E-Learning vs Traditional Education: A Meta Analysis of Distance Learning Technologies
DIAS Technology Review, Vol. 7, No. 2, 2011
10 Pages Posted: 24 Apr 2012
Date Written: April 22, 2012
Providing students with learning opportunities outside the classroom is not a new concept. Since the late 1880’s, various educational institutions have made certain courses available through written correspondence. Though relatively narrow in scope and reach, these forays into distance education were an impetus into a way of thinking about the future of delivering education that continues to evolve. Could any of those forward thinking educators have imagined anything near what is available today? Can today’s distance educators envision the possibilities that will reveal themselves in the not too distant future?
As society and technology have advanced, so has the evolution of distance education. From radio to television and now to the networked computer, distance education has adapted itself to the most relevant and effective form of delivery available (McIsaac & Gunawardena, 1996). Basing their finding on survey results, the authors present and evaluate three significant distance education modalities (Conventional Labs, Software Simulation, and Remote Labs). This article probes what distance education has to offer by analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of each of these assessed modalities in an effort to help educators and professionals recognize the depth, offerings, and limitations of these emerging technologies.
Keywords: remote labs, distance labs, online education, on-line experiments, software simulation, learning technologies
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