Guiding Principles and Practices for the Design by variablepitch339

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									Guiding Principles and Practices for the Design and Development of Effective Distance Education
Introduction Innovations in Distance Education (IDE) was launched in 1995 with a grant from the AT&T Foundation. The project is a major initiative to help universities create a supportive institutional culture in which the possibilities of distance education may be realized. IDE’s mission is to develop a deeper understanding of the issues and opportunities presented by distance education, create new approaches to teaching and learning, and empower faculty to become leaders in the effective use of distance education. The intent is to ensure that institutional policy is supportive of distance education. The primary components of the IDE project are a Faculty Initiative and a Policy Initiative. This report focuses on outcomes of the Faculty Initiative. The Policy Initiative’s outcomes are presented in a separate report, Distance Education and the University Culture: Creating a Policy Environment for Distance Education.

Background The overall objective of the Faculty Initiative component of the IDE project was to provide participating faculty an opportunity to experience and examine issues related to the design and development of distance education programs. Faculty and staff engaged in a series of activities sponsored by the IDE project, including professional development programs, distance education project teams for funded-year faculty, and a series of colloquia and seminars. Professional development opportunities for faculty and staff included a rich assortment of pedagogical, technological, and research forums related to distance education. During their

funded year, additional resources were made available to faculty in the form of IDE “project teams” to support their distance education program development. These project support teams drew upon distributed resources already available throughout the institution, as well as the expertise of staff members working in Continuing and Distance Education and the Center for Academic Computing. The IDE project enabled them to work together in a focused way over an extended period, to better coordinate and concentrate their efforts toward a common goal— development of new or enhanced credit courses and noncredit programs to be delivered at a distance in a variety of ways. Guiding Principles and Practices Colloquium meetings were established to encourage discussion and reflection involving faculty, support team members, other Continuing and Distance Education personnel, and IDE project administrators on the issues, concerns, and strategies for developing an effective distance education program. Out of these discussions, a set of Guiding Principles and Practices for the Design and Development of Effective Distance Education programs has been prepared that reflects the experiences of Penn State, Lincoln, and Cheyney university faculty and staff who participated in the IDE Faculty Initiative. The process used to establish this set of guiding principles and practices included:
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Agreeing upon a set of categories of guiding principles and practices for the design and development of distance education programs; Establishing IDE faculty and staff teams to address each category; Creating a computer conferencing system to support asynchronous team collaboration; Participating in a monthly series of IDE Guiding Principles and Practices colloquia; Designing and implementing a one-day IDE Guiding Principles and Practices retreat; Developing draft versions of the Guiding Principles and Practices document that reflect the collective efforts of the six subgroups involved; Asking contributors and reviewers to read the draft document and provide feedback to refine and enhance the Guiding Principles and Practices;

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Presenting the draft document at the IDE Preconference of the International Council for Distance Education World Conference 1997 for further review and discussion; Refining and modifying the IDE Guiding Principles and Practices document.

The following assumptions were made explicit and discussed during the colloquia and are provided here to help inform the interpretation of this set of Guiding Principles and Practices. 1. The primary audience for distance education programs under consideration is the adult learner participating in an educational experience in which he or she is separated from the instructor or other learners by space and/or time. We recognize that “traditional” college-aged learners, among numerous other audiences, also participate in distance education, but they are not the primary focus of this document. 2. All distance education programs are approved by an academic unit of the institution in order to provide quality assurance regarding the instructor and content. Faculty participating in the design, development, and delivery of distance education are members of these academic units or are affiliated with or approved by them. 3. Distance education includes a wide variety of academic offerings, including credit and noncredit courses of study, single- and multi-day symposia and seminars, and continuing professional education programs. 4. The design models for distance education programs may include synchronous and/or asynchronous activities, as well as independent, cohort, and collaborative learning activities. Synchronous events are those that require participation with others at a given time, whereas asynchronous interactions are not time-dependent. Independent learning activities are individually paced and do not rely upon others for their completion. Cohorts are groups of individuals that move through a program of study with set start and end dates. Collaboration implies that individuals within the group depend upon others for part of the learning activity or experience. 5. Technology is viewed as a supporting element of, not the driving force behind, distance education program design. A defining characteristic of the new distance learning environment often is the establishment and maintenance

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of learning communities. A variety of technologies may be used to support these communities, including the World Wide Web, electronic mail, and computer conferencing software. Successful distance education learners need to be independent learners who are motivated and have focused goals in mind. Most need flexibility in program structure (many have other responsibilities, such as full-time jobs) and want practical information that they can use immediately. Some need to be taught how to use the technology for program delivery and assignments. The terms “student” and “learner” are used interchangeably, although the latter is generally preferred because of the more active and autonomous role it connotes. “Author” is not necessarily the same as “instructor,” since someone can “author” a course or a program but not necessarily teach it—and by “authoring” we mean preparation of electronic, as well as print-based media. The role of instructors in distance education is likely to be somewhat different than in resident instruction and emphasizes alternate and/or enhanced skills. Distance education instructors must plan further ahead, be well organized, and communicate with learners in new ways. They need to be accessible to students, work in teams when appropriate, and play the role of facilitator or mentor in their interactions with learners. Finally, they may have to assume more administrative responsibilities than in a residential model.

The remainder of this document presents a set of guiding principles that emerged from the work done during the first two years of the Innovations in Distance Education project. The principles are grouped into six categories: Learning Outcomes; Interactions; Instructional Media and Tools; Social Relationships; Assessment and Measurement; and Support Systems and Services (see Figure 1). After a brief overview of each category, several principles are presented. Each principle is followed by one or more representative practices intended to provide specific examples of how the principle might be implemented. Figure 1

Learning Outcomes The desired learning outcomes of any educational experience should guide the design of an effective instructional model for that experience. These learning outcomes, articulated by the faculty (sometimes with learner input) for a course or learning module, describe what skills or knowledge the learning activity will enable the learner to acquire and what educational experiences will be made available as a result of the instruction. The learning outcomes serve as a “contract” between instructor and student. It is vital that the instructor effectively communicate these expectations and that the learner understand them, in order to achieve the most effective learning experience—whatever the instructional paradigm. Although the planned learning outcomes need not be altered based on the instructional model, new instructional design strategies may need to be considered for the distance education experience to support the intended outcomes.

Principle 1: Communicating the planned learning outcomes for an instructional course is a crucial step in assuring an effective learning experience. This principle applies to face-to-face interactions, as well as to distance education instructional models. The explicit articulation of learning goals and objectives between instructor and student serves as the “contract,” defining what is to be taught and what is to be learned. Representative Practices:
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Learning outcomes should be defined as part of the instructional design plan. Once defined, they should be publicly available and communicated clearly and explicitly to the student in whatever manner suits the design model-in print, face to face, or via a Web site. An effective way to communicate expected learning outcomes would be to provide learners with a set of learning objectives at the beginning of an instructional course. Asking learners to design an “Action Plan” that shows they understand and accept responsibility for achieving the learning outcomes may assist them in planning their approach to completing the distance education experience. This “Action Plan” could be a “first lesson” that may be as structured as requiring the students to map out their intended progress and timelines, or as unstructured as a request that learners complete a list of their expectations of the course. Planned congruence between the instructional events and learning outcomes is required in a distance education paradigm. The planned learning outcomes serve as a procedural guide for establishing and maintaining the coherence (and thus effectiveness) of course goals and objectives, instructional strategies, and evaluation techniques. Should changes in “contracted” objectives be necessary, ownership and understanding of these changes need to be negotiated with students and made public.

Principle 2: The instructional strategies designed should be congruent with the planned learning outcomes. Specific activities should be directed toward providing learners with the necessary skills, knowledge, or experiences to meet the objectives of the course. The course content should be designed to enable learners to achieve the goals articulated in the learning outcomes. Representative Practices:
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Use the planned learning outcomes to shape the design of the instructional activities for the distance education experience. Use performance-based learning outcomes— where possible—that are accessible and authentic in order to determine learners’ attainment of course goals and objectives. Eliminate instructional activities that do not directly contribute to learning outcomes, since achieving those outcomes requires more time and effort within a distance education paradigm. Where possible, the learning outcomes for distance education students should relate to real-life experiences through example and application.

Principle 3: Just as learning outcomes provide the basis for the selection and application of instructional learning strategies, so must evaluation of student performance be directed toward the measurement and assessment of those learning outcomes. Representative Practices:
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Use methods of measurement and assessment of learner performance that are congruent with the planned learning outcomes and instructional strategies. Assessment for distance learners should be more frequent and varied than for learners in residence. Assessment need not always be quantitative, but also may be designed as a guidance mechanism.

Interactions Distance education has the potential to create a variety of highly interactive learning experiences. Interaction refers to the pattern and nature of communication among and between all elements of the teaching/learning experience. When learners interact with one another, with an instructor, and with ideas, new information is acquired, interpreted, and made meaningful. Such meaningful interactions that elicit learner participation are critical to the learning process. Instructors, learners, materials, and the technology interface used are all components to consider in establishing and maintaining interactions necessary for an effective educational experience. Principle 1: Effective learning environments involve multiple interactions. Educational technologies used in distance education expand the three traditional interaction dyads (learnerinstructor, learner-learner, and learner-content) to include a fourth: the interaction between learner and technology interface. The use of multiple sites may also involve a fifth component: instructor-instructor interaction. Representative Practices:
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Purposefully design interactions that support the learner in achieving the specified course outcomes. Explain to participants in advance which educational technologies they will need to use—and why—and the methods that will be used to support them in using these technologies. Provide time and opportunity for learners and instructors to practice and master the technologies needed to interact with other learners, instructor(s), and resources.

Principle 2: To facilitate interaction in distance education, it is important to provide an adequate infrastructure and sufficient resources to support the development of course content, access to appropriate technology, communication among participants, and achievement of course goals. Representative Practices:
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Recognizing that technology can support multiple levels of interaction, but that technology alone does not lead to a learnercentered curriculum, implement appropriate technology to support desired levels of interaction. Plan appropriately to provide all learners who enroll with adequate instructional support, facilities, and resources (e.g., computer hardware, software, library materials, experimental/practice materials, simulations) to complete course objectives. Secure in advance the required copyright clearances and licenses for a networked environment to provide all learners with access to necessary resources. Use platform-independent systems to guarantee learners the broadest possible access to resources. Build alternative activities into the course design and arrange for support staff to be available in case of technical failure.

Principle 3: Distance education requires developing and implementing new communication strategies and protocols different from those employed in the traditional, self-contained classroom. Alternative strategies can counterbalance the obstacles to social interaction created by the separation of learners from one another. Representative Practices:
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Employ distance education technologies to provide the opportunity for group collaboration and cooperative learning. Technological conferencing supports the implementation of

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current learning theory (including active learning, student-centered learning, and a learner-controlled environment), rather than the passive dissemination of information. Design instruction that supports collaborative and cooperative learning by encouraging positive interdependence, individual accountability, appropriate application of interpersonal skills, and/or group selfevaluation. Enhance collaboration through small-group interaction, using synchronous or asynchronous methods. Use multiple levels of electronic communication, such as e-mail or audio-video conferencing, to provide the instructor with the ability to assess student understanding.

Principle 4: Various teaching/learning technologies incorporate both advantages and constraints that must be considered in the design of the learning environment. Simply accessing information is not sufficient. Cognitive constructionist theory suggests that the most important learning objective is understanding, as opposed to the observable and measurable behaviors emphasized by behaviorist learning theory. Students must analyze, synthesize, and solve problems for learning to occur. Representative Practice:
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Incorporate learner control of content and process to enhance learning. For example, the non-linear nature of the Web requires a new design model to guide students’ attention. Authors should arrange materials, link to other sites, and provide navigational tools to assist learners in selecting their own path or a preestablished one.

Principle 5: Expectations of instructor authority and student responsibility vary, based on learners’ history, experiences, and cultural background. Sensitivity is required in order to understand the impact of planned or unplanned interactions in a distance education setting.

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Accommodate variations in the learning design regarding cultural “norms” about gender, age, and authority figures, so that learners are neither penalized for their cultural differences nor impeded in their learning processes by those differences.

Principle 6: Time taken to acquire a degree, intensity of study, and interactions within a community of learners are regarded as integral components of study in most institutions of higher education. Residency requirements, or their equivalents, are often designed to meet these goals. Components of residency include: interaction among faculty, students, and peers beyond direct instruction; access to informational and instructional advising and academic support services and resources; and exposure to and socialization in the field of study. Different types of distance education programs (credit courses versus noncredit programs, degree programs versus professional/certificate programs) may require unique solutions to fulfill the objectives traditionally achieved via residency requirements. Representative Practices:
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Professional programs and/or certificate programs taught at a distance may satisfy as well, if not better, the characteristics of the residency model through opportunities and experiences available in the workplace or site of career practice. Some portion of work in residence may be necessary in order to fulfill the objectives of doctoral and other academic programs. This residency may range from an initial orientation program to direct courses of study on campus.

Instructional Media and Tools

Designing an instructional experience for any learning environment requires careful consideration of the available tools and media that could be used by learners within that environment. Thinking, attitudes, and approaches toward media selection have changed significantly—especially in distance education—with the extraordinary growth of the electronic learning environment and the attendant media and tools now available. Far too often, the technology itself becomes a driving force in decision-making and diverts attention from the most fundamental considerations in the design and implementation of successful programs. It is important to remember that technologies are tools, and their selection must be guided by carefully considering the goals and objectives of particular learning programs; the specific characteristics of the learners served by those programs; and the realities of the costs, utility, and benefits to learners that are associated with the technologies that could be employed. Principle 1: The selection and use of instructional media and tools should be based upon their ability to support the predetermined instructional goals and objectives of the learning program. Representative Practices:
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Clearly define learning goals and objectives as a necessary first step in designing any distance learning program. Then select specific tools and media that will facilitate and enhance the realization of those desired outcomes. Be aware that technologies may produce learning impediments as easily as benefits. When infusing technology into the learning environment, there is a potential to incorporate superficially “innovative” strategies that may actually complicate or hinder learning. Such counterproductive activities can rob students of time and hinder their ability to focus on what is to be learned.

Principle 2: The selection of instructional media and tools should reflect their accessibility by learners. A distance learning program should incorporate a technology base that is

appropriate for the widest range of students within that program’s target audience. Representative Practices:
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Ensure that students have reasonable access to any technology that is contemplated for use in any distance education program. Consider the relative benefits that may be derived from particular tools and media in relationship to the costs that students must incur to utilize them. Control costs and facilitate wider student access to instructional resources by using the lowest-level technologies capable of supporting the student in achieving the learning objectives.

Principle 3: Users of a distance learning system must be adequately prepared and supported in order to maximize the capabilities of instructional media and tools. Representative Practices:
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Ensure that learners have a functional level of familiarity with any tools or media that are being considered, or build into the program the necessary training and practice required to gain a functional competence with the selected media and tools. Create an adequate faculty development program to ensure that program planners and designers understand the full capabilities of selected instructional media and tools and know how to make the most effective and efficient use of them.

Principle 4: Adult learners bring varied social and cultural backgrounds and diverse experiences to a distance learning program. The unique contexts in which learners live and work may influence the way they think about and use instructional media and tools. Representative Practices:

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Consider the age and maturity of learners when contemplating the selection and use of any instructional media or tools in a distance learning activity. Consider the realities and time constraints that learners bring to their study and carefully select tools and media that will provide the necessary flexibility and support for students’ learning experiences. Consider the impact that the learners’ social, economic, and cultural backgrounds will have on their ability to use and benefit from any media or tools that you contemplate using.

Principle 5: A wide range of technologies, both electronic and non-electronic, may be used to deliver content, support interactions, and provide student access to instructional and administrative resources in a distance learning program. Representative Practices:
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Familiarize learners and authors/instructors with the continuum of technologies, each with its own related complexities. Carefully match desired instructional strategies (e.g., lectures, small-group discussions, roleplaying) with appropriate supporting technologies. Keep the mix of technologies selected for use within an individual course or program simple. Don’t overwhelm or confuse the student by over-fragmenting course delivery.

Principle 6: When the instructional design model relies on some component of electronic technology for delivery, contingency strategies need to be considered that will enable a quick recovery from technology-related interruptions. Representative Practices:
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Design adequate, dependable, reliable, and easily expandable delivery services at the front end, rather than attempting to cope with systems that are unable to keep pace with the

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demands placed upon them during program delivery. Build reasonable provisions for backup, technical oversight, and maintenance of the delivery system into the design of any distance education program.

Principle 7: Among the most important components in the design of distance education programs are those that establish the organizational and administrative infrastructures to ensure that such programs can be efficiently and effectively developed, managed, and executed. Representative Practices:
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Take advantage of available market research tools (such as surveys, focus groups, and interviews) to assess the market, determine likely student demographics, and analyze available resource needs (including infrastructure, overhead, and administrative costs) for programs before embarking on program design and development. Determine whether the rewards for developing distance education programs are commensurate with the effort involved in designing, creating, implementing, and managing such programs. Create an administrative infrastructure that will be easy for learners to understand and use during program delivery. Develop a supporting infrastructure that is secure enough to maintain the integrity of the information stored in the electronic environment, as well as the integrity of confidential information, including evaluation components (e.g., testing).

Social Relationships Social relationships form the foundation for a community of learners. Systematic instruction, whether face-to-face or conducted at a distance, is enhanced by informal conversation, trust-building experiences, the interjection of humor, the opportunity to share personal and instructional goals, and interactions among participants. If students feel they are part of a community of learners, they are more apt to be motivated to seek solutions to their problems and to succeed. The challenge for distance educators is to design into the instructional situation strategies and techniques for establishing and maintaining “learning communities” among learners separated by space and/or time. Principle 1: The instructional design of any learning situation must incorporate methods and strategies to reduce real or perceived barriers to establishing the learning community. Representative Practices:
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Design activities for establishing “social relationships” among participants within the distance education model. Be aware that, at a distance, this takes more planning and forethought than with other educational models. Examine each technology described in the instructional design model in light of its capacity to establish and maintain social relationships among participants. Each technology has certain advantages and disadvantages in relation to this goal.

Principle 2: Defining the establishment and maintenance of social relationships as an instructional goal of the distance learning experience can enhance the learning experience for learner and instructor alike. Representative Practices:
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Recognize and plan for a set of unique social relationships, unlike those achievable in a faceto-face instructional model.

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Design into the instructional program methods that support social interactions between learners, such as a “virtual student union” or a class list with student access information. Determine and adhere to institutional policy on providing student information within the program structure. Design opportunities for learners to provide personal interest information that may be shared within the distance education course or program. Be sensitive to individuals’ privacy rights by making socially related interactions voluntary. Design methods for recognizing and maintaining the individuality of each learner in the distance education program. Where possible, maintain a personal connection with learners throughout the program through such means as group or individual visits, personal e-mail, or telephone calls. Establish and maintain office hours or contact times throughout the duration of the program to encourage learner/instructor interaction. Communicate prior to the start of the program the rules of engagement for social and academic relationships, including sensitivity to diverse student backgrounds, receptivity to alternative ideas, and appropriate etiquette for electronic communications. Design interactive activities that support social relationships as part of the distance education program.

Principle 3: Participants’ confidence and competence with the distance education paradigm and supporting technologies can help reduce barriers to establishing social relationships. Representative Practices:
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Practice with pilot groups or trial projects to gain confidence and competence with a new distance education model. Start with small

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groups and enrollments, and expand as experience and skill levels increase. Provide access to experienced support staff and instructors willing to serve as resources for novice instructors. Provide adequate training for all participants in the distance education program that addresses issues in learning at a distance, using the supporting technology, and rules and guidelines for an effective distance education experience.

Principle 4: Participants in an instructional experience are best able to identify positive and constructive strategies for improving the social relationships within the program. A safe and comfortable atmosphere supports this exchange of ideas. Representative Practices:
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Design formative and summative evaluation activities that enable participants to provide anonymous feedback, as well as participate in open class discussions about the distance education experience. Design a “social space” distinct from other communication channels that encourages student discussion without oversight or access by the instructor.

Assessment and Measurement Assessment and measurement serve several valuable purposes for both instructors and students. Formal assessments of student performance such as lesson assignments, tests, and exams provide instructors with information on student achievement, the basis upon which grades are calculated. Informal assessments, such as question-and-answer periods during class time and class discussions, also produce feedback from students. This

information can help faculty members adjust instruction to better meet students’ needs. Assessment and measurement activities provide students with milestones or benchmarks by which they can monitor their own progress and adjust their learning strategies accordingly. Their learning strategies should guide them through the process of attaining the defined learning outcomes. It is imperative that assessment and measurement techniques reflect the instructional strategies used in the course and the desired learning outcomes; these techniques should evaluate student progress toward attaining the goals of the course. Principle 1: Assessment should be used for three distinct purposes: 1) as a basis for making modifications while the course is in progress (formative evaluation); 2) as verification that individual students have gained knowledge or skills (certification); and 3) as an indicator of the extent to which the course has effectively met its goals (summative evaluation). Representative Practices:
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Compensate for the absence of informal cues to student understanding by requiring students to begin each session by asking questions. Enhance the probability of student-generated questions by devising a way for students to ask questions anonymously. Overcome the instructor’s inability to perceive informal cues from students by assigning tasks to students working collaboratively in small groups. For example, one student might be assigned to assess the group’s understanding of material using guidelines from the instructor and to bring the group’s questions to the instructor and the class. Promote communication between students and instructor and among students by using electronic mail, voice mail, and/or other technologies.

Principle 2: Feedback from assessments is a key component in the learning cycle and must be preserved in distance education. Representative Practices:

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Create “on-line quizzes” that evaluate student comprehension and automatically provide corrective feedback when an answer is incorrect. Develop systems of learner-to-learner interaction during which students assess one another’s progress. Develop a “support system” (self-assessment activities, checklists, rubrics, and so on) to help novice students evaluate their own responses and those of others.

Principle 3: Effective assessment complements the desired learning outcomes defined in the course and lesson objectives. Representative Practices:
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Select verbs carefully when writing course objectives, and choose verbs that describe what students will be asked to do with the knowledge or skill in the world outside the classroom. Share the objectives with the students from the very beginning of the course. Assess each outcome separately, using the verbs in the objectives as the verbs in the assessment task. Select media carefully when planning the assessment, recognizing that the use of several different media might be appropriate. For example, e-mail might be used to have students “describe,” on-line chats or telephone interviews might be used to have students “discuss,” and videotape might be used to “demonstrate” oral presentation skills or a physical accomplishment, such as a golf swing. Recognize and anticipate the large amount of time necessary to create effective assessment tools. Devote significant resources to assessment.

Principle 4: Assessment and evaluation should include student review and feedback on their interactions with course materials, instructors, and the distance education delivery system.

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Design a variety of evaluation techniques into the learning environment that enables students to provide feedback on the course content, quality of instruction, and support and delivery systems. Evaluation techniques may include, but are not limited to, mid-course evaluation forms, random student phone interviews, and post-course assessment instruments.

Principle 5: As independent learners, distance education students benefit from self-assessment strategies designed to monitor their progress as part of the learning process. Representative Practice:
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Design self-check activities as part of the assignments. These activities serve as “norming” devices that enable students to adjust their progress within the course.

Principle 6: Carefully consider the nature of the learning outcome for applicability to assessment via distance education methodologies. Where appropriate, use on-site or other assessment or evaluation strategies. Representative Practices:
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If needed, help students make local arrangements to complete course assessments and evaluations. Consider alternative methods of assessment and evaluation that do not require oversight or supervision but are valuable to the student and instructor.

Support Systems and Services

The support systems and services for a distance learner must be as complete, as responsive, and as effective as those provided for the on-campus learner. In order to achieve this goal, alternative support methods must be employed to ensure that no distance student is significantly inconvenienced or barred from getting the services required. Since distance students have widely varying access methods available to them, redundant systems should be in place for many support functions. The overall support system should address, at the least, the following areas: technical support, instructional resources, faculty development, instructional design and development, and policy changes aimed at creating an environment conducive to distance education. Principle 1: A comprehensive system of support services must be in place to ensure the effective use of instructional technologies in distance education programming for learners, instructors, and staff. Representative Practices:
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Provide access to needed technologies for instructors, learners, and staff. This could include provision of software, hardware, server space, or Internet access accounts. Train faculty and students in the use of “high tech” instructional components of courses through a noncredit offering. Instructors and learners should come away from the training both knowledgeable about and comfortable with using whatever instructional resources their courses require. Ensure that learners understand the equipment requirements and technology skills necessary to effectively participate in a program prior to their enrollment. Provide a common platform delivery environment where possible. Clearly articulate the platform and capabilities that distance education programs will support. Devise a system to ensure that instructional technology hardware and software capabilities remain reasonably current and in step with

major shifts in the use of instructional delivery systems. Principle 2: For faculty to engage in distance education on a broad scale, existing barriers must be removed and a number of incentives introduced. Furthermore, supporting services must be provided to ensure adequate faculty development in the areas of applied instructional technology and effective distance education methodology. Representative Practices:
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Develop institutional policy to provide for distance education course authoring and instruction as part of an “on-load” responsibility for faculty. Modify institutional policy to ensure that faculty desiring to teach at a distance are not adversely affected in the promotion and tenure process. Convert disincentives to incentives. Foster faculty development through specialized training in emerging technologies and the application of technology to their curriculum. This may be accomplished in a variety of ways, including the use of distance education methodologies and technologies. To facilitate the design and delivery of distance education programming, address issues related to intellectual property, copyright fees, royalties, and so on, through the creation of new institutional policies and procedures.

Principle 3: Distance education learners and instructors may desire instructional support seven days a week, twenty-four hours a day, especially if programs are available worldwide. Design of distance education programs should include specific support strategies to create and maintain “learning communities” that are available on a schedule as convenient as possible for participants, as well as the institution. Representative Practices:
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Provide documentation, such as Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), troubleshooting

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guides and procedures, and commercially available tutorials (in both electronic and print format), to address many support questions without direct human intervention. Other support services may require staffing beyond the normal working hours of the institution. Tutors and teaching assistants may serve at times when the instructor cannot. Additionally, knowledgeable students may help their peers in learning communities, which may help to reduce demands on staff, as well as provide for seven-day/twenty-four-hour coverage. Apply technology appropriately to support “just in time” course adjustments that embody flexibility, include current events, and promote enthusiasm, as well as address immediate learner or instructor support issues. Provide continuous motivation and encouragement to the learner. Employ collaborative learning methods, where appropriate, to ensure that learners derive benefit from others in their learning community. Help learners to consider their peers as valuable resources and provide them with incentives to provide mutual help. Build instructional strategies into the course that encourage learner participation and promote course completion. Provide round-the-clock access to central, vital instructional resources, such as digital library holdings, databases, and the like.

Principle 4: Learners and instructors must have immediate and effective technical support. This should be viewed as a basic “customer service” for those engaged in distance education programs. Representative Practices:
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Provide “help desk” services for fielding questions and solving problems for learners and instructors. Train help desk personnel to be prompt, courteous, and highly competent.

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Coverage should extend beyond the normal work hours of the sponsoring institutions. Use existing, but expanded, support systems in order to address the more diverse needs of students who will be taking electronically delivered courses at a distance. Design feedback mechanisms in order to continuously track the needs and satisfaction of distance education students. Obtain information to answer such questions as “Was technical support helpful?” and “How long did it take to solve the problem?” Establish performance standards for customer support personnel. Provide incentives for them to give the best technical support possible. Provide intelligent on-line help systems to allow students to “self-troubleshoot” if all lines are busy. Supply a voice mail box to capture requests, and return calls promptly.

Principle 5: Extending the distance education mission of the institution requires policy adjustments and accommodations for supporting the distance education instructor and learners. Representative Practices:
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Create new institutional policies to account for potential increases in the design, development, and delivery expenses for distance education programs. Revise fee structures that deter students from taking distance education courses. Pursue partnerships with other institutions and funding agencies to support the design, development, and delivery of distance education programming. Institute policies that support and encourage student participation in distance education programs. Create a greater awareness of the availability, viability, and benefits of distance education to students.

CATEGORY TEAMS LEARNING OUTCOMES Donna Rogers, co-leader; Joan Thomson, co-leader; Craig Bernecker, James Flemming, Dan Goepp, Celia MillingtonWyckoff INTERACTIONS Carol Wright—lead, Mazharul Huq, R. Thomas Berner, Glenda Shoop, Gina Leon, Jeri Childers INSTRUCTIONAL MEDIA AND TOOLS William Kelly—lead, Gregory Forbes, Robert Jones, Terry Borg, Fran Osseo-Asare SOCIAL RELATIONSHIPS Robert Lesniak—lead, Judy Ozment, Jeffrey Kohler, Alan Stuart, Andrea Pisani-Babich, Dee Frisque ASSESSMENT AND MEASUREMENT Kyle Peck—lead, David Passmore, Peter Maserick, Elizabeth Walker, Carol Hodes SUPPORT SYSTEMS AND SERVICES Philip Cochran—lead, Kyle Peck, Mary Frances Picciano, Anita Colyer, Glenn Johnson INNOVATIONS IN DISTANCE EDUCATION MANAGEMENT TEAM Gary Miller, project director Deborah Klevans, project manager Lawrence Ragan, associate project manager Dehra Shafer, associate project manager


								
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