Education in the 21st Century: The Problems and Prospects of Distance Learning

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Abstract This paper attempts to identify some of the challenges impeding the effective implementation of distance learning. It explain the characteristics of distance learning and how emerging technology can be effectively employ to bring about the desired learning outcomes among learners. The study highlight the Pros and Cons of distance learning and suggestions for maximizing it advantages was discussed. Introduction The term distance learning are interchangeably use as distance education, distributed learning, correspondent learning, web based learning and on-line learning. This and many other acronym are use to mean learning and teaching in which the teacher and the learners are at a different geographical location. According to Wikipedia definition of distance learning: it is a process of creating and providing access to learning when the source of information and the learners are separated by time and distance or both. Robinson (1997) define it as a teaching and learning system in which the teachers and learners are physically separated for some or all the time, and where learning materials take on some of the role of the traditional teacher. The Common Wealth of Learning (COL) in 2004 defines distance learning ‘as the delivery of learning or training to those who are separated mostly by time and space from those who are teaching or training. The teaching is done with a variety of mediating process to transmit content, to provide tuition and to conduct assessment or measure outcomes’ (Kutty &Siraj, 2007). Historically distance learning could be trace back to 1840 when Isaac Pitman taught shorthand in Great Britain via correspondence. In the 19th century, the emergent of postal services act as a catalyst for the th... ... middle of paper ... ...uly 2, 2009 from http://www.astd.org/lc/2000/0400 -sheinberg.htm Smart, K. L., & Cappel, J. J. (2006). Students’ perceptions of online Learning: A comparative study retrieved on July 18, 2009 from http://jite.org/document/vol5/v5p201-219mart54.pdf Wetzel, D. R. (2008). Pros and Cons of distance learning for adult: Determining continuity education, suitability through online Learning retrieved on September 10, 2009 from http://distance-education.suite101.com/article.cfm/pros-and-cons Wikipedia (2009), http://www.wikipedia.org/ retrieved on 10 Oct 2009 Wonacott, M. E. (2002). Blending face-to-face and distance Learning methods in adult and career technical education retrieved September 8, 2009 from http://www.calpro.online.org/eric/docgen.asp

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