Improving Lives Globally Through An Application of Sociocultural Communication Theory to Online Education
University of Virginia School of Continuing and Professional Studies Paper
19 Pages Posted: 30 Oct 2018
Date Written: October 5, 2018
Online education has only existed for a few decades, and really only gained real steam over the past decade. However, online education is just one of several forms of distance education that has existed in the United States for almost three centuries (Anderson and Simpson, 2012) with the others in chronological order being correspondence, radio and television. Distance learning has evolved over time with the new technologies with which we communicate.
As with today’s distance learner, previous students were attracted to distance education to improve their minds, chance for career advancement and to earn more money, all of which potentially could provide a better life for their families. A positive by-product is that society can improve when more of its people are better educated, earning more, and generally happier and more engaged (Alsharari, 2018).
Bannier’s (2014) trellis theory, where the online learning environment makes no assumptions regarding the online learner’s motivations, is a fitting online learning pedagogy to apply with sociocultural theory to better understand the background of the student. Sociocultural theory allows us to understand the background from which the learner comes, while trellis theory forces us to get to know the learner on an individual basis. These tools can help offer a more fulfilling educational experience.
It is time to share the gift of online education with the world by providing models of what has worked, accessibility for students, and faculty and administrator training in how to teach and operate online education programs.
Keywords: Distance Education, Economic Development, Internet Access, Online Education, Online Learner, Personal Fulfillment, Public Diplomacy, U.S. Department of Education, U.S. Department of State, UNESCO, World Bank
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