Minutes: Faculty Senate Working Group on Distance Learning
The following are issues discussed and questions raised at the Faculty Senate
Working Group on Distance Learning on January 16, 1996.
- Establishing Goals
- What is the driving force behind our development
of distance learning programs?
- Education/educational quality
- Funding/remaining competitive
- *Distance Learning: is it automation of education
or is it distribution of education with technology
as the medium of distribution?
- Strictly continuing education programs?
- Entire (or partial) undergraduate programs?
- Substitute for summer school sessions (and should
we do this)?
- Expand graduate programs?
- Remaining Comptetitive
- Virginia Tech is falling behind in the development
of distance learning programs and it is presumed
that if we fall too far behind we will become
ineligible for funding.
- *Perhaps we should establish a standard vision
for Virginia Tech's educational programs and then
establish where the idea of distance learning fits
into this plan.
- Statement of goal.
- Who is our audience?
- *What are the advantages of this learning model?
- Can this be both a technological and educational
- Should research the positive elements in both of
- Was pointed out that new technology can foster
growth in new and unexpected areas.
- *Suggest that any implementation of a distance
learning program be done in a modular, step-wise
fashion in which each step is evaluated after
implementation to assess the progression toward
a common goal and the effectiveness to the
students. This should be done in such a way to
allow/prevent progression to the next step in the
plan based on the assessment.
- *Should research the distance learning systems implemented
by other institutions and learn from their sucesses and
- Business (financial advantages/disadvantages)
- Social (effects on students' social development)
- *Cultural (macro level effects on society)
- Organizational (within the University)
- Educational (quality of education)
- Will our courses match the expectations of current technology (e.g., will
it be as alluring as the game Myst)?
- Do we need to define new terminology for courses since distance learning
programs are not what we mean by "courses" today?
- We need better/more evaluations of courses currently offered on-line.
* Indicates comments/suggestions inserted by Chuck Clifton outside of the