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The Role of Learning Objects in Distance Learning

The Role of Learning Objects in Distance Learning
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Author(s): Robin H. Kay (University of Ontario Institute of Technology, Canada)
Copyright: 2009
Pages: 6
Source title: Encyclopedia of Distance Learning, Second Edition
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Patricia L. Rogers (Bemidji State University, USA), Gary A. Berg (California State University Channel Islands (Retired), USA), Judith V. Boettcher (Designing for Learning, USA), Caroline Howard (HC Consulting, USA), Lorraine Justice (Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong) and Karen D. Schenk (K. D. Schenk and Associates Consulting, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-198-8.ch267


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In the past 10 years, a considerable amount of money and effort has been directed toward distance education, with growth estimated as high as 30%-40% annually (Harper, Chen, & Yen, 2004; Hurst, 2001; Newman, 2003). The popularity of distance learning appears to be founded on personal control over instruction (Burgess & Russell, 2003, Pierrakeas, 2003), the variety of multimedia formats available to students (Hayes & Jamrozik, 2001), and customized support (Harper et al., 2004). However, the success of distance education is anything but a foregone conclusion. Multiple obstacles have impeded acceptance including reluctance to use technology (Harper et al., 2004), time required to develop course resources (Harper et al., 2004; Hayes & Jamrozik, 2001) and to support students (Levine & Sun, 2002), lack of technology skills (Berge & Smith, 2000), and cost (Burgess & Russell, 2003; Levine & Sun, 2002). In addition the promise of interactivity and constructive learning in distance learning has not been realized. Most distance learning offerings resemble traditional classroom courses (Coates & Humpeys, 2003; Levine & Sun, 2002, Navaro, 2000). When interaction does take place, it is usually in the form of online discussion, however, a number of studies have reported that true social interaction leading to cognitive development is rare (e.g., Berge and Muilenburg, 2000; Bisenbach-Lucas, 2003; Garrison, Anderson, and Archer, 2001; Hara, Bonk and Angeli, 1998; Meyer, 2003; Wickstrom, 2003).

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