The book provides both solid theory and practical considerations for the planning and implementing of distance learning programs. It presents the fundamental concepts of distance learning, planning program development, and the basic technologies used. The author blends historical and theoretical background with the most current applications and technologies being used today, to paint a current and complete picture of distance learning in the educational environment. Emphasis is placed on distance learning application and program development in its entirety, as opposed to focusing on a single component, to give viewers the “big picture” and a comprehensive explanation. Case studies in each chapter help spark interest and enthusiasm for the topics covered. The book concludes with a guide to designing a web-based distance learning course that will assist users who want to develop their own distance learning courses or modules. For individuals interested in distance learning—with an emphasis on planning and administration.
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The purpose of this book is to provide the theoretical framework as well as the practical considerations for planning and implementing distance learning programs. Fundamental concepts of distance learning, planning, program development, and the basic technologies used are presented. Emphasis is placed, throughout this book, on the distance learning application and program development in total and not on any single component. Most important, this book is meant to provide a foundation from which educators throughout the world will view distance learning as an appropriate approach for meeting the ever-expanding needs of students. As the information age progresses, as demand for highly skilled workers and professionals grows, and as lifelong learning is routinely accepted, distance learning will proliferate and will eventually become a necessity for meeting these needs.
The material is designed for administrators, managers, teachers, distance learning coordinators, chief information officers, and media specialists who are involved in initiating and supporting distance learning in schools and private businesses. This book is also appropriate as a text in a preservice or in-service course on distance learning. DEFINITION OF TERMS
The term distance learning will be used throughout this book to refer to any type of instruction in which the teacher and students are physically separated. This appellation is preferred over distance education because of the increased responsibility placed on the learner in most distance learning applications. An extensive definition of the term is provided in Chapter 1.
The term virtual is used frequently in this book and means being functional and effective without existing in a traditional mode. Virtual learning, for example, is learning that can functionally and effectively occur in the absence of traditional classroom environments. Other uses of the term virtual, as in virtual systems or virtual space and time, will be defined where appropriate in the text. The adjective traditional, used in this paragraph and throughout this book to describe a classroom setting, refers to the common format of an instructor conducting a lesson, delivering a lecture, or leading a discussion with a number of students physically present. Organization of This Book
This book is organized into nine chapters, plus a guide. While each chapter can be read independently, the material is presented in a logical sequence. Chapter 1 is an introduction to distance learning. Chapter 2 provides a review of planning and applies a modified social process model to planning for distance learning. Using this planning model, Chapters 3 through 7 explore the components of the model including distance learning technology, instructional development, student perspectives, faculty development, administrative support, facilities, and finances. Chapter 8 brings some of the material in the previous chapters together and explores the evolving Web-based virtual model that relies extensively on digital and computer networking technology. Chapter 9 gives a brief glimpse of the future. While this last chapter reviews some of the material covered in previous chapters, it is not a summary of the book but rather a discussion of the dynamic nature of distance learning, especially with regard to the evolving technologies. Following the chapters is A Guide to Designing a Web-Based Distance Learning Course, which illustrates the features and components of a typical Web-based course. This guide can be used in conjunction with the material in other chapters, especially Chapter 8. A glossary and an appendix, "On-Line Sources of Information on Distance Learning," are also provided. End-of-Chapter Activities
Each chapter concludes with a summary of the material covered in the previous pages. One or more case studies designed to stimulate thought and discussion on the material are also provided. The case studies reflect situations that exist in many educational environments and allow readers to make decisions about planning or implementing a distance learning program. Each chapter also has its own reference list that facilitates pursuing citations for further reading. Website
The website provides material designed to assist in using this book for instructional purposes. The website is organized by chapter and includes:
a summary of the main concepts of each chapter; additional information and insights for using the end-of-chapter case studies for in-class activities or for student assignments; and links (URLs) for additional on-line resources and materials pertinent to the subject matter.
Other materials will be added in the future as the distance learning technology evolves and changes to keep this book current and up to date. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
I gratefully acknowledge the guidance and assistance provided by the staff at Merrill/Prentice Hall, especially Debbie Stollenwerk, Penny Burleson, and Sherry Mitchell, and to Amy Gehl at Carlisle Publishers Services.
I would also like to thank the following reviewers for their valuable feedback: Andrew J. Brovey, Valdosta State University; David G. Gueulette, Northern Illinois University; Kay Persichitte, University of Northern Colorado; Farah Saba, San Diego State University; and David VanEsselstyn, Teachers College of Columbia University.
In addition, I have benefited significantly from my professional associations with a number of colleagues: the faculty in the Department of Curriculum and Teaching at Hunter College; Janet Patti and Marcia Knoll in the Administration and Supervision Program; and the faculty fellows, staff, and administration, especially Mike Ribaudo and Colette Wagner of the Open Systems Laboratory at the City University of New York.
Anthony G. PiccianoAbout the Author:
ANTHONY G. PICCIANO is the author of two books on education and technology, most recently Educational Leadership and Planning for Technology (Merrill/Prentice Hall, 1998). He is a professor in the Education Administration and Supervision Program in the School of Education at Hunter College. His teaching specializations include educational technology, organization theory, and research methods. He also has been a faculty fellow since 1994 at the City University of New York Open Systems Laboratory, a facility dedicated to experimenting with advanced uses of instructional technology and to providing staff development programs for organizations such as public schools, colleges, and private businesses.
Dr. Picciano has served as a consultant to a variety of public and private organizations, including the Commission on Higher Education/Middle States Association of Colleges and Universities, EDUCOM, the New York State Education Department, CITICORP, and the U.S. Coast Guard. He has received a number of grants and awards from the National Science Foundation, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the U.S. Department of Education, and IBM. His articles on educational technology have appeared in journals such as The Urban Review, Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, Journal of Educational Multimedia and Hypermedia, Computers in the Schools, Equity and Choice, and EDUCOM Review.
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Book Description Prentice Hall, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0130809004