OMDE 601 Reflections

This picture is reflective of what I and will do throughout the course. I use my mouse to click, click, back thru my previous conference responses and see what changed, what was missing and what did she say we were required to do a again???? Those objectives were:

  • identify the characteristics of distance education;
  • outline the history of distance education from its early beginnings to today's IT-based practices;
  • specify a series of methodological issues relevant to distance education;
  • understand the pedagogic structure of distance education and its relevant elements;
  • reflect on institutional aspects in distance education;
  • analyze the impact of digitization on the pedagogical structure of distance education

The 1st Wave of DE

Discussing How DE institutions differ from traditional brick-and-mortar institutions

Students in a traditional institution in Brick-and-mortar institutions interact with students face-to-face in the office or via physical classroom. Currently, brick-and-mortar institutions can find it more difficult to compete with OU’s because of the need for more flexibility.

  • Direct contact with instructors and classmates for immediate feedback
  • Class performance based on classroom verbal participation
  • Larger classes
  • Structured for those who did not want to work alone

Student choosing to student within an OU or online allowed them to interact with instructors via phone, email or online classroom, without being in the same place at the same time. It also allowed for more flexibility for those students who worked and also wanted to pursue higher education.

· No set schedules for courses

· Immediate responses from instructors

· Somewhat lower tuition fees

· Interaction with others students around the country or world

· No need to drive to campus

Bates, A. W. (2011, November). The second wave of distance education and history of the Open University United Kingdom. [Video interview]. Available from

2nd Wave of DE

Viewing DE as a system help us to better understand DE

Viewing DE as a system provides course designers, instructors, institutions and even students a map on how to navigate change, fill in the blanks regarding complex relationships within DE (such as: transactional distance). When viewing DE as a system, it is necessary to recognize that all of the systems parts are inter-related and interdependent. This means, that when changing or adding to any of the components (i.e. communication or delivery) if will also change other components within the system. For example, when deciding to use email or chat to communicate with students, this could affect the course and instructional design. By deciding to view DE as a system, it provides the opportunity to design and implement change effectively, lessing the likelihood of failure or ineffectiveness.

Political- OU was created by an act of Parliament in 1969 and initially started with a small staff that included researches like Tony Bates, hired to research other universities pedagogical models (Bates, 2011)..

Cultural & Social- During this time a known need for teachers to further their education and the current Prime Minister also felt that others within the communities could benefit by having access to distance education (Bates, 2011).

Technological- allowed for universities to hire “top-quality” academics and allow them to teach and conduct much needed research (Bates, 2011). This was made easier by technological advances.

Bates, A. W. (2011, November). The second wave of distance education and history of the Open University United Kingdom. [Video interview]. Available from


3rd Wave of DE

Though the authors may describe the theory as general, they have established a model involves interactive learning and well round online learning experience. The COI theory defines an effective learning environment within DE, based on the three elements of: social, cognitive and teaching presence. Learner autonomy are significant within the social and cognitive presence, and complemented by the presence of teaching.

Social presence is the ability of participants to identify with the community. This community may also be known as the course of study, orientation group or the program cohort. Students in either of these communities are able to express their feelings, findings or varying experience based on the same topic of discussion, within a trusted environment. {C}{C Cognitive Presence is the extent to which learners are able to construct and confirm meaning through sustained reflection and discourse (Garrison, Anderson, & Archer, 2008). This is accomplished within my previous courses with course introductions, weekly conference topics, required research papers and essays and group projects. {C}{C Teaching Presence designs and presents the course objectives and materials, facilitate the discussions and a trusting environment for communication and learning within the social and cognitive presence and provides direction with feedback and assignment rubrics.

Anderson, T. (2008). Teaching in an online learning context. In T. Anderson (Ed.), The Theory and practice of online learning (2nd Ed.) pp. 343-366. Athabasca, CA: Athabasca University Press.Retrieved from

Final Course Reflection

Did we satisfy the objectives in this course? Yes, we did. However, there is significant opportunity to provide more hands on learning and real world knowledge. Though it was great working with the author of my text book, I believe that I could have enjoyed and grasped the concepts much easier if they were presented by a course designer or DE program creator and/or administrator.

No matter how advanced the DE technology maybe, it is only as advanced as the course content and faculty-to-student interaction.

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