Foundations of Distance Education (OMDE 601)


The Foundations of Distance Education and E-learning course opened my eyes to the rich history of DE, gave me a good primer on the underlying theories of the field, and allowed me to explore and begin to learn about DE’s application. I appreciated the democratic nature and vision of distance education and E-learning: how it brings education to those who might not otherwise be able to access it, and therefore to meet social and ethical responsibilities. This practical advantage and strength has resonated with me and, as I have moved through the program, allowed me to realistically conceptualize applications of DE and E-learning. The course was an excellent introduction to the field for me and to the MDE program, and I have been able to draw upon the concepts I learned during future MDE courses.

Artifact 1

I feel there is a remarkable amount of understanding in this short 2-page essay. I was able to understand what distance education is and what its defining characteristics are, why distance education is useful and what its utilities have been and can be, why and how it has and will continue to change education from institutional and macro-level perspectives, as well as by the additional and different opportunities it affords learners. My entry into distance education had begun and I was enjoying learning about it.

OMDE 601 Ghofrani1-Individual Definition and Understanding of DE at This Point in Time

Artifact 2

With this assignment I was able to learn about characteristics that define distance education now, and throughout its history. DE has thrived with populations that were unable to readily access face-to-face education. DE has effectively utilized and is facilitated by the prevailing media and technology of the time, and the field has been able to grow and mature as a consequence. A team approach to course design has also played a role in this maturity and increased the acceptance of DE. Later in the MDE program, I learned that technology and media are two of several different components of DE. However it is obvious that effectively harnessing the prevailing technologies of the time has been a hallmark of DE.

OMDE 601 Ghofrani2-Traits That Characterize DE Now and Throughout its History

Artifact 3

This assignment allowed me to understand how distance education fundamentally works, by learning the theoretical basis upon which DE is built. Distance learners do not meet their classmates or teacher face-to-face; they are separated from each other by space and time. This transactional distance influences learning, and as it increases perception of learning lessens. Dialog, course structure, learner autonomy, and the interplay between them inform transactional distance and therefore are important pillars of distance education. For instance, if dialog is reduced course structure may need to become more rigid to support the learner.

OMDE 601 Ghofrani3-Description Analyses of 3 the Categories in Theory of Transactional Distance