Distance Education: What's Up?


From correspondence courses to two-way interactive TV, colleges and universities are dusting off the old and installing the new to reach out to new constituencies away from the main campus. The problems faced for decades in the use of distant learning technologies continues into the 1990s. The communications costs are not yet low enough to really promote broadband distant learning projects. The faculty are not happy about teaching another section in the hinterlands. Yet, here we are doing more and more distance education and trying to get it right, this time. This paper will present the various methods of delivery form A to V (audio to video) and suggest some of the costs associated with the high-end approaches, such as "live" interactive video classes. The highlight will be the summary description of the results of an Internet "postcard" survey to about 900 CAUSE members. These data should give us a good feel for: a ranking of the popular distant learning methods, new approaches to teaching afar, and some insights into future directions. The closing will consist of several vignettes of interesting applications of distance teaching techniques as used in colleges and universities today. Paper presented at CAUSE94, the full proceedings of which are available through this Library as PUB1094.

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