Reflections on Course EDUC 6135

Posted: 03/01/2015 in Assignments

Reflections

Starting this course, I was not aware of how long distance education has existed. Distance education is over 160 years old (Simonson, Smaldino, Albright, & Zvacek, 2012). It was interesting this week to look at the interview responses of the different students in the class, and consider how much perceptions about distance education or online learning still vary. As someone who would not have been able to continue their education without the benefit of online learning, I am excited to see the increase in the acceptance of online degrees by both the general population and business leaders. “Thirty-seven percent of Americans-up from 30 percent two years ago-believe online providers offer a high-quality education, and almost half of business leaders said they were very or somewhat likely to hire a candidate with an online degree over one with a traditional degree” (Grasgreen, 2014, para. 19).

Where does this leave us in the next 5 to 10 years, or even 10 to 20 years? In my opinion, online education will continue to become more acceptable as technology continues to make the world a smaller place and as we have “growing sense of comfort” with new technologies (Laureate, n.d.). I can see in the next 5 to 10 years, no distinction made between an online or traditional degrees. I can envision a world where what we now consider the “traditional” classroom, no longer exists. Will there still be brick and mortar universities? Probably, as there will still be supporters of this type of tried and true form of education. However, I can see even in these institutions the classrooms are technology centers, with the focus on the learners and not the instructor. I see a campus bookstore whom checks out laptops or tablets and not textbooks. Or perhaps we have advanced to the point where we are able to gain these ‘libraries of information ‘directly through a download directly to our brain. I am not seeing a limit to what technology is capable of, I do see where bureaucracy and the protection of personal rights will and should slow down some of the advancements.

To enhance my career opportunities and trumpet the value of my chosen field. It is in my best interests to tout the value of online education, and be a proponent of the effectiveness of online learning. To further promote instructional design in the online environment I can strive to create instructional programs where the majority of the students are able to master the course objectives and demonstrate their ability to use what they have learned in a practical environment (Morrison, Ross, Kalman, & Kemp, 2013). I can ensure course design applies the appropriate learning theory and principles, taking into account the different learner characteristics by creating the necessary relationships between the different elements and components in the design model (Morrison et al., 2013).

To be a positive force for continued improvement of distance learning, I need to continue to improve myself, both my understanding of different learning theories and the proper application of these theories based on each situation. Looking back on the past eight weeks, I have been introduced to technology and tools to enhance learning. Prior to this course I was ignorant of the vast majority of these tools. To be successful as an ID, I need to stay on top of the tools technology makes available. I need to critically evaluate if these tools are effective to accomplish the learning objectives. I will need to have an understanding and comfort level working with the tools so I can design learning which uses these tools effectively.

The future of the value placed on instructional design and the success of online learning are tied together. How well we are able to perform and develop learning that is effective and unanimously considered equivalent or better than a traditional classroom may spell out the success and longevity of instructional design as a highly regarded profession, and the continued growth of online learning.

References

Grasgreen, A. (2014). Ready or Not. Retrieved from https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2014/02/26/provosts-business-leaders-disagree-graduates-career-readiness#sthash.iN5jaD97.dpbs

Laureate Education (Producer). (n.d.). The future of distance education [Video file]. Retrieved from https://class.waldenu.edu

Morrison, G. R., Ross, S. M., Kalman, H. K., & Kemp, J. E. (2013). Designing effective instruction (7th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Simonson, M., Smaldino, S., Albright, M., & Zvacek, S. (2012). Teaching and learning at a distance: Foundations of distance learning (5th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson.

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