According to Schmit & Gallegos, “distance delivery is, and will continue to have an impact on education in the years to come”. In the future distance learning will be widely accepted a lot more than it is in the present time. In the job market now, when employers see your degree was obtained online they tend to be a little skeptic about hiring you but I believe as time goes on those issues will not be a factor.
Times definitely have changed from having to rearrange your schedule in order to accommodate going to school full time and putting your job on hold or cutting work hours just to meet the demands of being a full time student. Situations such as that will slowly become a thing of the past within the next 5, 10 to 20 years. People will still have the opportunities to have their educational needs met but will have the advantage of being able to maintain their busy lifestyles (work, family and school) and have access to their courses anytime, anywhere. As pointed out by Dr. Siemens pointed out, students find that online learning is “a preferable medium of learning” (Siemens, G. because students will develop a sense of comfort and naturally take to the environment. How can you as an instructional designer be a proponent for improving societal perceptions of distance learning?
Ways I can contribute to improving societal perceptions of distance learning is by first designing an online learning experience that will ease doubts, fears, and frustrations about online courses being too difficult. When students get the perception that distance learning is hard, it makes them lose their drive and motivation to participate in course (s).
The next thing I would consider in my design would be taking the constructivist approach. The course should be “relevant, interactive, project-based and collaborative, while providing learners with some choice or control over their learning”(Jeep-Kim, K. & Bonk C.J., 2012).
I could definitely be a positive force because I can use the experience gained through this degree program and provide suggestions and ideas on what would make the online learning experience more effective for the learners that come after me. As an instructional designer, you have to put yourself in the mindset of the learner and think of how you would want to be taught the content. Once you have obtained that, apply the concept to your design.
Jeep-Kim, K. & Bonk C.J., (2012) The future of online teaching and learning in higher
Education. Retrieved from: .http://www.educause.edu/EDUCAUSE+Quarterly/EDUCAUSEQuarterlyMagazineVolum/TheFutureofOnlineTeachingandLe/157426
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
Siemens, G. (2010). The Future of Distance Education. [Video Presentation] Laureate Education, Inc. Retrieved from:https://class.waldenu.edu/webapps/portal/frameset.jsp?tab_tab_group_id=_2_1&url=%2Fwebapps%2Fblackboard%2Fexecute%2Flauncher%3Ftype%3DCourse%26id%3D_2095296_1%26url%3D.