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Distance Learning Programmes - Changing Facets of Faculty Members and Course Mgt - Conflicts.

Distance Learning Programme , Class room , Facilitator , Curriculum , Course

Distance Learning Programmes –
Changing Facets of Faculty members and Course management - Collision of Views and Conflicts :

Introduction :

The distance between the Distance learning Programmes and Normal Learning Programmes has been shortened considerable with the Technological advancement coupled with workable cost considerations.

Successful borderless enrollments :

A student from West Indies say Trinidad can learn from the University of Sydney in Australia or Delhi University in India as easily as ever and obtain the same quantum of knowledge and Skills comparable to any Local student from these universities.

Changing Facets: These Distance Learning Programmes , due to their very nature have become Gadget dependent and Equipment reliant since transformation of knowledge tales place through Internet ( to day ) and Other Electronic sources.

In other words this is creating or demanding a CHANGE IN THE ROLES OF FACULTY MEMBERS .

CLASS TEACHER and the DISTANCE LEARNING PROGRAM Faculty :
In normal Classroom education , teacher plays a great role in being a Catalyst in imparting knowledge beside being a ROLE MODEL in so many ways thus creating a lasting impression in he minds of the Students.

Whereas in Distance Learning Programmes the roles of the Faculty members are needed differently . This is actually a DIS AGGREGATION process or Unbundling the responsibilities of a Class Teacher .

At the outset it is a FACILITATOR Role . In other words they are :

1. Curriculum Developers
2. Course ware Developers
3. Content Deliverers and Content experts
4. Learning process design experts
5. Process implementation Manager
6. Assessment Specialists
7. Advisors

This move reduces FACULTY INTERVENTION and contains cost.

Specifically this mode would increase student access through the construction of a broadband network modeled to the internet .

The Programme would be characterized by a SELF PACED STUDY instead of ACADEMIC CALENDARS , FIXED CLASS MEETINGS OR A TRADITIONAL CURRICULUM.

Students would pursue their Software through New INSTRUTIONAL SOFTWARE That breaks down complex subjects in to individual components or modeules.


CONFLICTING VIEWS AND COLLISION OF IDEAS:

However it is believed that THIS IS NOT THE BEST ROUTE TO QUALITY .
A number of Studies have demonstrated the importance to Student learning of establishing a feedback loop between Class room Teaching ,

Curriculum development , and Scholarly research. That loop becomes inoperative when teaching Faculty operate from workbooks based on a Pre designed Curriculum that the Faculty member has little role in developing , a curriculum that was not shaped directly by the practitioner’s experience in teaching these classes or conducting research on these subjects.

Students deserve teachers who knew all the nuances of what they are teaching and who can exercise professional judgment and academic freedom in doing so.

CLASS SIZE:
Good DE normally requires more Teacher preparation time than a traditional class as well as more time devoted to interacting with students ( through E mail , Chat room etc)
Therefore it is vital to maintain a workable class size .

The problem is commercially minded Distance Learning Programmes will expand class sizes too greatly in order to maximize ENROLLMENTS.

CONCLUSION :
It is believed that Deep knowledge of a subject is NOT in passing a competency exam. It does require class room time ( be in Class room or cyber space) with Teachers and Other Classmates chewing over ideas , Hearing contrary points of view and defending conclusions.

C.EASHWER – SINGAPORE
Published: 2006-05-04
Author: Chockalingam Eswaramurthi

About the author or the publisher
Iam a Professional writer dedicated to sharing the knowledge on topics of Public interest, be it Management , Leadership , Social service , World Politics , Personalities , Industries , Health , Computers , Policy making , Governments , Book review etc., Iam from Singapore . My e mail id is : eashwer@pacific.net.sg

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