Moller, Foshay, and Huett (2008a) contended that Instructional Designers (ID) need to stay current in ID literature and theory to develop quality online instruction (pp. 70-71). They lamented about the current quality of online classes suggesting that students do not distinguish between quality online courses and poorly developed online courses. This phenomenon has tarnished the publics’ image of online learning in general (p. 71). Huett, Moller, Foshay, and Coleman (2008) warned that conclusions made for post-secondary online learning should not be transferred to secondary online education and that original literature needs to be conducted specifically on secondary education (p. 63). They evaluated students currently taking online secondary classes and concluded that these students make up a different population than the students identified in the literature as prone to online learning success (pp. 64-65). Simonson (2000) introduced Equivalent Theory. Equivalent Theory states online students should learn in “acceptable and appropriate (p. 29)” methods instead of exactly the same methods as traditional students learn.

All of the authors presented the need for distance education to evolve. There are many students benefiting from distance education today. The student population enrolling at the secondary level is not the same population of learners succeeding at the post-secondary level. Distance education needs to adapt and evolve to be able to accommodate different learning styles. I agree with Huett, Moller, Foshay, and Coleman’s (2008) observation that K-12 specific research needs to be conducted for distance learning. This was the same conclusion I came up with in my first Knowledge Area Modula (KAM) (Harms, 2010, p. 51).

References:

Harms, D. (2010). Knowledge Area Module One. Unpublished manuscript, Department of Educational Technology, Walden University, Minneapolis, Minisota.

Moller, L., Foshay, W., & Huett, J. (2008a, May/June). The evolution of distance education: Implications for instructional design on the potential of the Web (Part 1: Training and Development). TechTrends, 52(3), 70–75.

Moller, L., Foshay, W., & Huett, J. (2008b, July/August). The evolution of distance education: Implications for instructional design on the potential of the Web (Part 2: Higher Education). TechTrends, 52(4), 66–70.

Huett, J., Moller, L., Foshay, W. & Coleman, C. (2008, September/October). The evolution of distance education: Implications for instructional design on the potential of the Web (Part 3: K12). TechTrends, 52(5), 63–67.

Simonson, M. (2000). Making decisions: The use of electronic technology in online classes. New Directions for Teaching and Learning, 84, 29–34.

Links to articles: (Need Walden Log-In To Access)

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