Tips in Co-ordinating
a Distance Education Programme
Careful planning is the key to successfully
implementing distance education programmes using technology. Below are some
tips that may help a course designer in meeting the needs of his targeted learners.
- Use the simplest technology that
works. Many distance education projects have floundered by trying to utilise
the latest technology despite the high financial costs and technical problems
that accompany such a choice.
- Be driven by educational rather
than technological goals. Don't try to replicate classroom learning. Distance
learning is a completely different experience. The process of learning is
as important than the product of learning.
- Support for learners is vital.
Learners at a distance quickly develop feelings of isolation and most distance
education programmes have higher than normal dropout rates as a consequence.
Learners are assured to know that there is somebody available to offer support
where necessary, whether they avail of it or not. Course organisers need to
make support a core part of their programme.
- Face-to-face meetings should compliment
the learning process. Learners use meetings to interact with their fellow
learners, to keep them focused on their progress and to solve problems they
may be hard to solve at a distance.