Analytic Quality Glossary

 

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Citation reference: Harvey, L., 2004-17, Analytic Quality Glossary, Quality Research International, http://www.qualityresearchinternational.com/glossary/

This is a dynamic glossary and the author would welcome any e-mail suggestions for additions or amendments. Page updated 7 January, 2017 , © Lee Harvey 2004–2017.

 

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Distance education


core definition

Distance education is higher education undertaken by students in a setting remote from the physical campus of the higher education institution.


explanatory context

Distance education does not preclude students from attending the higher education institution on an occasional basis but the majority of interaction is done at a distance. Usually, nowadays distance education is via online programmes.

 

Programmes taken in off-shore locations by students attending the institution that is franchised to offer the programme do not constitute distance learners.


analytical review

The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) (undated) defines distance learning as:

Instruction provided at a distance to students who do not normally attend lectures and tutorials at the institution. It can involve learning through TV, radio, correspondence, computer network, CD-ROM and video.

 

The Higher Education Authority (2004) defines distance education as follows:

The physical presence of the student is not required at the educational institution. Study is conducted using specially prepared teaching materials, which are made available to students by post, radio, television and in some cases video conferencing.


Charles Sturt University, Division of Student Administration (2011) defines distance education as:

A mode of study. Students study off campus using University study materials and are not required to attend regular lectures, tutorials, seminars, laboratory or practical classes but residential schools or other specific attendance's may be prescribed.

The Higher Learning Commission (2011) defines it as follows (and differentiates it from correspondence education):

Distance Learning (Distance Education): Education that delivers instruction to students who are separated from the instructor and that supports regular and substantive interaction between students and the instructor synchronously or asynchronously using one or more of the following technologies: the Internet; one-way and two-way transmission through open broadcast, closed-circuit cable, microwave, broadband lines, fiber optics, satellite, or wireless communication devices; audio-conferencing; or videocassettes, DVDs, and CD-ROMs used in conjunction with any of the other technologies.

 

Indiana College Network (ICN) (2007) defines distance education as:

a formal learning activity which occurs when students and instructor are separated by geographic distance or by time, often supported by communications technology such as television, videotape, computers or mail.

 

NTNC (2002) has an almost identical definition:

a formal learning activity which occurs when students and instructor are separated by geographic distance or by time, often supported by communications technology such as television, videotape, computers, email, mail, or interactive videoconferencing.

 

They go on to define distance learning as:

The process by which technology is used for education in ways where the student does not have to physically be in the place where the teaching is taking place. Access to the instructor is gained through technology such as the Internet, interactive videoconferencing and satellite. (NTNC, 2002)

 

For Moore Kearsley (1996):

Distance education is planned learning that normally occurs in a different place from teaching and as a result requires special techniques of course design, special instructional techniques, special methods of communication by electronic and other technology, as well as special organizational and administrative arrangements.

 

For the Graduate Recruitment Bureau (2011):

Distance learning: Study that doesn't involve physically attending the university. Makes use of the TV, radio, post, CD-ROMs, video and increasingly the Internet.

 

Partlow and Lavagnino (undated) of the Committee On Institutional Cooperation (CIC) state:

Distance education is a means of providing access to instructional programs for students who are separated by time and/or physical location from an instructor. In the past, distance education was often thought of as pre-packaged text, audio, and/or video courses taken by an isolated learner with little or no interaction with a faculty member or other students, but this perspective is dated. Today's information technologies allow a richly interactive distance education experience, which can, in some cases, surpass the interactivity of a traditional lecture-based classroom.

 

For the Universal Council for Online Education Accreditation (2003):

Distance education is learning that takes place where the faculty member and the student are not in the same physical location, and where face-to-face contact between student and instructor occurs no more than 10% of the total contact hours associated with a given course. In other words, in a UAA Distance education is any learning that takes place with the instructor and student geographically remote from each other. This instructional delivery system connects learners with educational resources and provides educational access to learners not enrolled in educational institutions. Distance Education usually takes place when the teacher and the student(s) are separated by physical distance, and technology (i.e., voice, video, data, and print), is used to bridge the instructional gap. Today courses are offered for academic, professional, and vocational purposes for students of all ages. Distance education is available in practically any field, while the courses also vary greatly in scope, level, and length. Some have a few assignments and require only a few months to complete, while others have a hundred or more lesson assignments requiring about three or four years of conscientious study.

 

University of Alaska Anchorage (2002) has the first part of the Universal Council definition:

Distance education is learning that takes place where the faculty member and the student are not in the same physical location, and where face-to-face contact between student and instructor occurs no more than 10% of the total contact hours associated with a given course. In other words, in a UAA distance education course, students are generally not required to visit campus for more than the equivalent of 1 class period.

 

The Distance Education Clearinghouse catalogues various definitions:

The California Distance Learning Project's definition is: "Distance Learning (DL) is an instructional delivery system which connects learners with educational resources. DL provides educational access to learners not enrolled in educational institutions and can augment the learning opportunities of current students. The implementation of DL is a process which uses available resources and will evolve to incorporate emerging technologies."

            The Instructional Telecommunications Council definition is: "The process of extending learning, or delivering instructional resource-sharing opportunities, to locations away from a classroom, building or site, to another classroom, building or site by using video, audio, computer, multimedia communications, or some combination of these with other traditional delivery methods."

            From the publication: Sloan-C View, June, 2003, 2(4): "Online educators want to say exactly what is new about higher learning online today, yet a proliferation of terms complicates things. In Sloan-C listserv conversations about whether distance or distributed education is the proper name for it, some useful clarifications emerged."

            United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA) definition: "The acquisition of knowledge and skills through mediated information and instruction, encompassing all technologies and other forms of learning at a distance."

            From the Distance Education: A Consumer's Guide...What distance learners need to know, published by Western Cooperative for Educational Telecommunications: "Distance education is instruction that occurs when the instructor and student are separated by distance or time, or both." The Guide continues with other practical information for the potential distance education student.


The University of Southampton (2003, pt 2.2.8) states:

One definition takes 'distance learning' to refer to 'a way of providing higher education that involves the transfer to the student's location of the materials that form the main basis of study, rather than the student moving to a location of the resource provider'

 

The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA, undated) in the UK:

A course of study that does not involve face-to-face contact between students and tutors but instead uses technology such as the internet, intranets, broadcast media, CD-ROM and video, or traditional methods of correspondence - learning 'at a distance'.


associated issues


related areas

See also

correspondence course

off-shore provision

online programme


Sources

Charles Sturt University, Division of Student Administration, 2011, Glossary of Terms, available at http://www.csu.edu.au/division/student-admin/glossary.htm accessed 31 January 2011, not available 28 January 2012.

Distance Education Clearinghouse, 2005, Definitions, http://www.uwex.edu/disted/definition.html, last updated 1 April, 2005, not available at this address 17 February 2011.

Graduate Recruitment Bureau, 2011, Glossary, available at http://www.grb.uk.com/he_glossary.0.html, accessed 3 February 2011, available 9 October 2012, still available 3 January 2017.

Higher Education Authority (HEA) [of Ireland] 2004, Glossary http://www.hea.ie/index.cfm/page/sub/id/519, no longer available, 29 January 2011.

Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), undated, Glossary, available at http://www.hefce.ac.uk/glossary/, accessed 3 January 2017.

Higher Learning Commission, 2011, Understanding the Statement of Affiliation Status and Organizational Profile, available at http://ncahlc.org/op-definitions.html, accessed 1 September 2012, page not available 3 January 2017.

Indiana College Network (ICN), 2007, ‘Glossary' available at http://www.icn.org/getting_started/glossary_of_terms.html, updated 15 February 2007, accessed 1 September 2012, still available 3 January 2017.

Moore, M and  Kearsley, G., 1996, Distance Education: A Systems View. California: Wadsworth.

Northeast Texas Network Consortium (NTNC), 2002, Distance Learning College Glossary. http://www.netnet.org/students/student%20glossary.htm, accessed 1 September 2012, still available 3 January 2017.

Partlow, K. and Lavagnino, M.B., undated, Strategic Opportunities in Collaborative Distributed Education: A Discussion Document A Working Draft, Committee On Institutional Cooperation (CIC).

Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA), undated, Glossary, available at http://www.qaa.ac.uk/about-us/glossary?Category=D, accessed 7 January 2017.

Universal Council for Online Education Accreditation, 2003, FAQs, available at http://www.ucoea.org/html/faq.htm#1 , accessed 1 September 2012, page not available 3 January 2017.

University of Alaska Anchorage (2002) What is Distance Ed? Distance or Distributed? http://uaaonline.alaska.edu/About/distributive.html, not available at this address 17 February 2011.

University of Southampton, 2003, Learning and Teaching Strategy, section 2.2.8, available at http://www.soton.ac.uk/~qahbk4/desapprev2-2-8.htm, no longer accessible 10 October 2012.


copyright Lee Harvey 2004–2017



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