This blog is a repository for content related to ITEC studies, including research, examples, links, course materials, etc. It’s usefulness remains to be seen.
Blog: viasylb.blogspot.com
Name: viasylb


Creating a Virtual Community

Learning activities for an online course should encourage human interaction. Student involvement with the instructor and other students is an integral part of an online/Internet course. Some strategies to do this include:

Social Chatrooms
Electronic mailing lists
Phone conferencing
Personal web page with photos
Collaborative projects
Discussion groups

Chapter Web Links

Web Links

Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL) ADL an initiative sponsored by the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) is a collaborative effort between government, industry, and academia to promote the interoperability of learning tools and course content.

American Association for Collegiate Independent Study (AACIS) AACIS is a membership organization with the mission of advancing understanding about independent study, and providing collegiality and professional development opportunities for its members. Activities include an annual conference, a newsletter, and an online listserv, AACIS-L.

American Center for the Study of Distance Education (ACSDE) The ACSDE was founded in 1986 by Michael G. Moore, who served as Director until 2001. The first center of its kind in the United States, ACSDE organized seminal conferences and research symposia and published a variety of monographs. It sponsors “DEOS,” the Distance Education Online Symposium, an online discussion group/newsletter.

Association for Media-Based Continuing Education for Engineers (AMCEE) AMCEE is a consortium established in 1976 that brings together more than 25 educational institutions and provides hundreds of videotape-based courses on engineering and related topics, derived mostly from university classes. AMCEE also offers televised workshops and seminars through NTU.

CPB Project Established in 1981, Annenberg/CPB, a partnership between The Annenberg Foundation and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), demonstrated the use of media and telecommunications in K­12 schools as well as the development of programs (especially television-based) at the college level.

Center for Academic Transformation The Center for Academic Transformation is a program of the Pew Foundation that serves as a source of expertise and support for those in higher education wanting to use information technology to transform their academic practices.

Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) The purpose for which the Consortium for School Networking is organized is to advocate access to, and facilitate the evolution of, national and international electronic networks as resources to K­12 educators and students.

Consortium of Distance Education (CODE) The mission of the Consortium is to acquire and share knowledge about state-of-the-art distance learning in higher education focusing on college telecourses.

Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) CAEL is a national organization dedicated to expanding lifelong learning opportunities for adults.

Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) CHEA is the largest institutional higher education membership organization in the US with approximately 3,000 colleges and universities and offers a list of monographs about quality assurance and accreditation in distance education.

Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES) DANTES is a tuition assistance program run by the Department of Defense with a strong distance education component to provide off-duty voluntary education programs to military personnel.

Educause Educause is a nonprofit association whose mission is to advance higher education by promoting the use of information technology. The current membership comprises nearly 1,900 colleges and universities, more than 180 corporations, and 13,000 member representatives.

Federal Government Distance Learning Association The FGDLA is a nonprofit association formed to promote the development and application of distance learning and to actively foster collaboration and understanding among those involved in educational and training within the federal government.

Get Educated This is a consulting firm with a Web site that provides links to its informative newsletters.

Instructional Technology Council The Instructional Technology Council provides leadership, information, and resources to expand and enhance distance learning through the effective use of technology.

International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET) IACET authorizes educational providers to award the IACET Continuing Education Unit (CEU). IACET has developed its Distance-Learning Guidelines to help developers of distance and online learning to apply the IACET Standard to their specific situation.

International Multimedia Telecommunications Consortium (IMTC) IMTC is an international community of companies working to facilitate the availability of real-time, rich-media communications between people in multiple locations around the world. Members include Internet application developers and service providers, teleconferencing hardware and software suppliers, telecommunications companies and equipment vendors, end users, educational institutions, government agencies, and nonprofit corporations.

Learning Anytime Anywhere Partnerships (LAAP) LAAP is a federal grant program to encourage innovative, scalable, and nationally significant distance education projects. Eligibility requirements for LAAP include at least two partners and a one-to-one matching of requested federal funds.

Sloan Consortium (Sloan-C) Sloan Consortium encourages the collaborative sharing of knowledge and effective practices to improve online education in regard to learning effectiveness, access, affordability for learners and providers, and student and faculty satisfaction.

The American Distance Education Consortium (ADEC) ADEC is a non-profit consortium of approximately 65 state universities with a mission to develop high quality, economical distance education programs and services for delivery by the Land Grant colleges and universities.

The Distance Education and Training Council The Council was founded in 1926 to promote sound educational standards and ethical business practices in for-profit correspondence schools. The DETC is a non-profit educational association and sponsors a nationally recognized accrediting agency called the Accrediting Commission of the DETC. The Distance Learning Resource Network (DLRN) The Distance Learning Resource Network (DLRN) is the dissemination project for the U.S. Department of Education Star Schools Program, a federally funded program offering instructional modules, enrichment activities and courses in science, mathematics, foreign languages, workplace skills, high school completion, and adult literacy programs.

The International Center for Applied Studies in Information Technology (ICASIT) The focus of ICASIT is on policy issues related to Information Technology (IT). ICAS-IT has projects in over 20 countries, in partnerships with foundations, research centers, and universities.

U.S. Distance Learning Association (USDLA) USDLA is a member organization concerned with distance education at all levels, with a strong representation in corporate training contexts. It has an online journal and organizes annual conferences.

University Continuing Education Association (UCEA) Founded in 1915, the University Continuing Education Association (formerly the National University Continuing Education Association) is a professional association for everyone involved in continuing education at all levels, with a special interest group for those involved in using technology. UCEA has six regional associations.

Web-based Education Commission The Commission was established by Congress to develop policy recommendations geared toward maximizing the educational promise of the Internet for pre-K, elementary, middle, secondary, and postsecondary education learners.

WWW Links
List of internet sites that discuss a variety of topics relating to Education.

Conference Sites

EDUCOM http://www.educause.edu/conference/conf.html The Home Page for Educom’s conferences and seminars.
Learning Research and Development Center http://www.lrdc.pitt.edu/ Conference information and proceedings available from this site. Educational Technology http://agora.unige.ch/tecfa/edutech/welcome_frame.html Information about the conferences on technology and education

NCSS Online http://www.ncss.org/ Home page for the National Council for the Social Sciences with information on conferences, publications, and grants.

ISTE http://www.iste.org/ Home page for the International Society for Technology in Education with information on conferences, publications and more.

ASCD Web http://www.ascd.org/ Home page for the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development with information on conferences, publications and more.

NSTA http://www.nsta.org/Home page for the National Science Teachers Association with information on conferences, publications and more.

NCTM http://www.nctm.org/ Home page for the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics with information on conferences, publications and more.

AECT http://www.aect.org/ Home page for the Association for Educational Communications and Technology with information on conferences, publications, listservs and more.

AERA http://www.aera.net/ Home page for the American Educational Research Association with information on conferences, publications, listservs, jobs and more.

Teaching College Courses Online vs Face-to-Face, The Journal

Article Title: Teaching College Courses Online vs Face-to-Face

Author: by Glenn Gordon Smith, David Ferguson, Mieke Caris

Department and Issue: T.H.E. Journal Feature, April 2001

Experiencing a huge demand for college courses
taught over the Web and not wanting to be swept aside by competitors
from the commercial sector, universities are often pressuring faculty
to teach courses online. Many faculty members have never taught
online, and therefore wonder what they are getting themselves into.
What are the differences between teaching online and teaching
face-to-face? What can faculty members expect from the experience of
teaching college courses on the Web?

Other faculty members have some experience teaching online,
but haven’t shared their experiences, nor have they read the
literature on distance education. Their knowledge remains
fragmentary. Are faculty experiences with teaching online specific to
their content areas, or representative of the larger experience of
teaching over the Web? This study seeks to integrate the experiences
of professors currently teaching online into a qualitative

Literature Search

Before embarking on the research, we were aware of and
influenced by a number of research-based notions of distance
education. The first was that it requires a considerable amount of
time to design and develop an online class. The instructor must shift
from the role of content provider to content facilitator, gain
comfort and proficiency in using the Web as the primary
teacher-student link, and learn to teach effectively without the
visual control provided by direct eye contact (Williams & Peters

Moore (1993) suggests that there are three types of interaction
necessary for successful distance education: 1) learner-content
interaction, 2) learner-instructor interaction, and 3)
learner-learner interaction. Distance learning instructors need to
ensure that all three forms of interaction are maximized in their
course structure.

Peters (1993) criticizes distance education, saying that it reduces
education to a kind of industrial production process, lacking the
human dimension of group interaction, and even alienating learners
from teachers. He compares distance education to a mass-production
assembly line process where a division of labor (educators and
communications specialists) replaces the more craft-oriented approach
of traditional face-to-face education. However, Peters’ article
predates the current Web-based boom in distance education. His
notions, like the computer themes in Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A
Space Odyssey, sound slightly like industrial age paranoia toward
computers. The personal computer and the Internet have probably been
a greater force towards individualization than mass production.


We interviewed 21 instructors who had taught both in the
distance and the face-to-face format. The instructors ranged from
assistant professors to adjunct professors. Fifteen of the 21
instructors taught in the context of the SUNY Learning Network, a
non-profit, grant-funded organization that provides the State
Universities of New York (SUNY) with an infrastructure, software, Web
space and templates for instructors to create their online course.
The Learning Network also provides workshops on developing and
teaching online courses, a help desk and other technical support for
Web-based distance education. The remaining six informants taught
Web-based distance education courses in similarly supported
situations at state universities in California and Indiana.

Four of the interviews were conducted over the telephone and 18 were
done via e-mail. The four telephone interviews occurred first and
were used to develop a set of open-ended questions for e-mail
interviews. Since e-mail interviewing did not require the laborious
process of transcription, the e-mail interview process allowed the
gathering of data from a much larger number of participants than was
possible from telephone or face-to-face interviews alone.

By reading over the transcriptions of the telephone interviews, the
investigators found emerging themes that were converted into 27
open-ended essay questions comprising the “e-mail interview.” The
e-mail interview, as it is used in this study, is differentiated from
a questionnaire on several counts. It uses open-ended, essay-style
questions as opposed to the Likert style, fill-in-the-blank or
multiple-choice items common to questionnaires. The informants
averaged approximately 45 minutes to complete the e-mail interview.
The initial questions included some “chit-chat” and informal
questions designed to put the interviewee at ease. It also involved
some degree of interaction between the interviewer and the
interviewee. The interviewers sometimes e-mailed participants
follow-up questions to particularly interesting responses.

The investigators read over all the interviews at least two times,
looking for trends and consistencies and generating 39 categories of
responses and mnemonic codes to symbolize these categories. Some
typical coding categories include “>WK,” meaning that the online
classes require more work, and “N FUNNY,” meaning that humor was
problematic in the online environment.

Three investigators coded the interviews and then counted how many
times each type of response occurred (not the number of informants
who said or wrote a particular response). So if one informant wrote
at three different times in the interview that online classes
required more work, that interview contributed three occurrences of
the “>WK” category, not one occurrence. The coding system was not
done to be objective (this type of ethnographic research is by its
nature non-objective), but rather to uncover trends in the data.

Data Sources

Some of the most important, most emphasized and most frequent responses made points we had not directly asked about. A lot of
issues related to bandwidth limitations and the dominance of text in
Web-based classes. Some instructors feel as if a lifetime of teaching
skills goes by the wayside. They can not use their presence and their
classroom skills to get their point across. Nor can they use their
oral skills to improvise on the spot to deal with behavior problems
or educational opportunities.

Because of the reliance on text-based communication and a lack of
visual cues, every aspect of the course has to be laid out in
meticulous detail to avoid misunderstandings. Every lecture must be
converted to a typed document. Directions for every assignment must
be spelled out in a logical, self-contained way. Therefore, Web-based
distance classes require considerably more work, often including
hundreds of hours of up-front work to set up the course. On the other
hand, the development of an online class, especially one that began
as a face-to-face course, makes the instructor confront and analyze
the material in new and different ways.

Once the course begins, the long hours continue. Online instructors
must log on to the course Web site at least three or four times a
week for a number of hours each session. They respond to threaded
discussion questions, evaluate assignments, and above all answer
questions clearing up ambiguities, often spending an inordinate
amount of time communicating by e-mail. The many instructor hours
spent online create an “online presence,” a psychological perception
for students that the instructor is out there and is responding to
them. Without this, students quickly become insecure and tend to drop
the class.

This great amount of work sounds intimidating; however, most online
instructors looked forward to their time spent online as time away
from their hectic face-to-face jobs. One respondent commented: “This
is why I like the online environment. It’s kind of a purified
atmosphere. I only know the students to the extent of their work.
Obviously their work is revealing about them.”

The Web environment presents a number of educational opportunities
and advantages over traditional classes, such as many informational
resources that can be seamlessly integrated into the class.
Instructors can assign Web pages as required reading, or have
students do research projects using online databases. However, it is
important that the instructor encourage the students to learn the
skills to differentiate valid and useful information from the dregs,
as the Internet is largely unregulated.

Some instructors also had online guests in their classes (authors,
experts in their field, etc.) residing at a distance, yet
participating in online threaded discussions with the students in the
class. All these things could theoretically be accomplished in a
traditional class by adding an online component; however, because
online classes are already on the Web, these opportunities are
integrated far more naturally.

Other advantages of online classes result from psychological aspects
of the medium itself. The emphasis on the written word encourages a
deeper level of thinking in online classes. A common feature in
online classes is the threaded discussion. The fact that students
must write their thoughts down, and the realization that those
thoughts will be exposed semi-permanently to others in the class seem
to result in a deeper level of discourse. Another response stated:

“The learning appears more profound as the discussions seemed both
broader and deeper. The students are more willing to engage both
their peers and the professor more actively. Each student is more
completely exposed and can not simply sit quietly throughout the
semester. Just as the participating students are noticeable by their
presence, the non-participating students are noticeable by their
absence. The quality of students’ contributions can be more refined
as they have time to mull concepts over as they write, prior to

The asynchronous nature of the environment means that the student (or
professor) can read a posting and consider their response for a day
before posting it. Every student can and, for the most part, does
participate in the threaded discussions. In online classes, the
instructor usually makes class participation a higher percentage of
the class grade, since instructor access to the permanent archive of
threaded discussions allows more objective grading (by both quantity
and quality). This differs from face-to-face classes where, because
of time constraints, a relatively small percentage of the students
can participate in the discussions during one class session. Because
of the lack of physical presence and absence of many of the usual
in-person cues to personality, there is an initial feeling of
anonymity, which allows students who are usually shy in the
face-to-face classroom to participate in the online classroom.
Therefore it is possible and quite typical for all the students to
participate in the threaded discussions common to Web-based

This same feeling of anonymity creates some political differences,
such as more equality between the students and professor in an online
class. The lack of a face-to-face persona seems to divest the
professor of some authority. Students feel free to debate
intellectual ideas and even challenge the instructor. One respondent
stated that “In a face-to-face class the instructor initiates the
action; meeting the class, handing out the syllabus, etc. In online
instruction the student initiates the action by going to the Web
site, posting a message, or doing something. Also, I think that
students and instructors communicate on a more equal footing where
all of the power dynamics of the traditional face-to-face classroom
are absent.”

Students are sometimes aggressive and questioning of authority in
ways not seen face-to-face. With the apparent anonymity of the
Internet, students feel much freer to talk. “Students tended to get
strident with me online when they felt frustrated, something that
never happened in face-to-face classes because I could work with
them, empathize and problem solve before they reached that level of
frustration,” noted one respondent.

In the opening weeks of distance courses, there is an anonymity and
lack of identity which comes with the loss of various channels of
communication. Ironically, as the class progresses, a different type
of identity emerges. Consistencies in written communication, ideas
and attitudes create a personality that the instructor feels he or
she knows.

“Recently I had printed out a number of student papers to grade on a
plane. Most had forgotten to type their names into their
electronically submitted papers. I went ahead and graded and then
guessed who wrote each one. When I was later able to match the papers
with the names, I was right each time. Why? Because I knew their
writing styles and interests. When all of your communication is
written, you figure out these things quickly.”

This emergence of online identity may make the whole worry of online
cheating a moot point. Often stronger one-to-one relationships
(instructor-student and student-student) are formed in online courses
than in face-to-face classes.


Contrary to intuition, current Web-based online college
courses are not an alienating, mass-produced product. They are a
labor-intensive, highly text-based, intellectually challenging forum
which elicits deeper thinking on the part of the students and which
presents, for better or worse, more equality between instructor and
student. Initial feelings of anonymity notwithstanding, over the
course of the semester, one-to-one relationships may be emphasized
more in online classes than in more traditional face-to-face

With the proliferation of online college classes, it is important for
the professor to understand the flavor of online education and to be
reassured as to the intellectual and academic integrity of this
teaching environment.

Glenn Gordon Smith is a professor in the Department of Technology
& Society within the College of Engineering & Applied
Sciences at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He
teaches courses in educational technology and conducts research on
the effects of computer technology on human spatial visualization,
and on the differences between distance education and face-to-face
education. In August 1998, Glenn received his Ph.D. from Arizona
State University, where his dissertation research examined the
effects of computers and computer games on spatial visualization.
Prior to that, he worked as a computer programmer, specializing in
computer graphics for entertainment and aerospace industries.

E-mail: glsmith@notes.cc.sunysb.edu

David L. Ferguson is a professor of Technology and Society and
Applied Math at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He
has been director and co-director of numerous projects, including NSF
and FIPSE grants, for the improvement of undergraduate education in
science, engineering and mathematics. His publications include
articles on the use of advanced technologies in the learning and
teaching of mathematics and science. He has given numerous conference
presentations on the learning and teaching of problem solving.
Currently, he is director of the Center for Excellence in Learning
and Teaching at Stony Brook.

Aldegonda (Mieke) Caris received her M.A. in Teacher Education
at the Moller Institute in Holland. She founded the Institute of
Electronic Fashion & Design in Almelo, Netherlands. She developed
multimedia products and taught classes in linear and hyper media at
the University of Twente, Enschede in the Netherlands for the
department of Educational Science and Technology. She was directorof
Technology for the College of the Arts in Kompen and has been
involved in distance education since 1997. She is currently an
adjunct faculty member at Stony Brook, NY and a full-ime member of
the Faculty Development Center for Adelphi University in Garden City,


Moore, M. 1993. “Three Types of Interaction.” Distance
Education: New Perspectives, eds. K. Harry , M. Hohn and D.
Keegan. London: Routledge.

Peters, O. 1993. “Understanding Distance Education.” Distance
Education: New Perspectives, eds. K. Harry , M. Hohn and D.
Keegan. London: Routledge.

Williams, V. & Peters, K. 1997. “Faculty Incentives for the
Preparations of Web-Based Instruction.” Web-based Instruction,
ed. B. H. Khan. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Educational Technology

To read the article on our Web site go to http://www.thejournal.com/magazine/vault/a3407.cfm
T.H.E. Journal offers a FREE one-year subscription to qualified individuals in educational institutions. Go to http://www.thejournal.com/freesub for more information.
Copyright � 2004 ETC Group LLC. All rights reserved.


  • Fall 2005
    • October
      • 3
        • Oct 3 ***online class*** Student topics TBD ***online class*** Text: None Additional Readings: TBD Assignment Due: Reflection
      • 10 Wht Ppr
        • Oct 10 Social Interaction in the Online Classroom
          Text: Moore – Ch 5, Collison – Ch 4
          Assignment Due: White Paper on Current Topic, Reflection
      • 24
        • Oct 24 *** No Meeting Oct 17 *** ***online class*** Student topics TBD ***online class*** Text: None Additional Readings: TBD Assignment Due: Reflection
      • 31
        • ct 31 E-Learning Development: Issues and Practices Text: Collison – Ch 5 and 6 Assignment Due: Reflection
    • September
      • 12
        • Sep 12 *** No Meeting Sep 5 *** DE Technologies Online learning environments (OLEs) and Virtual Classrooms Text: Moore – Ch 4, Collison – Ch 1 and 2 Additional Readings: TBD Assignment Due: Reflection

        Internal Link

      • DL Critique 19
        • Sep 19 ***online class*** Topic: When is Distance Education the best choice? Instructors, students, context, and content. Assignment Due: Distance Learning Review/Critique, Reflection
      • 26
        • Sep 26 Front End Analysis for DE Text: Moore – Ch 6 and 7, Collison – Ch 3 Additional Readings: TBD Assignment Due: Reflection
    • December
      • 5
        • Dec 5 ***online class*** Student topics TBD ***online class*** Text: None Additional Readings: TBD Assignment Due: Reflection
      • 12 Dsgn Project
        • Dec 12 Project Presentations and Course “Wrap” Assignment Due: Final Design Papers, Reflection
    • November
      • 7
        • Nov 7 ***online class*** Student topics TBD ***online class*** Text: None Additional Readings: TBD Assignment Due: Reflection
      • F/E Analysis14
        • Nov 14 Evaluation in DE: Programs, Courses, and Learners Text: Moore – Ch 10-12 Collison – Ch 7 Optional Readings: TBD Assignment Due: Front-end Analysis Paper, Reflection
      • 21
        • Nov 21 ***online class*** Student topics TBD ***online class*** Text: None Additional Readings: TBD Assignment Due: Reflection
      • Bibl & Gloss 28
        • Nov 28 Theoretical Foundations for DE Case Studies in DE Text: Moore – Ch 9 Collison – Ch 8 Additional Readings: TBD Assignment Due: Bibliography/Glossary, Reflection

860 Syllabus

Department of Instructional Technologies

Helping people in education, business, and communities learn

ITEC 860.01 Distance Education (3 units)

Fall 2005

Monday – 4:10-6:55 PM, Burk Hall 170 (may also meet in BH 168 as needed)

Instructor: Dr. Brian Beatty

Office: BH 163C (inside the ITEC department office)

Office Hours: Monday 1-4 PM

Phone: 338-6833 (alternate – 338-1509)

E-mail: bjbeatty@sfsu.edu

Course URL: http://ilearn.sfsu.edu

I. Course Description

From the course catalog:

“Understanding of distance education development and delivery. Exploration of the field through demonstrations of telecommunications facilities, meetings of professional organizations, internet capabilities, and teleconferencing classrooms. Development of an instructional unit delivered via distance education.”


ITEC 800 and 801 should be completed before enrolling in ITEC 860. Permission to enroll in this course may be requested from the instructor if a student is able to demonstrate knowledge of ITEC 800 and 801 content through parallel coursework or life experience.

Introduction to Distance Education:

This course introduces the learner to the principles learning at a distance, commonly called distance education, distance learning, distributed learning, e-learning, online learning, etc. In this seminar, we will explore the complexities of designing instruction in various distance contexts (such as, corporate training, education, etc.). We will learn the fundamental instructional concepts supporting various distance learning strategies, tactics, and media, and apply these concepts in a real context through frequent online discussions and a major design project.

There are two major elements in this seminar:

  1. An introduction to various distance teaching and learning methods, such as video telecommunication, classic correspondence models (print), online education, and independent e-learning modules. We will explore the instructional design considerations, technical implementation requirements, and implications for learning (and teaching) with each of these methods. Your learning of this content will be assessed primarily through a short paper assignments, hands-on activities, and class discussions throughout the semester.
  2. Practice applying instructional design skills for distance learning by planning and moderating a topical online discussion and completing a comprehensive distance learning instructional unit design project. This project will be selected by you – working in conjunction with a small group of your peers. Your small group will choose a distance education topic and develop online activities and discussion for one week of the seminar. Additionally, your team (this may be a different team) will complete a brief design plan and produce a limited (short, but complete) instructional unit as the major assignment for the second half of the course. (Specific assignments detailed below.)

Readings assigned for each week will provide the foundation for our discussion and class activities. Readings from the text(s) encompass the majority of these assignments. Supplemental readings will provide alternative and complementary views on distance learning (and there are many!). Finally, there will be several discussion topics that we will choose and develop together as a class, based largely on your (collective) interests.

II. Accommodation Statement

If you are a student with a disability requiring special accommodation in this course, you must be registered with the Office of Disabled Student Services (DSS). Your counselor will give you a letter that you must deliver to the instructor in person, at which time an appointment will be arranged to discuss appropriate accommodation. This must be accomplished during the first three weeks of class.

III. Learning Goals

  1. Demonstrate a sound understanding of distance learning theory and practice by critiquing instructional units (commercial/educational and peer work).
  2. Analyze an instructional context and determine an effective mix of distance learning strategies and tactics.
  3. Create a plan for implementing a distance learning instructional unit in a specific setting.
  4. Create an instructional unit (short – about fifteen minutes) and conduct a basic formative evaluation.

IV. Readings

Required Texts:

Distance Education: A Systems View (2nd Ed, 2005) by Michael G. Moore and Greg Kearsley; published by Thomson Learning/Wadsworth. ISBN/ISSN: 0-534-50688-7

Facilitating Online Learning: Effective Strategies for Moderators (2000) by George Collison, Bonnie Elbaum, Sarah Haavind, and Robert Tinker; published by Atwood.

These texts will be used as the primary print resources for our learning about distance education. We will read most of the material in the texts during the first two-thirds of the course. During your project work (primarily during the second half of the course), you will refer back to the texts for reference and further learning support.

Additional Readings:

Each week I will provide access to other important readings. Hopefully, these will all be available electronically so you may print your own copy, if you wish. Readings for each week will be announced during the previous week’s class and/or online at the course website (http://ilearn.sfsu.edu).

If you find interesting, relevant readings on your own in trade journals, magazines, newsletters, etc., please bring them to class to share or post them to the course website.

V. Course Requirements and Grading

Basic Course Requirements:

Class Participation (10%)

This is a seminar course, implying active engagement in discussions and other class activities. Participation includes completing pre-class readings, online exercises, and joining in class discussions – both in class and online.

Reflection Posts (10%)

Weekly you will post your thoughts about the class and the distance education field in an ongoing discussion thread – similar to a “blog”. These posts are intended to help you consider questions important to you, and capture your thoughts at selected instances in time. Posts will be viewable by others, though there is no requirement for others to read your posts or vice versa. You will receive full credit for this assignment if you contribute a meaningful post once a week for 14 weeks of the semester. Specific instructions available in class the first week.

Written Assignments (40%)

Approximately four short writing assignments are due during the course of the semester. We will utilize the course website to post, update, and comment upon these short papers.

Paper 1. Distance Learning Review/Critique (due week 3) This 3-4 page paper will be assigned and completed during the second quarter of the course. You will find, attend, and evaluate a distance learning event (seminar, course, module, etc.) and prepare a short written evaluation to turn in. You will also present a brief (5-10 minute) summary of your experience to the class. More details will be provided in class at the appropriate time.

Paper 2. “White paper” on a current DE topic (due week 6) – This paper is a 3-5 page report on any current, relevant topic in the field of distance education. You should choose and research a unique topic and prepare a summary/position paper describing the topic and its importance and/or relevance to you and the field of distance education. You may choose a topic related to your online discussion moderation assignment (see below), but you may not choose the exact same topic as any other student. More details will be provided in class at the appropriate time.

Paper 3. Front-end Analysis for DE (due week 10) – This 3-5 page paper will describe the front-end instructional design analysis that would be effective for a specific DE learning situation (you will choose). You will include information about and/or results from a Needs/Learner/Context/Task Analysis. Hopefully, this paper will help you start thinking about a context for your design project. As such, you should consider this paper as a tool to get you moving on your major work of the semester. More details will be provided in class at the appropriate time.

Paper 4. Annotated Glossary/Bibliography (due week 12) – This paper has two major components: a five term glossary and a 10 item bibliography. For the glossary component: Choose any five terms used in the DE field, and create a short glossary entry for each. The entry should include the term, a definition (and description) of how it is used in our field, and a link to a web-based or print resource that either describes this in more detail or provides an example of the term in practice. For the bibliography component: List any 10 resources you have found to support your learning about distance education. In your list, include a short description of the resource (what is it, what is it for) and your evaluation of its usefulness. Why was it valuable to you? For each resource, give its full reference so that someone else can find it if they want to. This assignment will also contribute to a perpetual resource we are creating for the ITEC community at large. More details will be provided in class at the appropriate time.

Online Discussion Moderation (20%)

During one week of the semester, you will work with up to 3 peers to prepare and moderate instructional activities and an online discussion focused on a distance education topic of your choosing. During the first several weeks of class we will develop a list of topics and assign specific weeks to teams of students. During your week you will be required to present a brief introduction to the topic, provide resources for students to explore on their own, and then create a threaded online discussion (or possibly schedule a synchronous chat(s) session) to coordinate student interaction on this topic. The following week, your group will present a short debrief to the class focused on the “highs and lows” of your experience. (What went well, what did not work, what would you change the next time, etc.) Finally, you will turn in a 1-2 page summary to the instructor.

Possible topics:

  • Copyright
  • Plagiarism
  • Technology challenges – Bandwidth, etc.
  • Mixing online and face-to-face methods (blended or hybrid)
  • Professional organizations and conferences
  • Specific uses in XXX industry/company/etc.
  • Certification
  • Quality Control
  • Distance Education in developing countries

Distance Learning Design Project (20%)

A short but comprehensive distance learning design project will be completed during the second half of the course. This project will be completed in teams of up to 4 students and will require you to apply the principles of effective instructional design to create the design plan and part of the content for an original instructional unit delivered by distance learning technologies. At the final class meeting, your team will present your instructional unit during a 20 minute presentation to your peers. More details will be provided in class at the appropriate time.

Late Assignments

In order to receive full credit for an assignment, it must be turned in at the requested time. Partial credit for late assignments may be given, at the discretion of the instructor. Late assignments will receive a minimum 10% grade reduction, and will not be accepted after one week has passed since the original due date.


A- to A 90-100 %

B- to B+ 80-89 %

C to C+ 75-79 %

No Credit below 75%


If you do not complete the course requirements by the end of the semester, you may receive a grade of “I” (Incomplete) with prior arrangement with the instructor. 75% of all course assignments must be successfully completed prior to the end of the semester in order to qualify for consideration of an Incomplete. All Incomplete grades will have a pre-arranged deadline for completion, usually no longer than the end of the following university term (spring, summer or fall).

Changes to the Syllabus:

This syllabus is subject to change throughout the semester due to emergent student needs, important new learning opportunities, or other unforeseen situations. In the event a change must be made, the instructor will notify the students as soon as practically possible, and provide an updated syllabus on the course website.

Other Student Resources

Associated Students Inc., Cesar Chavez Student Center M-103, (415)
338-1230 ext. 4. (phone), (415) 338-0522 (fax), http://www.asisfsu.org.
Chasiti Effort, College of Education Representative.

Cahill Learning Resource and Media Lab, Burk Hall 319, (415) 338-3423, http://clrml.sfsu.edu. Chasiti Effort, Graduate Student Assistant.
VI. Course Calendar (tentative)




Readings and Assignments


Aug 29

Course Introduction

What is Distance Education?

Historical Distance Education

Today’s DE Landscape

Text: Moore – Ch 1-3
Additional Readings: TBD

Assignment Due: Reflection


Sep 12


No Meeting Sep 5


DE Technologies

Online learning environments (OLEs) and Virtual Classrooms

Text: Moore – Ch 4, Collison – Ch 1 and 2
Additional Readings: TBD

Assignment Due: Reflection


Sep 19

***online class***

Topic: When is Distance Education the best choice? Instructors, students, context, and content.

***online class***

Text: None

Additional Readings: TBD

Assignment Due: Distance Learning Review/Critique, Reflection


Sep 26

Front End Analysis for DE

Text: Moore – Ch 6 and 7, Collison – Ch 3
Additional Readings: TBD

Assignment Due: Reflection


Oct 3

***online class***

Student topics TBD

***online class***

Text: None
Additional Readings: TBD

Assignment Due: Reflection


Oct 10

Social Interaction in the Online Classroom

Text: Moore – Ch 5, Collison – Ch 4
Assignment Due: White Paper on Current Topic, Reflection


Oct 24


No Meeting Oct 17


***online class***

Student topics TBD

***online class***

Text: None
Additional Readings: TBD

Assignment Due: Reflection


Oct 31

E-Learning Development: Issues and Practices

Text: Collison – Ch 5 and 6
Assignment Due: Reflection


Nov 7

***online class***

Student topics TBD

***online class***

Text: None
Additional Readings: TBD

Assignment Due: Reflection


Nov 14

Evaluation in DE: Programs, Courses, and Learners

Text: Moore – Ch 10-12

Collison – Ch 7
Optional Readings: TBD

Assignment Due: Front-end Analysis Paper, Reflection


Nov 21

***online class***

Student topics TBD

***online class***

Text: None
Additional Readings: TBD

Assignment Due: Reflection


Nov 28

Theoretical Foundations for DE

Case Studies in DE

Text: Moore – Ch 9

Collison – Ch 8
Additional Readings: TBD

Assignment Due: Bibliography/Glossary, Reflection


Dec 5

***online class***

Student topics TBD

***online class***

Text: None
Additional Readings: TBD

Assignment Due: Reflection


Dec 12

Project Presentations and Course “Wrap”

Assignment Due: Final Design Papers, Reflection

VII. Other resources:

A. Large websites with rich resource sets:

1. Distance Education Clearinghouse – University of Wisconsin Extension
The Distance Education Clearinghouse is a comprehensive and widely recognized Web site bringing together distance education information from Wisconsin, national, and international sources. New information and resources are being added to the Distance Education Clearinghouse on a continual basis.

The Clearinghouse is managed and maintained by the University of Wisconsin-Extension, in cooperation with its partners and other University of Wisconsin institutions.


2. American Center for the Study of Distance Education – Penn State University
American Center for the Study of Distance Education

Penn State’s American Center for the Study of Distance Education (ACSDE) was founded in 1986 to study and disseminate information about distance education in all its forms. As the first center of its kind in the United States, ACSDE has helped to shape distance education practice through its publications, research symposia, leadership institutes, and moderated listserv.


B. Plagiarism and other topics
Help with understanding what is and what isn’t acceptable use!


Office of Instructional Consulting at Indiana University: An archive of “brownbag” talks on topics important to instructional design and distance education.


C. APA Style for Citations and References
A few helpful sites:

Purdue University Online Writing Lab (start here):

APA Electronic References:

Help is here – from your local SFSU CET!

Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration


D. Learner Centered Principles
Background and the descriptions of the principles at http://www.apa.org/ed/lcp.html

Putting the Learner at the Center: Next-generation innovation emphasizes enabling learning in classrooms and e-learning environments. http://www.educause.edu/nlii/annual_review/2003/putlearneratcenter.asp

E. Social Interaction Online
Easy read: Brent Muirhead – Interactivity Research Studies

More difficult: A Constructivist Method for the Analysis of Networked Cognitive Communication and the Assessment of Collaborative Learning and Knowledge-Building


The hardest of all: Dr. Beatty’s dissertation on this topic J


And the resulting “interactive” website:

Social Interaction Online (SIO) – http://itec.sfsu.edu/social/pages/index.cfm

F. Front End Analysis / Instructional Design for DL
For an academic paper looking at the sociological side of virtual classrooms, read David Jaffee’s manuscript at: http://www.unf.edu/~djaffee/virtualtran.htm (Here’s the formal citation – “Virtual Transformation: Web-Based Technology and Pedagogical Change”. Teaching Sociology 31 (2), April 2003.)

Try these for some other views:

Concurrent Instructional Design: How to Produce Online Courses Using a Lean Team Approach – U of Syracuse: http://it.coe.uga.edu/itforum/paper56/paper56.htm

From “Designing Web-based Training” by William Horton, comes this interactive site to explore various instructional strategies he discusses in his book (includes working samples): http://www.designingwbt.com/index.htm

Learner Analysis anyone? This article describes a process to help higher ed students self-assess whether or not they are ready for a DE course. Be sure to view (and take) the learner self-assessment questionnaire linked from the article. Would you ask the same questions if you were creating this short survey?

G. Evaluation in DE – Phillips Five Levels (ROI) and more …

Phillips discusses an additional level of evaluation – Return on Investment … his fifth level to add to Kirkpatrick’s four levels.

Phillips, J. J. (1996). Measuring the Results of Training. In R. L. Craig (Ed.) The ASTD Training and Development Handbook: A Guide to Human Resource Development. SF: McGraw Hill.

The Consortium’s E-learning Model – http://www.concord.org/courses/cc_e-learning_model.html

The Training Foundation – position paper and standards for e-learning – http://www.trainingfoundation.com/articles/default.asp?PageID=997 and http://www.trainingfoundation.com/standards/default.asp?PageID=395

Institute for Higher Education report on Quality Online – http://www.ihep.org/Pubs/PDF/Quality.pdf

WorldBank Distance Education evaluation white paper:

CA Virtual Campus 2003-2004 Report –

Wk2 I860 Assignment

Post your thoughts to the “Readiness for Distance Education” discussion.

Distance Education Technologies, Online Learning Environments, and Virtual Classrooms

Readings: Moore Chapter 4, Collison Chapters 1 and 2
Assignment due: Reflection (after class)

Use this forum during week 3 (September 19-25) to post ideas (and reply to those of others) that relate to the general topic: “Is Distance Education right for you?” Please address both A. and B. in your posting.

  • A. Is distance education right for you? Are you ready? What might you need in order to succeed?

  • B. Consider your work or other professional context … Is distance education right for this setting and these learners? Are they ready? What might they need in order to succeed? As an instructional designer, what can you help provide?

Please share other resources you have found while exploring this topic, support or challenge the comments of others, and engage your peers in intellectual dialogue.

Please start your own thread by Tuesday, September 20. Then reply to others’ threads (at least 2) by Thursday, September 22.

Finally, reply to those who replied to your thread before class on the September 26. In class we will debrief both the content and process of the discussions.

Don’t forget your weekly reflection

and distance learning review/critique paper.


Developer Center Article

Jeffrey Bardzell

Thanks to the evolution of sophisticated technologies and easy-to-use authoring tools, the web has become a key medium for educators. But with the emergence of new modes of delivery arise new issues about how best to use them in the classroom. It’s one thing to know how to build a web page, import a graphic, and add a bulleted list or a few hyperlinks; it’s another to develop a quality learning environment online.

A series of best practices for general instruction have been emerging for years, which educators can use as guidelines for the development of online learning. This article provides an overview of seven key best practices that are often found among high-quality learning environments.

These features are not presented as a prescriptive model. Rather, the claims have emerged from research and experience. The features are defined using examples, along with information about how Macromedia software might be used to develop or support each one.

Feature 1: Learning is social
The social dimension of learning is one of the hardest to define or replicate. Influential Russian psychologist Lev Vygotsky argued that humans learn most naturally in social contexts. His theory states that social learning precedes internal learning. Many argue that social interaction encourages the more subtle and often more useful informal learning. Studies of early online learners found that many users felt learning was too formal and lacked a social dimension. There are many ways to improve the social dimension of your learning environment. These methods include e-mail, online forums, newsgroups, distribution lists, chat interfaces, live web cam video, and so on. Activities could include collective brainstorming, team projects, and role-playing scenarios.

How can Macromedia’s web development and multimedia authoring software help?
The new Macromedia Flash Communication Server MX, used in conjunction with Macromedia Flash MX, simplifies the creation of several different types of rich online communication, including video conferencing, live chat, presentations, and shared whiteboards. Using the ubiquitous Macromedia Flash Player and a series of pre-built, customizable components, developers can create and deploy these communities with a fraction of the effort and expense required just a few months ago.

In addition, Macromedia web and multimedia authoring tools can be indirectly beneficial. For instance, imagine students role-playing a courtroom drama, arguing over a given set of facts. Those facts must be presented to the students somehow, such as through interactive newspaper clips or a multimedia presentation of available evidence. Macromedia Flash and Dreamweaver would be natural choices to create the environments that wrap around the actual communications applications.

Feature 2: The learning environment interface should meet standards for usability and accessibility
Usability has gotten increasing coverage in recent years. This is because studies, such as those by Jakob Nielsen, have demonstrated that there is a direct correlation between usability and sales at e-commerce sites. But the larger field of human-computer interaction (HCI) has been around much longer. This field, which might be described as a blending of cognitive science and computer science, studies the capabilities of human cognition and how it interacts with computers and their interfaces. One could presume that there is a strong correlation between usability/accessibility and successful online learning, however that might be defined.

How can Macromedia’s web development and multimedia authoring software help?
New to Macromedia Flash MX and Dreamweaver MX is information and tools that support the creation of sites and assets that are accessible to those with visual and aural disabilities. It is now possible to make very complex, interactive multimedia content accessible to learners with disabilities.

Usability, on the other hand, is a design skill—rather like applied HCI. Just as a word processor cannot make its user write well, Macromedia Flash, Dreamweaver, Director, and Authorware cannot make its users create usable multimedia. However, all of these programs certainly have sufficient tools to create usable assets, and the documentation on HCI, usability, and accessibility is plentiful.

Feature 3: Learning outcomes should be diverse and well defined
Learning environments should be built on a framework of well-articulated, diverse learning outcomes. This component of the learning environment is squarely in the province of the instructional designers and content experts. Ideally it should be set in place before serious learningware development occurs.

How can Macromedia’s web development and multimedia authoring software help?
Because this planning takes place prior to development, Macromedia software will generally have only an indirect impact in this area. For example, the ease with which elements can be prototyped could shape the identification of learning outcomes. Likewise, the creation of scripts and storyboards could take place in a program like Macromedia FreeHand (which works quite well with Macromedia Flash). Doing so would integrate the authoring tools in the earliest stages of design, which would help shape the look and feel of the application—while the content itself is still under development.

Feature 4: Learning content should be contained in high-quality, modular chunks
At the center of online learning is the content itself. Because the web is a multimedia format, and people learn in various ways, there is a strong consensus that formal learning content should be presented in media-rich, high-quality learningware. To facilitate the broader flexibility of online curricula, most experts advocate breaking content into smaller chunks, so that they can be combined in unique ways for each learner. One popular strategy right now is to use “reusable learning objects” (RLOs), a concept borrowed from computer programming, in which objects are used and reused with appropriate adaptations for their context.

How can Macromedia’s web development and multimedia authoring software help?
Here is where Macromedia’s web development and multimedia authoring software shines. Macromedia Flash, Authorware, and Director movies are excellent self-contained learningware assets. Macromedia Dreamweaver MX, in addition to its ability to create DHTML web pages containing all sorts of multimedia content, can now be used to connect websites to databases in order to create a truly dynamic experience. Each program contains extensive features, support, and documentation. In addition, all of the programs in the Macromedia family are well integrated with related programs (especially Macromedia Flash and Dreamweaver). Each program also works well with many common file standards, from XML to RTF. Given each program’s power, the learning curve is quite reasonable.

Feature 5: Online learning should be an active, not passive, experience
Two important facts converge to make this recommendation a key part of any model for online learning. The first has nothing to do with online learning per se: Ever since John Dewey introduced the principle of learning by doing, this concept has been a core principle of effective pedagogy. Microsoft PowerPoint presentations or Word documents saved in HTML format don’t allow learners to do anything except sit in front of their screens and click through text.

The second converging fact is that early efforts at e-learning suffered a high rate of attrition because many learners complained that the content was boring and disengaging. To activate students so that they engage with content better, learningware should contain multimedia interactions, such as simulations, explorations, games, and drag-and-drop exercises. Animations, video, and audio round out some of the stalwarts of rich media. When you map learning content to the appropriate rich media, you get impressive results.

How can Macromedia’s web development and multimedia authoring software help?
Macromedia’s stable of software is fully capable of creating everything from the simplest to the most sophisticated learning media, from text and graphics to audio, video, animation, and simulation. Macromedia Flash is a wiz with animations, having started as an animation tool. Macromedia Flash, Dreamweaver, Fireworks, FreeHand, Authorware, Director, and ColdFusion can be used to improve interactivity in media-rich multimedia content.

Feature 6: An online learning environment should facilitate the addition of new content
Recent books that discuss the emerging field of knowledge management (KM) emphasize the creation of systems that facilitate the sharing of knowledge. Too often, companies train employees only to see them change jobs or careers and take their knowledge with them. Knowledge management attempts to prevent this brain drain by creating a shared knowledge space to which all community members contribute.

Workflow management—which ensures that new content can be added, existing content can be corrected, etc.—is a critical part of the learning environment as a system. It is especially important for online learning because teams of experts, instructional designers, and technical developers often collaborate on a single course. This is in stark contrast to the classroom, where the instructor handles all three roles. Because knowledge changes and courses evolve, there must be a system in place that allows the experts, or faculty, to update content without requiring a computer science degree. Likewise, the system should enable learners to benefit from each other’s expertise; the model of transmission should not be simple and one-way.

How can Macromedia’s web development and multimedia authoring software help?
This question has diverse answers, depending on the team putting together the environment. In the case of a single professor working with a small IT department on a couple of online classes, empowering the professor in the use of Macromedia authoring tools—including training, support, and documentation—is a good start. Macromedia Dreamweaver contains both site management and collaboration tools that facilitate updating and adding content. Macromedia Flash files can be structured in an object-oriented way, allowing code and assets (such as custom dialog boxes and movie architecture) to be reused, especially by those with lower technology skills. Most Macromedia programs use a common visual environment that many faculty and trainers are eager to use, provided that they receive technical support and are not expected to accomplish advanced technical feats.

In more ambitious projects, IT departments can use the dynamic site (middleware) tools included in Macromedia Dreamweaver MX to create a custom learning management system. Again, the concept of separating content from formatting is key. Faculty and non-technical experts can work in word processors, Excel spreadsheets, and simple databases. Their word-processed content can be converted to XML or RTF formats. Along with database and spreadsheet content, these elements can be imported into Macromedia Flash, Dreamweaver, and other learningware on the fly.

Feature 7: Learner assessment and course evaluation should be integrated and ongoing
Without the benefit of feedback from a classroom instructor’s manner, tone of voice, and commentary—even from the boredom experienced by listening to the “easy” questions that other classmates ask—students in e-learning programs need tangible means of gauging their progress. Otherwise they wonder whether they are comprehending the key concepts from the assigned reading material.

Sitting in front of computers, e-learners lack many of the subtler mechanisms whereby they can gauge their learning, unless feedback mechanisms are built in. These mechanisms can take a variety of forms, from quick self-assessment quizzes (with long, explanatory answers) to simple bulleted lists that state “You should know that….” Interactive exercises are a good way to provide feedback. For example, after a long textual explanation, a well-designed simulation could both reinforce knowledge and communicate to learners how well they mastered the reading. I have found that quizzes taken “for fun” can often be just that—fun. One corporation actually encoded its corporate knowledge as a quiz in the form of a “Jeopardy!”-style answer-and-question format.

How can Macromedia’s web development and multimedia authoring software help?
Macromedia Dreamweaver (either using middleware or one of its free extensions, such as CourseBuilder or LearningSites) and Authorware both have built-in tracking mechanisms. It is possible to track student performance from Macromedia Flash, but at this point it is somewhat more complex than it is in the other two programs. Performance tracking allows systems to provide constant, ongoing feedback about what students have done, how long it took, and how many errors they made. Dreamweaver MX, Macromedia Flash, and Authorware are all capable of creating interactive assets. Creating quizzes, drag-and-drop exercises, simulations, simple games, etc. are all well within these toolsets’ capabilities.

One particularly interesting example of feedback is breaking up course chunks into curricular paths that students can work through. This way, students who succeed in a pre-assessment module may accelerate through certain chunks, while struggling students may work through additional chunks on a given topic that the system inserts. Student feedback is used constructively to optimize learning, rather than simply to reward or punish. Such a system requires some sophistication, but it would be wholly possible using Dreamweaver MX’s middleware solutions, especially if data tracked from Macromedia Flash, Dreamweaver, and/or Authorware were integrated into the system.

Building learning environments with Macromedia software
Online learning is a complex endeavor and, obviously, technology is not the whole solution. Quality learning environments require thoughtful planning, clear articulation of learning goals, design and usability skills, and other human components that no software can replace. But with those requirements in place, Macromedia’s web development and multimedia authoring software contains excellent tools that allow anyone, from a single instructor to a veteran team of educators, to create high-quality e-learning content.


About the author
Jeffrey Bardzell is author of Macromedia MX eLearning: Advanced Training From the Source, Special Edition Using Fireworks MX, and Fireworks 4 Expert Edge, coauthored with Lisa Lopuck. Jeffrey is a Contributing Author to Fireworks MX Magic as well as Contributor and Technical Editor to the Flash 5 Bible and the Dreamweaver and Flash Bible; a co-founder of Phireworx (www.phireworx.com), a site devoted to Macromedia Fireworks extensibility. He was also a Flash Instructor at eHandsOn. A Ph.D. Candidate at Indiana University, Jeffrey has taught literature and technology for over ten years. He has also worked as an Education Policy Analyst for the State of Indiana. His education and academic publications cover such topics as early literacy instruction, school finance reform, and epic poetry.

Company | Site Map | Privacy & Security | Contact Us | Accessibility | Report Piracy | Send Feedback

©1995-2005 Macromedia, Inc. All rights reserved.
Use of this website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use.

Search powered by

Other DE Sites Posted at Wisc DE Clearinghouse

Other Distance Education Resources

  1. Distance-Educator.comThis is a comprehensive and well established database of resources for distance education topics. It is continually maintained and updated. It offers multiple access points to information including pre-sorted solutions for several user groups. Users may also sign up for daily news updates. The site was founded by Farhad Saba, Ph.D.
  2. The Educator’s Reference Desk – Resource GuidesIn December, 2003, the AskEric service of the U.S. Department of Education was discontinued. The Educator’s Reference Desk provides a search interface to the ERIC Database, providing access to over one million bibliographic records on educational research, theory, and practice. The Distance Education Guide includes links to other sites, organizations, online communities and archived responses to the AskEric questions on Distance Education.
  3. eLearningThe Ageless Learner is a Web site which focuses on how learning and curiosity influence everything in life, no matter your age, education, or occupation. The eLearning section provides numerous links to other sites dedicated to online learning, including references to articles, books, and distance education organizations.
  4. eLearning Centre LibraryDifferent sections of the eLearning Centre’s Library address specific topic areas, for example, the ‘General’ section has links to introductory materials, the ‘Trends and Technologies’ sectionŒcontains links to many resources about current and emerging e-learning issues, and so on.
  5. General Distance Learning Information This collection of electronic resources has been developed by the Western Cooperative for Educational Telecommunications (WCET), founded by the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE). The resources include links to both distance education and educational technology materials. In addition to these general resources, WCET also has sections for K12, corporate, partnerships and other specific areas of interest.
  6. Global-EdThe site aims to create a higher education community of practice of relevant articles, authors and events. According to Global-Ed Editor Graeme Hart: “The underlying philosophy of Global-Ed is to create a free online resource to bring Global Education professionals together to engage in relationship-building across the world.”
  7. International Centre for Distance LearningNOTICE: The Open University’s International Centre for Distance Learning (ICDL) ceased most of its activities in April 2003 as its external funding has ended. Its database of distance-learning courses and institutions remains online but “frozen in time” as it is no longer updated will eventually be phased out. However, the ICDL literature database will continue to be maintained.The International Centre for Distance Learning (ICDL) of the Open University, UK, maintains distance education databases containing information on over 31,000 distance learning programs and courses, over 1,000 institutions teaching at a distance worldwide, and over 12,000 abstracts of books, journal articles, research reports, conference papers, dissertations and other types of literature relating to all aspects of the theory and practice of distance education.
  8. Learning ResourcesFrom the American Distance Education Consortium (ADEC), this long list of resources includes many ADEC papers and initiatives, but also listed are links to outside reports, projects, organizations and issues all of interest to ADEC members and others in distance education.
  9. Librarians’ Index to the Internet – Distance EducationA collection of general sites relating to distance education identified and maintained by The Librarians’ Index to the Internet (lii.org). Items have been selected and evaluated by librarians for their usefulness to users of public libraries. Users may search by subject, keywords, etc.
  10. Online Education ResourcesThe categories in the ION Online Resources section represent a selected list of resources dealing with various aspects of online education and the online environment in general. ION is the Illinois Online Network. It is a collaboration of all forty-eight community colleges and the University of Illinois working together to advance utilization of Internet-based instruction and service throughout the state of Illinois.

Wisc DE Clearinghouse Contents

Introduction to Distance Education(image placeholder)

  1. Definitions
  2. Glossaries
  3. Overviews and FAQs
  4. Other Distance Education Sites

Keeping Current(image placeholder)

  1. Today’s Distance Education Headlines
  2. Conferences and Events
  3. Organizations and Associations
  4. Journals and Readings

Programs and Courses(image placeholder)

  1. Catalogs
  2. Certificate Programs
  3. Virtual Universities

Technology(image placeholder)

  1. Delivery Methods
  2. Technology Selection
  3. Blended Learning
  4. H.323 Videoconferencing

Teaching and Learning(image placeholder)

  1. Faculty and Teaching
  2. Instructional Design
  3. Case Studies
  4. Student Readiness
  5. Learning Objects

Research and Statistics(image placeholder)

  1. Evaluation and Assessment
  2. Statistics
  3. Predictions, Trends, and Forecasts

Policies and Guidelines(image placeholder)

  1. Accessibility
  2. Legislation
  3. Funding and Grants
  4. Intellectual Property and Copyright

Distance Education Community(image placeholder)

  1. Higher Education
  2. K-12
  3. Business and Industry
  4. Military and Government
  5. Health
  6. International Issues
  7. Job Opportunities

Learning Environment(image placeholder)

  1. Library Support
  2. Training
  3. Electronic Discussion Groups

Some Wisconsin Resources(image placeholder)

  1. Statewide Distance Education Resources
  2. Distance Education at University of Wisconsin Institutions
  3. UW-Extension Conferencing and The Pyle Center
  4. UW Learning Innovations

Who We Are(image placeholder)

  1. About Us
  2. Some of Our Other Sites