EDUC 8842 Module 2 Blog Post June 25, 2014
Distance Learning Environments engenders Collaborative Interactions
by Linette Rasheed
Distance education is a growing and evolving field. In some ways, the distance created by geography opens up many doors in other areas. With the vast numbers of nontraditional students returning to school, distance education complements the lifestyles of students, allowing them to maintain a career, raise a family, and serve as caregivers to aging parents. Students are able to complete programs and earn degrees on their own time, and at their own pace. These dynamics are indicators that distance education will continue to grow and outpace enrollment numbers in traditional face-to-face learning environments. George Siemens (2008) argued that distance education, in part, is becoming more accepted as online communication among family members, friends, and professionals becomes more prevalent and dominant. According to Siemens (2008) distance education provides students with more effective learning environments in the areas of global diversity, communication, and collaborative interaction.
Echoing these sentiments on collaborative interaction, Rose Mary (2006) in her blog “What Are the Benefits of Distance Education”, wrote that students are able to exchange ideas, participate in the learning process, and be stimulated by the ideas of their peers through the collaborative interaction afforded by distance education. http://ezinearticles.com/?Distance-Learning—What-Are-the-Benefits-of-Distance-Learning?&id=291784. Online tools such as website forums, conferencing, emails and chat rooms are many ways Mary (2006) added makes it possible for distance education students to engage and interact. Sheehy (2007)contended that“moving interaction throughout a group instead of keeping it between an instructor and a student generates powerful experiences for students, likely because students know, through the reception of encouragement and feedback, that the audience consists of more than the instructor.” http://ateacherswrites.wordpress.com/2007/04/02/collaboration-at-a-distance-a-case-for-collaborative-learning-in-distance-education/. This notion of validation among peers creates a feeling of community and connectedness, which allows online learners to become more comfortable and confident in their environment, creating even more discourse andexchange of ideas. As such, Web 2.0 technology continues to evolve, and tools such as wikis, blogs, and social networking all facilitate collaborativeinteractions in a learning environment where knowledge is constructed and shared in student-to-student interactions as well as student-to-teacher interactions. The next phase in the evolution of interaction and collaboration is Web 3.0 which many predict will reshape the landscape. While online learning and distance education programs will undoubtedly replace traditional face-to-face environments, the many advantages and conducive learning environments it provides has certainly solidified its place in education as well as corporations and government. Acceptance may be slower than many in education may have anticipated; however, it is continuous.
That’s my take, Linette
As author of this blog, I have also commented on the following blogs on Global Diversity, Communication, and/or Collaborative Interaction by:
As author of this blog, I have also commented on the following blogs on Global Diversity, Communication, and/or Collaborative Interaction by
Borkowski, Robyn http://robynborkowski.blogspot.com/
Schroeder, Melinda http://principlesofdistanceedu.blogspot.com
Laureate Education, Inc. (2008). Principles of distance education: The future of distance
education. Baltimore, MD: Author.
Laureate Education, Inc. (2008).Principles of distance education: Distance education: Higher
education, K12, and the corporate world. Baltimore, MD: Author.
Mary, R. (2006, September 6) Distance Learning: What are the benefits of distance
learning? [Web log post] Retrieved from http://ezinearticles.com/?Distance-Learning-
Sheehy, G. (2007, April 2) Collaboration at a Distance: A case for collaborative
learning in distance education [Web log post] Retrieved from