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Information technology enhanced learning in distance and conventional education

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4 Author(s)
H. A. Latchman ; Florida Univ., Gainesville, FL, USA ; Ch. Salzmann ; D. Gillet ; H. Bouzekri

The rapid growth of the Internet and the media-rich extensions of the World Wide Web allow new developments in the way instructors transfer knowledge to their students. There is no doubt that nothing will replace synchronous learning through face to face interaction but it is sometimes not feasible for students to attend conventional classes due to distance or time constraints. This paper presents a model for using information technology to enhance the learning experience for conventional on-campus students, as well as for those students whose circumstances require that they be asynchronous in time or space. The approach described emphasizes a solution which allows students to attend the class in real time via the Internet, or to access asynchronously digitally stored video material with hyperlinks to online training resources at any time. The proposed solution permits interaction in real-time and asynchronously among students and between students and instructor, which is a key for effective learning. In addition, the instructor maintains a significant level of spontaneity in using multimedia material prepared in advance or using conventional chalkboard or hand written materials via traditional overhead projection. The paper describes the technical issues involved and the chosen solutions to provide enhanced live and archived classes. This paper provides some comments on the evaluation of the learning experience using this method of delivery for on-campus and distance education students. Finally the authors share their vision on future trends to improve the proposed learning environment and the need for an optimal balance between expositive teaching and active learning for both synchronous and asynchronous activities

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Education  (Volume:42 ,  Issue: 4 )