Accessible Elements: Teaching Science at a Distance by Dietmar Kennepohl, Lawton Shaw

By Dietmar Kennepohl, Lawton Shaw

Accessible Elements informs technological know-how educators approximately present practices in on-line and distance schooling: distance-delivered equipment for laboratory coursework, the considered necessary administrative and institutional elements of on-line and distance educating, and the appropriate academic theory.

Delivery of university-level classes via on-line and distance schooling is a technique of offering equivalent entry to scholars looking post-secondary schooling. Distance supply bargains sensible choices to conventional on-campus schooling for college students constrained through obstacles comparable to lecture room scheduling, actual position, funds, or task and kin commitments. The starting to be acceptance and popularity of distance schooling, coupled with the swiftly expanding call for for accessibility and versatile supply of classes, has made distance schooling a potential and renowned alternative for lots of humans to satisfy their technology academic ambitions.

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Thus, interaction fulfills many critical functions in the educational process. However, it is also apparent that there are many types of interaction and many actors (both human and inanimate) involved. As a result of this complexity a number of distance education theorists have broken the broad concept of interaction into component types, based largely on the roles of the human and inanimate actors involved. Types of interaction Moore (1989) differentiated three types of interaction which, since they focus on student behaviour, are the most important for educational applications.

In the second (Gorsky, Caspi & Trumper, 2004), 8 students out of 41 who had completed the course “Foundations of Physics II” participated. indd 24 • accessible elements 14/12/09 5:39 PM they expressed a willingness to explore their own learning processes. The first criterion ensured that students were experienced in distance learning so that their study behaviour would be the result of conscious decision making and not the result of random trial and error. Data were gathered from semi-structured interviews lasting about 40–60 minutes.

Further, the teacher often is not sitting on her ‘end of the log’ when their intervention is most advantageous for the learner, and finally, the student may find herself thousands of miles away from the log when instruction and support are needed. Simply put, student-teacher interaction is not scalable. Teacher-student interaction has been stretched — or perhaps stressed is a better term — to include 500-seat lecture theatres, but at a certain size interaction that does occur is mostly vicarious and certainly fails to produce the effects noted by Hannifin earlier.

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