Faculty Publications


First published in A University in Pursuit of Quality: The Future of Learning and Teaching at the University of Northern Iowa, (Mar 1996) published by the Center for Enhancement of Teaching, University of Northern Iowa.

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University of Northern Iowa; Education, Higher

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A University in Pursuit of Quality: The Future of Learning and Teaching at the University of Northern Iowa

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Verduin and Clark (1991, p. 8) define distance education as "any formal approach to learning in which a majority of the instruction occurs while educator and learner are at a distance from one another." In all varieties of distance education programs, some form(s) of technology must be used for linking students with instruction. The kind and sophistication of technology used by distance education institutions varies greatly. Arranged by increasing levels of complexity, cost, and potential effectiveness (which depends on factors such as learner characteristics, learning objectives, and instructional design features), the primary means used to deliver distance education include the following:

• Print, which has been and currently is the dominant medium in distance education worldwide. Although print and graphics on paper may be supplanted in the future by other technologies, we can anticipate that print (whether in paper or electronic form) will not become obsolete.

• Audio media, including radio (especially in developing countries), telephone (both single and multiple-user systems), audiocassette (often used in conjunction with print and visual sources), and new forms of audio media such as compact disc (CD).

• Television, including broadcast TV, cable TV and satellite broadcasting (both one-way and interactive), telecourses (e.g., those funded by the Annenburg Foundation/Public Broadcasting Corporation and used for college credit by institutions such as Coast Community College, Dallas Community College District, and the University of Maryland), and videocassette.

• Computers, including computer-mediated instruction (for example, computer conferencing, e-mail, access to data bases through CDROM, and networks such as Internet), computer-managed instruction (used for testing, monitoring student progress, and record-keeping), and computer-assisted instruction (ranging from drill and practice programs to tutorials, simulations, and Socratic dialogues).

• Interactive videodisc, multimedia workstations, and integrated systems that combine data, audio, and video resources with computer capabilities. (Verduin and Clark, 1991)


Department of Psychology

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UNI ScholarWorks, Rod Library, University of Northern Iowa


©1996 University of Nothern Iowa



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