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Technology
The communications between learners and instructors in distance education must be provided by technologies. There is a wide variety available. They include broadcast radio and television; audio- and videotapes; interactive audio and video teleconferencing; various computer and Internet technologies, and print technologies. Different devices may be used for courseware delivery and for interpersonal interaction, but the backbone technologies along which the signals travel are often the same. The Technology domain provides information about the varieties of each of these technologies, and describes their different strengths and weaknesses as vehicles for education.

Among features to be considered are the relative merits of recorded technologies for delivering presentations of subject matter and the merits of teleconferencing technologies for facilitating interaction between teachers and learners. Administrators and teachers have to consider the benefits of relatively high cost technologies such as broadcast television and interactive video compared with the lower costs of text, audio recording and telephone conferencing.

Mixtures of technologies will always produce better results than any single technology. Getting the optimum mixture though requires great skill and knowledge. Ultimately it depends more on the quality of course design and the quality of instruction than on technology itself.

More resources:

Efendioglu, Alev. and Murray, L.W. 2000. "Education at a Distance: Teaching Executives in China". T H E Journal, Jan 2000, Vol. 27, Issue 6.

Iwanaga, M. 2000. "The present and the future of multimedia in Japan's open learning," Paper presented at the 14th Annual Conference of the Asian Association of Open Universities, Manila, Philippines, October 25-27, 2000.

Kawai, A. 2002. "The role of radio programmes in Japanese post-war agricultural and rural development: A lesson for vocational education and training". Paper presented at the 15th Annual Conference of the Asian Association of Open Universities, New Delhi, India, February 21-23, 2002.

Kondo, K., 1996. "Inter-University VSAT Network in Japan: Space collaboration system." Paper presented at the conference on Educational Technology 2000: A Global Vision for Open and Distance Learning, Singapore, August 15-17, 1996.

Murphy, D.; Tsang, E. & Vermeer, R. 1996."Interactive multimedia development at the Open learning Institute of Hong Kong," Paper presented at the conference on Educational Technology 2000: A Global Vision for Open and Distance Learning, Singapore, August 15-17, 1996.

Setsuo Yokoyama (2000), Visual Field Record System for the Purpose of the Bahaviour Analysis in Distance Education, The Flagship University, pp.3-22.

Yoshida, M., Poonyakanok, P., Tiranasar, A., and Mori, S. 1999. "Authentic Situation with Streaming Video in Distance Learning." Paper Presented at International Conference and Exhibition on Education Superhighway (29 November - 4 December) 2 December, Penang, Malaysia: SEAMEO RECSAM, Proceedings, pp.7.1-7.7.

Yoshida, M. et al. (1999), Characteristics of Communication within a Video Conference Class and Anticipatory Strategies for its Limitation, In Research Report. Media in Higher Education and Instructional Skill Development. Various Aspects of Media Utilization and Faculty Support. (Saga, H.: Principal Investigator), Research Report of National Institute of Multimedia Education, 09-1999-9, pp.121-131.

Yuen, K.S. & Tsang, E. 2000. "Provision of an online learning environment for distance learning: Experience of the Open University of Hong Kong," Paper presented at 2000 Conference of E-learning, The PolyUniversity of Hong Kong, Nov. 2000.

Print and RecordedBroadcast and Computer-Based  • Interactive  • Backbone

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