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Distance education without the classroom

Posted By: David Ritchie on August 8, 2001
 
Hi Wanda

I'm an Australian academic teaching in a post graduate program. My University, Charles Sturt University, has been a recognised distance education provider for many years and my own program is only taught by that mode. Three years ago we dropped a requirement that students attend residential schools and began using computer medicated communication - bulletin board principally for learning activities, but email contact for individual and private communication. We produce hard copy study packages that students use, including selected readings. An electronic version of the material, excluding the selected readings because we still have issues regarding copyright and distribution, is available to students which includes additional URLs. I have used a constructivist approach, and have a relatively high rate of bulletin board use (compared to other courses offered by my institution - some 2000 per session). My course is offered 3 times a year, I have a range in numbers from 6-120 students in a class, and have students enrolled from Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Britain, Saudi Arabia, New Zealand, USA, in approximately that relative order.

It seems there are a number of different variables that will affect a determination of what is effective teaching. I'd be happy to share some ideas.

dritchie@csu.edu.au

Dave
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 The professor in a distance ed classroom by wanda hut on July 3, 2001
 
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