In my personal opinion I believe the perception of distance learning in 5-10 years will be on the right track to becoming a form of education that will be sought after more than it is now. “Distance delivery is, and will continue to have an impact on education in the years to come” (Schmidt & Gallegos, 2001). Many people at this present time are worried about teacher and learner interaction, and whether or not they will receive what they need to be successful in an online learning environment. In 5-10 years learners will begin to know that it is possible to get nearly the same and sometimes more interaction than in a traditional face-to-face course depending on the course and assignments designed to encourage interaction among learners. “Providing the student with the best possible scenario where learning outcomes will be maximized is the goal of course development. This applies not only to traditional classroom courses, but also to distance delivery” (Schmidt & Gallegos, 2001).
As designers continue to make technological advances and gain insight from experts around the world to make the way instruction is delivered better, I believe that the perception of distance learning will become the norm for learning period in 10-20 years. This is because there will be so many more advancements in the way it is delivered and I am sure that issues that people worry about will be addressed by then. I also believe that someone will be able to find a way of encouraging or helping to motivate learners to stay on task and complete assignments.
As an instructional designer that has experience in online learning I can be a proponent for improving societal perceptions of distance learning by creating and implementing distance learning programs that will let people gain experience and feel better about any doubts they may have had. Giving people an opportunity to try something that they’ve never experienced helps to make people feel better or become more comfortable with online learning. George Siemens stated that, “Growing acceptance of distance learning is fueled by the increase in online communication, practical experience with new tools, growing comfort with online discourse, and the ability to communicate with diverse and global groups.” I think experience is the best teacher, and until people have some type of experience with online learning they will continue to have doubts. I can also be a proponent for improving perceptions of distance learning by informing others of my personal experiences and how distance learning has benefited me.
I will be a positive force for continuous improvement in the field of distance education by staying informed with all the advances that are being made and being able to intelligently provide feedback and help to try to invent or give ideas on ways of improving distance education experiences for learners. Everything Instructional Designers do are aimed to benefit the learners, so as I continue to learn throughout the remainder of my program, I will gain more and more knowledge on how to create distance learning programs that will be engaging and beneficial to learners.
Laureate Education, Inc. (Producer). The Future of Distance Education. (Media Resource) Boston, MA: George Siemens.
Schmidt, E., & Gallegos, A. (2001). Distance learning: Issues and concerns of distance learners. Journal of Industrial Technology, 17(3). Retrieved from http://atmae.org/jit/Articles/schmidt041801.pdf
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