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Best Practice in Distance Education?

November 13, 2005 by Administrator · 8 Comments · Uncategorized

I came across this list of best practices in distance education and though that you all would be interested in looking them over.

Best Practices in Distance Education from the Office of Open Learning of the University of Guelph


Distance education courses should:
1. reflect the highest levels of scholarship in discipline and subject area
2. utilize and provide access to current content, materials, and resources
3. exhibit well thought out aims, goals, and objectives
4. have pedagogically sound learning outcomes
5. have a clear and logical structure and sequence of learning activities (learning plan)
6. disseminate current research findings and promote various forms of inquiry
7. set realistic yet challenging expectations of learners
9. promote active learning, independence of thought, and where appropriate, problem solving
10. exhibit a clearly definable educational philosophy and teaching/learning strategies
11. accommodate a variety of learning styles (visual, auditory, kinesthetic)
12. utilize a variety of appropriate learning resources (print, video, CD-ROM, WWW, etc.)
13. link to the University library and to the Counseling and Student Resource Centre
14. foster learner-instructor and learner-learner communication and interaction
15. integrate appropriate technology into the course learning framework
16. allow for frequent and meaningful feedback on learner progress
17. provide for suitable assessment methods measuring success in accomplishment of course goals and outcomes
18. exhibit sensitivity to learners of varying ages, backgrounds, and experience
19. be appropriate for an international audience (awareness of and sensitivity to cultural differences)
20. exhibit proper standards in the use of the language of instruction and the rules of grammar

Does anyone know if there is a research-base to back these practices up?

8 Comments so far ↓

  • Nate

    How is this different from classroom based instruction?

  • Loana Mason

    It does not seem that there are any real differences between this list and best classroom-based instruction. In this day and age, face-to-face teaching should incorporate the appropriate use of all technologies. However, I’m not convinced that there should be fundamental differences between the two since good teaching is good teaching. As I said earlier in the course, distance education is just one of several delivery modes.

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