Scholarship of Distance Education Progressing

This is counter to the points made later in the article regarding distance education theory (Najjar, 2008) and its impact on a more individualized approach to distance instruction. Arguably the impact of higher-speed collaborative technologies of which the Internet is the most pervasive are shifting these theories and making dialogue-based theories, including social networking-based concepts of shared collaboration more relevant and effective. The use of collaborative classrooms online for distance learning is forcing the development of entirely new frameworks regarding the theories of scholarship in distance education.

One notable exception from this article is the work of Dr. Badrul Kahn (2003) and his eight dimensions of distance learning. These dimensions fully integrate the role of technology in enabling less didactic and more scaffolding-based or individualized plans and approaches to distance education (Khan, 2003). The integration of pedagogical strategies on the part of instructors with assessment of the extent of autonomy on the part of students provides a means to interpolate which specific scaffolding strategies will deliver the greatest benefit. Kahn (2003) has also quantified the impact of varying from purely didactical instruction to more participative approaches, further refining the body of research regarding theories of distance education. To have omitted Kahn (2003) is to have not covered the topic of theories of scholarship in distance education as thoroughly as the authors could have.

Summary

In assessing the article, Theory of Scholarship in Distance Education, it is imperative to realize that the authors have taken a chronological approach to covering this subject, not fully explaining the differences in didactic vs. scaffolding-based distance education (Najjar, 2008).

Omitting the work of Khan (2003) as it is integral to the development of scholarship in distance education as it captures the collaborative aspects of Internet-based learning is a major flaw of the article. In addition the conflict between measuring only external performance of students and not fully understanding how to foster and nurture autonomy needs further discussion as well.

References

Badrul H. Khan (2003, February). A framework for open, flexible and distributed e-learning. ELearn Magazine, 2003(2), 1. Retrieved November 4, 2008, from ABI/INFORM Global database. (Document ID: 1092047771).

Mehdi Najjar (2008). On Scaffolding Adaptive Teaching Prompts within Virtual Labs. International Journal of Distance Education Technologies, 6(2), 35-54. Retrieved November 3, 2008, from ABI/INFORM Global database. (Document ID: 1522465811).

Noffsinger, J.S. (1926) Correspondence Schools, Lyceums, Chautauquas, New York: Macmillan.

Kathleen Scalise, Diana J. Bernbaum, Mike Timms, S Veeragoudar Harrell, Kristen Burmester, Cathleen a Kennedy, Mark Wilson. (2007). Adaptive technology for e-learning: principles and case.

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