Alone But Together: Adult Distance Study Through Computer Conferencing

Alone But Together: Adult Distance Study Through Computer Conferencing

By: Daniel V. Eastmond (author)Hardback

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Electronic distance study represents a novel and growing instructional environment for adult students. "Alone But Together" centres on the student experience with distance courses offered through electronic communications. After introducing conceptually the online mode of distance study in higher education, it describes a range of adult distance students, the context at home or at work in which they study, and their perceptions of the various aspects of the "electronic seminar" such as interactivity, textual ambiguity, pacing, asynchronicity, and collaboration. Additional chapters examine learning approaches, the dynamics and functions of online relationships, and the role of computer communication technologies. Finally, the book presents a model for understanding distance students' experiences with computer conferencing and discusses how this can improve course design, facilitation and administration. The model it presents of how students engage in online distance study should be valuable for educators, administrators and instructional designers who wish to implement this type of instructional technology.

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Part 1 Introducing the Conference: Class Members Meet; Overview; Emergence of Adult Higher Education; Distance Education - Defining the Field; Traditional Definitional Criteria; Other Important Criteria; A New Medium - Computer Conferencing; Definition and Characteristics; History; Advantages and Limitations; Educational Promise; Alone But Together. Part 2 The Distance Students: Difficulties in Conducting Research about Distance Students; Types of Degree Seekers; Unique and Shared Features; General Characteristics; Instructional Choices; Success of this Educational System; The Social Context of Distance Learning; Family Valuing of Education; Views of Education; Scholarship About Distance Students; General Studies of Distance Learners; Distance Student Profiles; Differences Between Distance and Campus Students; Retention and Persistence of Distance Learners; Institutional Practices that Promote Student Participation; Life Influences While Pursuing Degree; Implications of These Student Descriptions; Conclusion. Part 3 Perspectives of the Computer Conference: Context; Structure Technical Support and Background; Course Structure and Assignments; Student Moderator Role; The Nature of Learning by Computer Conferencing; Adult Learning Implications for Computer Conferencing; Conclusion. Part 4 Learning Approaches to Electronic Study: Review of Related Literature; Exemplars; General Learning Strategies; Online Strategies; Discussion and Conclusion. Part 5 The Dynamics of Online Relations: Dynamics and Polarities; Social Relations; Scholarship on Relationships and Learning; Conclusion. Part 6 Learning and Living in an Information Age: Learning in Schools with Technology; Workplace Training; Learning Informally with Technologies; Information Bulletin Boards; Societal Implications of Learning Visions; Creating a Global Learning Community; Conclusion. Part 7 Alone But Together: Limitations of Distance Education Research; A Model for Computer Conference Learning; Implications; Extending the Knowledge Base; Challenging Distance Education Notions; Explaining Learning Approaches; Applications in Practice; Applications for Administrative Policy Formation; Conclusion. Appendix - Research Methodology: Overall Conceptual Approach; The Qualitative Research Process.

Product Details

  • publication date: 30/11/1995
  • ISBN13: 9781572730304
  • Format: Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 240
  • ID: 9781572730304
  • ISBN10: 1572730307

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