The dawning of the information age has given young people more than portable music players and the ubiquitous cell phone: digitization allows coursework to be presented in startling new formats that rival any communication development since Socrates picked up a stick and began drawing in the sand. It is not a change that should be taken lightly. The sudden shift from dragging backpacks full of books before a human teacher in a room filled with peers to a laptop alone at the kitchen table necessitates the development of new theoretical and psychological frameworks for both teacher and student. I will draw on the rich, interdisciplinary literature of social informatics to create a model of the emotional, intellectual, and social needs of distance learning students in the digital age. I don't seek to either praise or condemn technology-mediated education, merely to get a glimpse into the minds, and needs, of students stepping over this new pedagogical threshold.
Some [updated 11/06] thoughts on sources:
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Allen, Mike, and John Bourhis, Nancy Burrell, and Edward Mabry. ((2002). Comparing Student Satisfaction with Distance Education to Traditional Classrooms in Higher Education: A Meta -Analysis. The American Journal of Distance Education. 16(2), 83-97.
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Bee R. H. (1998). Differing attitudes of economics students about web-based instruction. College Student Journal, 32(2), pp. 258-269.
Biner P. M. (1999). Re-assessing the role of student attitudes in the evaluation of distance education effectiveness. Distance Education Review
Bisciglia, Michael, and Elizabeth Monk-Turner. (2002) Differences in Attitudes Between On-Site and Distance-Site Students in Group Teleconference Courses. The American Journal of Distance Education. 16(1), 37-52.
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Valenta, Annette, and David Therriault, Michael Dieter and Robert Mrtek. (2001). Identifying Student Attitudes and Learning Styles in Distance Education. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 5(2), pp. 111-127.