Session One Introduction



Happy Spring Quarter Everybody! I have a feeling that many of my classmates will be the same classmates from former classes, so I’ll be brief.  This is my third quarter at CSUSB and after this class I’ll have my e-Learning Certificate.  I’ve leaned toward the Online Methodology courses and shied away from the Techie classes, and I’m hoping that doesn’t come back to bite me when I put all of this into practice teaching hybrid classes and taking on the role of Educational Technology Chair at my college next year.  I am seriously wondering which basic technology classes I should be taking; any suggestions?  I took ETEC 500 and a few of you might remember what a challenge HTML was for me.  I don’t need to know how to fix anything, but it would be great if I didn’t think the IT guys were speaking a foreign language.

It’s spring so I thought I would share some wildflower shots-  My motto- turn-off the computer and go outside!


I look forward to hearing from my fall and winter colleagues and hopefully some new faces for spring too.

Prompt Responses-

1. Explain the relationship between distance learning and online learning.

The key similarity between distance education and online learning is the goal of offering education to students in a non-face-to-face medium.  They share the goal of trying to provide flexibility to students who don’t wish to or can’t attend classes in a traditional classroom setting.  Throughout history distance education has utilized changing technology to provide faster service and more media richness; the same can be said for online education which is constantly in a state of transformation based on the latest technology.

2. Discuss the main difference between distance learning and online learning.

I see two key differences between distance learning and online learning: interaction and synchronicity.  Distance learning was based entirely one a student/content mode of learning without any interaction between students and classmates or students and teachers.  On the other hand, good online teaching methodology builds strong student/instructor and student/student relationships. Online learning also allows for the possibility of synchronous learning as technology advances.  While the majority of online learning is still asynchronous, social media and video conferencing has created more opportunities for real time communication.

3. List the three types of interaction proposed by Moore (1989) and explain each type of interaction in your own words.

Moore (1989) “proposed three types of interaction…: learner-content interaction, learner-instructor interaction, and learner-learner interaction” (as cited in Newberry).  Much attention has been placed on linking student success with these three types of interaction. 

It is an online instructors’ role to facilitate ongoing, active participation between instructor, student, and content. By calling attention to all three of these variables, instructors can foster a deeper, more meaningful online learning experience and prevent an online course from resembling antiquated information (Academic Partnerships, 2013).

Each of these interactions play a pivotal role in engaging the student in learning-

·      learner-content interaction-  learner in this way is an individual/isolated experience between the learner and the content. 

·      learner-instructor interaction- this learning requires interaction between the teacher and student.  Teacher presence may come in the form of video or written lectures, emails, feedback on assignments, comments on discussions, etc.

·      learner-learner interaction- exchanges between students in a learning community are able to further one another’s knowledge.  Typical interaction in an online format would be through discussion/blog posts and comments. 

A more detailed description of online activities that define each of these interactions can be found in Towards an Understanding of Interactions in Distance Education

Academic Partnerships. (2013).  Three types of interaction that foster student engagement.  Faculty eCommons.  Retrieved from:

4. Discuss some of the differences between the early days of online learning and today. Then make some predictions about the future of elearning. Please include at least one good article/website/citation for this item.

Moore and Kearsley’s (2012) book Distance Education: A Systems View of Online Learning gives a very thorough background on the history of online learning.

The earliest days of online learning really just took advantage of the world wide web to delivery distance education at faster speeds.  For all intense purposes, emphasis was still on student/content of course material.  As the internet expanded resource offerings and a more media rich environment, educators took advantage of changing technology to incorporate multi-media into online classes.  Because online education was so negatively viewed, proponents have worked hard to establish connectivity online as proof that it is just as successful as traditional instruction.  In more recent years, that stigma attached to online education has begun to dissipate, however, brick-and-mortar schools with online programs are still more esteemed than fully online educational institutions.  It will be interesting to see if this changes in the future.  For now the spotlight seems to be on MOOC and similar open learning.  My fear is that the frenzy behind opening learning will create a push for massively enrolled online courses with no student/instructor or student/student interaction.  I’m afraid in our excitement to offer free education to the masses, we may be taking a step backwards by returning to student/content and multiple-choice automatically graded assessment.

I don’t think it is all that surprising that when I researched scholarly journals on the future of online learning, a list of articles came up about gaming:

·      Video Games and the Future of Learning.-

·      Video Games and Learning: Teaching and Participatory Culture in the Digital Age.

·      Using massively multiplayer online roleplaying games for online learning

More and more I think the expectation is for education to entertain.  Blame it on the earliest models of distance education when media began producing professional educational videos.  No longer was the responsibility on the learner to make imaginative connections with written text, it became the responsibility of a third party to make content entertaining.  Good news for the publishers!



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