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Distance Learning Questions

Distance learning is an element of education that has been around for sometime. But the addition of the Internet changes the possibilities and thus the questions and the answers. Below are some questions that people are struggling with in the field. We will start with an obvious one:

  1. Can the web improve teaching and what students learn?

  2. What types of teaching and learning are best suited for the Web?

  3. How does adding a distance learning aspect to a class affect the optimal class size. Does this depend on the subject matter, the teaching style, the target audience (the students), and even what you define as being optimal? See How many students are just right?.

  4. What are the differences in terms of copyright issues regarding putting material on the web compared to handing it out in class?

  5. Does it make sense to use an off-the shelf tool-kit like WebCT that is one size fits all or develop your set of tools for putting content on the web?
    Tools for Teaching and Learning Online - Description of discussion.
    Tools for Teaching and Learning Online - Archived discussion.

Much of what has taken place in terms of moving course and/or content onto the web has essentially represented a transfer from the Face-to-face medium in the classroom to the web. There has been little effort to examine what is the possibilities actually are of teaching via the web. How can we go about investigating _blank ways of optimizing the use of the web for teaching and learning?

Feel free to address any of these questions on the WebEd-L list or to ask your own. If you would like one posted here you can send an email to

Distance Learning
  • CRDDL -- Center for Research and Development in Distance Learning.
  • Catalyst-- Catalyst brings you resources that can help you create a distance learning course.
  • Center for Instructional Development and Research CIDR makes developing distance learning courses easy with a comprehensive list of resources.
Online Course Lists
  • World Lecture Hall -- Links to online courses and courses that extend the classroom with an online component.

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