01 Thumbnail The Evolution of Distance Learning

Edward F. Spodick
Hong Kong University of Science & Technology Library
Presented August, 1995 - links updated 31 January, 1996

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7. Conclusion

Final Thumbnail The growth of the Internet is bringing many changes to distance education, and forcing providers and instructors to consider a number of difficult issues. The Internet may be on its way to replacing almost all other mediums of communication utilized by distance education programs worldwide. It should be kept in mind, however, that little of this is new.

Fundamentally the same needs exist, although in some cases on a more accelerated basis. Most of the goals and directions are the same. The potential exists for significant change, however. The role of the teacher and the dynamics of the student-teacher relationship could undergo significant adjustment, depending upon how everything develops.

The way education is viewed continues to evolve, as do the tools available for shaping its growth and development. What may be emerging is a more social view of education, focusing on collaborative learning. Between the changing tools available and the possible social modifications, educators are being challenged to come up with new ways of instructing which may provide some much-needed insight into how people learn. It will be fascinating to follow these developments in the coming years.

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last revised 5 March, 1996
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