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North American University

Education Department
M.Ed. in EDLE & CUIN

Date: 11/01/2015

Topic Selected:
Topic 3: What does the research say about advantages and disadvantages of distance

What does the literature/research say about this issue/topic? By using NAU
Library or Online Search engines, conduct a literature review.

You need to include 5 different sources (book, journal article, web article
etc.) in your review. Try to use current sources as much as possible.

You need to summarize and synthesize your sources by discussing a

common theme or issue.

You don't need to critique your sources

You don't need to evaluate your sources (if the sources are trustworthy,
weather the author has a bias or not)

You need to provide background information such as history and


Brief Literature Review:

There are many positive advantages to distance learning. Students can learn at a
time of the day that suits them, and in whatever location they choose to do so.
They are free to work independently, and also have the support of a tutor and
learning institute behind them. There is a wide range of beneficial subjects
available, to choose from, and a vast number of specialist learning providers able
to offer the ideal course that fits the students requirements.
Gaining an extra qualification or two in your spare time, around work and family
commitments, becomes an attractive option when you have the luxury of being

able to decide how much time you spend working on a particular module.
Working at your own pace takes the pressure and strain out of learning and
encourages a student to develop their skills in a way they are comfortable doing.
Learning only the things they need to know will also keep the student more
focused on their learning, and motivated to complete the coursework.
1. Students can learn at their own pace, in their own environment.
2. Learning can be slotted in to fit around restrictive commitments.
3. Working independently, without distractions from others, will keep the student
more focused on their studies.
4. Provides for an increase in Access to education for those who otherwise have
no other opportunities due to work, family or physical limitations.
5. Provides for a modality of instruction better suited for certain learners.
6. Greater flexibility for scheduling learning-Students can determine time and
place of "class time".
7. Greater flexibility in location for study-Students can engage course at home or
work or on campus or at a library.
8. Distance Education is Learner Centered -DE places responsibility for learning
with the learner who must be more active and self-directed.
9. Facilitates greater learner-instructor interaction.
10. Increased interaction with classmates.
11. Facilitates Pedagogic Development-Individual Instructor Development.
12. Produces a carryover effect into the regular classroom of improved
pedagogic techniques.
13. Opportunity to develop technology competencies for instructors and learners.
14. Access to global resources and experts via internet communication and

Internet resources.
15. Allows for the internationalization of learning opportunities.
16. Centralized resources can produce higher quality materials for distribution.
17. Has the potential to equalize access to education.

Although distance learning has many obvious advantages, there are also
disadvantages to this method of furthering your education. Learning in a home
environment can be just as distracting and challenging as working in a classroom
alongside other students. Home learning also requires that the student selfmotivates, which can be difficult to maintain over a period of time. Although you
may have an allocated tutor contact may be minimal, so feedback will be
restricted to notes concerning submitted coursework. Many students work better
around other people, as this form of stimulus encourages the exploration of
ideas. Distance learning means that a student becomes responsible for finding
their own stimulus, and for creating their own structure to their learning periods.
Self-discipline may also prove an issue.
1. Although distance learning offers a flexible method of working, it provides no
structure for students to adhere to, which may become a problem for students
who lack self-discipline.
2. Students will have to be self-motivated throughout the duration of their studies.
3. Counselling Skills students will miss out on small-group work, and the
exchange and feedback from other students on the same course.
4. Time and frustration involved learning how to get on-line for novices.
5. Lag time between student input and feedback -Time lapse between need for

learner support and Resolution.

6. Occasional internet provider downtime.
7. Student must be more active and self-directed in learning environment
-Depends on individual motivation and initiative.
8. Occasional feelings of isolation- Potentially less group support for learners
leading to isolation and possible non-completion of program.
9. Instructional design for group activities and group interaction more demanding
on the instructor.
10. Demands large effort and cost to develop appropriate materials.
11. Demands large effort to create and maintain the technological infrastructure.
12. Distance Education is not for everyone.- It is not for undisciplined learners
nor inflexible instructors.


What is your personal opinion on this issue? Do you agree with the
research? If you agree or disagree, please explain why?
Provide examples/experiences regarding this issue from school
perspective or If you are not working in a school, from your profession. Be
specific with your examples. You can mention software/hardware names,
specific methods that you plan to use, etc.
How would you implement this research in your career? (At least 1

Most studies indicate that those taking fully online classes are of the campus offering the
class online. The reason for their choice of this mode of instruction has more to do with
the incapability to make a commitment to a fixed time and place. These classes are
accessible from anywhere and at any time, but, for most enrolled, it is the convenience
of the temporal availability that has them select the fully online classes. These students
are older over college age and most will work during traditional classroom hours. They
require flexible learning schedules. They demand professional development

opportunities and classes to help them keep up with their work environment.
Students come to college for various reasons. They could be interested in changing
careers, or they might simply want to expand their knowledge base for work or personal
reasons. They might want to expand their cultural background, learn a new language, or
start a degree program that was postponed due to family or career needs. My own case
is a typical example to this occasion. Their main reason for choosing distance education
as a delivery method is that they want to learn at their own step or at a time and location
that is convenient to them.
I guess majority of distance learning students are female and many are single parents
who want to stay close to home for various reasons. They might not be able to afford
child care or must care for a confined relative at home. Other students are physically
disabled and cannot easily travel to campus.
Some do not have the time, money, or educational background to come to campus.
Distance education can capture an audience that has been detached with formal higher
Distance Education makes education accessible and available for many people in many
ways. In this manner it is particularly well suited to the mission of community colleges.
When studying to gain a further qualification there are a number of learning options are
provided to students. The one they choose to select will generally be the course that the
student finds the most conveniently suitable for their needs.
Distance Learning has become an increasingly popular learning option. It offers a wide
range of vocational diploma courses, including Counselling Skills, that are easily
accessible, and provides prospective students with an opportunity to learn, improve their
skills and gain further qualifications in comfort. Courses can be accessed online or
completed, using course materials supplied, at home.
Distance Learning may also include Counselling from a distance. Many Counselling
Skills Courses include small group work, and the opportunity to explore and discuss

ideas with other students. They also include supervised placements and work
experience. Distance learning may only offer a specialist of these opportunities at a prearranged location. This is the only opportunity a distance learning student will have to
meet others interested in learning the same subject.

Cite at least 5 References in APA.

You may use for citing
your sources in APA style.


1-Leonard, David C. The Web the Millennium, and the Digital Evolution of
Distance Education. Technical Communication Quarterly. Winter 1999, Vol. 8
Issue 1, pg. 9.
2-Matthews, D. 1999. The origins of distance education and its use in the
United States. Technological Horizons in Education Journal, 27(2), 54-60.
3-Noble, D. 1998. The coming battle over online instruction. Sociological
Perspectives, 41(4), 815-818.
4-Phillips, V. 1998. Virtual classrooms, real education. Nation's Business,
86(5), 41-44.
5-Sherritt, C. (1999). Hong Kong and Taiwan: Two case studies in open and
distance learning. Asian Affairs: An American Review, 26(1), 37-42.