3. Computer Based
    • Adds value to the first two generations
    • Supplement second-generation with CMC
    • Intensifies guidance and instructional materials
    • Individualistic

A Dilemma

The greater the access, the lower the interaction.

The Student

Three Types of Operating Mode within Institutions

Distance and Proximity





Technological Extension

Transactional Distance

Review of Simple Online Tutorials

In class I'd like you to choose and take one of these tutorials according to your interest and needs. See how the theoretical framework of Peters illustrates these tutorials.

  1. Learn2: Clean a Bathroom
  2. Learn2: How to Read Music

Class Procedure

Given the small size of the class, I'd like you to continue to think about how the assignments and discussions can best fit your needs as distance educators. This will be an open discussion that can continue via email this week.

Links that Illustrate the History of Distance Education

Correspondence Schools

Independent Study


Assignments Due June 10



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