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Legitamacy of Distance Education

Is there a difference between education and training?

How does corporate training differ from academic education with respect to the requirements of a distance education delivery system? How does corporate training differ from academic education with respect to the requirements of a distance education delivery system?

What would be the advantages and/or disadvantages of an organization creating their own custom enterprise LMS over buying an "off-the-shelf" LMS solution?

In what ways do organizations involved in distance education need to support the distance learner?

How technical issues impact the delivery of a distance education program.

Solution Preview

Please refer to attached file for my response. As well, I have provided ample links to relevant articles and attached two highly relevant documents (see "Advantages and obstacles to eLearning" and "training and Education.")

I hope you find this information helpful. BrainMass is not an assignment completion organization, as I am sure you know. So in keeping with the BrianMass policy, I have attempted to provide enough information and guidance for a successful completion of your assignment. Good luck and take care.

RESPONSE FROM ATTACHMENT

1. Is there a difference between education and training?

It depends. There are proponents who argue about such thing, but for the most part, the two words are used in conjunction with one another. Education can be training on several levels, training the mind, training the body, and training the emotions, and training the body to do more skills. For a history of distance education see article by Moore (http://cade.athabascau.ca/vol1.1/moore.html). He addresses many initial concerns, such as what is learning? Is learning the same as Education? and the likes. Be sure to read this article, as it grounds a person in the history of Distance Education.

Let's look at the definitions and then decide.

Defining Distance Education

Off-Campus, Distance Education is not new. It dates back several centuries. In the 1700s John Wesley utilized the home study method to educate laymen and ministers alike to spread the evangelistic fires of Methodisim. About 100 years ago, the universities in Europe, including the University of London offered the "nontraditional" degree program. Matthew Henry, the author of the Matthew Henry Commentaries, who was born in 1662 was privately educated at home. Abraham Lincoln who became one of America's presidents was self schooled. During the 1950-60s nontraditional, distance education began to emerge, more so in the theological schools. Various concepts in education were presented to the American people and the idea caught on.

Now many of our major universities offer degrees through distant learning.
Off-Campus Distance Education programs consist of well planned and thought out programs of study. Fundamentally, good teaching practices are basically identical to good traditional teaching practices. Well-designed syllabus and presentation outlines, along with the regular college textbook and in some cases audio or video tapes are the mode of delivery. The Internet has now made it possible to become a part of a virtual classroom, on-line libraries, and constant contact with a mentor or professor. (this may also address your last question, in part, at least)

Benefits of distance education courses to the learner include:

(1) Accessible education to students in rural areas.
(2) Students may complete their course of study without suffering the loss of salary due to relocation
(3) Students are exposed to the expertise of a qualified faculty.
(4) Students may study at their own pace allowing some to complete their work quicker while others may take longer.
(5) Students may enroll and begin their studies any time during the year.
(6) In most cases Distance Education is less expensive. (http://www.bethanybc.edu/distanteducation.htm).

Another example, is a distance education class at Houston Community College System, who has provided years of experience in giving credited courses by modem found that distance education had several benefits over traditional classroom instruction and older distance education courses. Some of the results showed these benefits:

(1) Immediacy -- especially compared to print-based
correspondence courses.
(2) Sense of group identity -- the computer system became a
meeting place for students.
(3) Improved dialogue -- students corresponded more than
when in a traditional classroom setting.
(4) Improved instructor control -- the computer system can log
activities.
(5) Active learning -- student participation improved.

Training: Definition

Training seems to be more hand-on. For example, one training advertisement says this:

Our Training & Performance Support Agency offers a broad range of training opportunities in the following two areas:
? Technical Training with the use of competency based design methodology.
? Business Skills via classroom workshops and seminars.

The Training & Performance Support Agency uses current needs assessment, task analysis, design, delivery and evaluation methodologies coupled with state-of-the-art facilities to create training opportunities that will help organizations meet today's business environment and future challenges. All of our training is based on clear learning objectives, including the training we could design or tailor to meet your specific needs.

Our instructors are drawn from both Manitoba Hydro and the local training and development community. Manitoba Hydro instructors are selected for both their direct operational and technical skills as well as their human resource development experience. Contract instructors bring a combination of varied corporate experience as well as a wide range of business applications.

Technical Training

Technical Training is performance-based and relies on one-on-one instruction, self-paced instruction and performance simulations. The majority of our technical training is delivered at our 3000 square meter training complex featuring classrooms, shops and complete facilities for working in a variety of industrial settings, including pole yards.

There is extensive indoor and outdoor overhead and underground power distribution facilities for practice and demonstration of competence.

Some of the training programs available include:
? Counterpart Programs and Study Tours for Engineers and Utility Managers
? Power Electrician (Hydro, Thermal, HVDC, Transmission and Distribution)
? Mechanical Technician (Hydro, Thermal, HVDC, Diesel)
? Plant Operations (Hydro, Thermal, HVDC)
? Power Cableman
? Power Lineman
? Cable Locating
? Transmission Line Construction and Maintenance
? Heavy Equipment Operation
? Specialty Welding
? Custom training programs to suit the clients needs

Obviously, application of skills is part of the learning environment that is not found in other methods of education design and forms of delivery (i.e., ...

Solution Summary

This solution discusses distance education across a number of dimensions e.g., difference between education and training, differences between corporate training and academic education, different delivery methods, strategies for supporting distance learners and the impact of technical issues on the delivery of distance education. Supplemented with two highly informative articles on aspects of distant education.

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