Adapting for Distance Education
ADAPTING TEACHING-LEARNING MODELS TO DISTANCE LEARNING
Some models based on the above styles of study are outlined below. Teaching practice is generally defined into five main models. There are no definite boundaries between each of the models, and no one model in particular is regarded as superior to another. A thorough knowledge of all models leads to greater teacher flexibility and efficiency. Notice that these can be readily adapted to distance education.
This approach is teacher-centred, whereby the teacher narrates and explains, and practice and revision is used to consolidate the learning. It is based on the traditional approach. It is not inflexible, but narration, explanation, revision and practice are considered basic to effective teaching. Content focuses on traditional subjects, with a strong emphasis on the basic skills.
Techniques such as the use of videos, telephone and video conferencing etc. enable this approach to be used for distance education.
This model is based on well-structured steps of learning and the use of reinforcement. This has been used in formal full-class teaching or face-to-face instruction. This approach is still teacher-directed. With modern technology and online training techniques (like video conferencing), it is now possible to apply this model to distance education.
Cognitive Development Model
Here, the teacher creates a supportive atmosphere, selects tasks according to the student’s developmental level, and elicits the student's reasoning in relation to the tasks. This approach requires planning of steps, but emphasis is on the student's reasoning. A number of cognitive approaches are examined within the context of this model. The pupil learns in a resource-rich situation by using reasoning to solve problems.
Distance education allows each student to be treated as an individual, giving each student a selection of optional assignments from which to select, according to the level at which the student is capable.
This model emphasises learning based on the student's interaction with other people and with society i.e. personal interaction. This model works mostly in group situations. The focus is on social interaction. Content focuses on social-moral-cultural problems which produces self-aware people. A distance education student can interact with tutors or other students via the internet (email, video conferencing, student chat rooms, etc.), phone or mail. It is now, more than ever, possible for schools that wish to develop the service to provide even greater and more immediate interaction between the student and others.
This is a pupil-centred model involving a range of teacher structuring with which the self-directed student interacts. It is assumed that change (learning) results from those interactions. The teacher functions more as a guide. Focus is the action (transaction) of the learner. This model is derived from progressive education and open learning. Distance education can work extremely well for this system.