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'Distance Education' and 'E-Learning': Not the Same Thing Author(s): Sarah Guri-Rosenblit Source: Higher Education, Vol.

49, No. 4 (Jun., 2005), pp. 467-493 Published by: Springer Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25068081 . Accessed: 25/07/2013 11:25
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Higher Education (2005) 49: 467-493 DOI 10.1007/S10734-004-0040-0

? Springer 2005

'Distance

education'

and

'e-learning':

Not

the same

thing

SARAH GURI-ROSENBLIT
Department 39328, of Education 61392, and Psychology, Israel The Open University of Israel, P.O. Box Ramat-Aviv,

Abstract.
'e-learning' distance challenging

This article examines the distinct differences between 'distance education' and
in higher education settings. have of Since the emergence to of the new information and

communication
education, the

technologies
and very some existence

(ICT), many have related to them as the new generation of


referred campus-based their implementation Many in academia policy makers, as universities.

scholars and practitioners in higher education use these two terms interchangeably as synonyms. But the fact is that distance education inmost higher education systems is not
delivered sities tance The and through the new all over electronic the world media, is not and used vice versa colleges education' and for distance cases, 'Dis purposes. but are by no means identical. accounts for much education' e-learning education in most univer

lack of distinction

'e-learning' between

do overlap 'e-learning'

in some and

'distance

of the misunderstanding of the ICT roles in higher education, and for the wide gap between the rhetoric in the literature describing the future sweeping effects of the ICT on
educational erroneous environments assumptions and and on which their many actual implementation. predictions The article examines impact the of exaggerated as to the future

the ICT were based upon, and it concludes with highlighting


tance education' 'e-learning' education, and in academia. distance

the future trends of 'dis

distance Keywords: information tion,

teaching technologies

universities,

e-learning,

higher

educa

communication

Introduction education have and all over the world on are challenged

Higher

systems had

nowadays

by the new information and communication


technologies management a huge impact globalization to reshape the nature and distance the new as

technologies (ICT). These

potential both conventional to the ICT

economy, corporate and they bear a tremendous trends, of of study environments everywhere, have related institutions. Many teaching of distance education (Bates 1999,

the world

generation

2001; Garrison

1993, 1999;Niper
in his classic

1989; Peters 2001). Already

in 1989

Soren Niper (1989) distance education: was multi-media

three generations identified of analysis the first was correspondence the second teaching; the use of print with broadcast teaching integrating

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468

SARAH GURI-ROSENBLIT

cassettes and the third generation and to some degree computers; media, was communication identified with the new interactive technologies. in education scholars and makers, higher practitioners Many policy use the terms 'distance education' and synonyms, emphasizing the continuous as 'e-learning' interchangeably between boundaries of blurring

conventional and distance education (AFT 2000, 2001; Arnold 1999; Evans and Nation 2000; Ryan 2002; Selinger and Pearson 1999; Twigg
and Tech issued by The Pew Learning report comprehensive 'distance that: "The terms in the USA stated clearly nology Program and 'online learn 'distributed 'distance education', learning' learning', 2001). A 2001, p. 4). It is (Twigg ICT of learning through are defined literature by at least a dozen different in the relevant terms, tele such as web-based communication, learning, computer-mediated matics communication, cyberspace interactive communication, ments, computer-driven In this article, all forms education. ing, borderless through Some ICT are referred to as environments, electronic I-Campus, e-learning, virtual classrooms, online instruction, environ learning learn distributed learning/teaching or less interchangeably" ing' are used more to mention forms that the various important

of

'e-learning'. scholars even go to extremes and claim that the new technologies Arnold universities. of campus-based the very existence (1999), challenge new create the the information that for instance, technologies argued in the knowledge environments scientific society, learning appropriate studies will take small step that distance and given this 'it is an extremely studies in the future' (ibid, p. 2). In the preface of the place of face-to-face Environments Virtual University Educational the book of the Future, an in European the ICT of overview which implementation provides universities, Henk van de Molen stated that: "In the network society it is

inescapable that the universities will have to deal with the information
and communication education. will Some (ICT), not only for research technologies as educational even think that universities but also for institutions

become 2001, p. vii). (van der Molen totally virtual..." is not in most higher education education distance However, systems versa: in new vice and electronic the delivered media, e-learning through all over the world is not used for distance most universities and colleges education purposes (Bates 2001; Collis and and Moonen 2001; Guri

Rosenblit
in some

2001a, b, 2002; Harley et al. 2002; Somekh and Davis


'Distance education'

1997;

van der Wende

'e-learning' 2002). identical. According cases, but are by no means than 85% of the students for example, more survey in the USA, use various but only forms of e-learning, institutions secondary

do overlap to a recent in post 7.6% of

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DISTANCE EDUCATION AND E-LEARNING students study take some distance

469

undergraduate 2.2% of them cation

their whole

(U.S. Department and between 'e-learning'

degree of Education 'distance

and only courses, distance edu program through a The lack distinction of 2002). teaching accounts for much of the

education'

misunderstanding of the ICT roles in higher education, and for the wide gap between the rhetoric in the literature describing the sweeping future
effects of the ICT on educational the distinct environments differences and their 'distance actual edu implementation. This article cation' and

discusses

between

some in higher education settings by comparing 'e-learning' reasons most distance the It examines of their major characteristics. why on the university is still provided the world level all over education in spite of print and broadcasting, the more 'traditional' media through for distance of the many pur teaching advantages provides e-learning on which many the erroneous poses. The article analyzes assumptions

exaggerated predictions as to the future impact of the ICT were based


and it concludes upon, cation' and 'e-learning' by highlighting in academia. future trends of 'distance edu

Distance distinctive Distance

education differences education

and e-learning

at university

level -

three

at university

level has

existed

since

the early half

of

the nineteenth century (Bell and Tight


teaching

1993). The idea of a distance

course of a campus-based uni the opposite university adopts in one locations from dispersed students Instead of assembling versity. or to out to live wish students wherever it reaches study they place, new on the other hand, is a relatively 1999). E-learning, (Guri-Rosenblit a use to media for the of electronic and relates variety of phenomenon learning purposes to full classrooms encounters. cation' and Below that range substitution three from for add-on differences functions in conventional the face-to-face meetings by online 'distance between edu

distinctive

are examined to: remoteness in relation and 'e-learning' relevant between the learner and teacher in the study process; proximity and cost considerations. target populations; On remoteness and proximity the physical denotes by its very definition, at least at certain from the instructor, stages sepa of the

'Distance ration

education', of the learner

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470
learning researchers the learner process. This

SARAH GURI-ROSENBLIT to distance education defined at all from educa

applies

levels,

kindergarten

to higher
in the field

education. Holmberg,
of distance education,

one of

the leading

'distance

tion' as characterized

According forms various immediate rooms

that communication, meaning by non-contiguous are time. not only in space but also in and teacher separated covers "the to Holmberg, education' 'distance the term of study at all of levels which are not under with their tutors students the continuous, at lecture

present supervision or on the same premises" (Holmberg are education and pure distance education use education distance Many providers and laboratory schools sessions, whereas

1989, p. 3). But contiguous extremes that rarely exist. summer face-to-face tutorials, many conventional universi

ties utilize
variety technologies and teachers Daniel's embraces not

independent
The enables

study and guided


advent of the new from of communication

learning by tutors and a


interactive communication students and between 'distance education at home.

of media.

synchronous students in-between interpretation of instruction of work with

a distance. the term classroom sessions education' are

all

(1990) forms

in which Distance

the primary with homework, cation tional teaches. is mostly education Keegan as

means occasional classwork

education.

in class; occasional

whereas work

is mostly edu conventional In conven the institution separation a of

the teachers (1986) the

teach; defined the

in distance

education

quasi-permanent absence of

the teacher and the learner throughout the length of the learning pro
group learning of the process, major throughout In other words, in 'distance characteristics are usually not in groups, and students education' taught as individuals, stu are separated and other fellow the teacher both from physically are taught by a distant dents. In some cases, groups of students teacher, the quasi-permanent length of the learning of distance education. as two mainly media. in the framework ICT facilitate of teleconferencing and other broadcasting and are cess, as well

Although

the provision

of distance

education,

also defined by many as 'distance learning technologies' (Arnold 1999; Garrison 1999;Garrison and Anderson 2000; Peters 2001), 'distance' is
not a defining characteristic in distance media teaching and limited only partial the new their nature, very functions, By capabilities. more are old distance than the much teaching complex technologies to design new study environments and they open up possibilities media, and off-campus for both on-campus that were not feasible beforehand out of their overall The of e-learning. constitute settings applications of electronic

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DISTANCE EDUCATION AND E-LEARNING students. processes lectures The new ICT offer

471

a rich plethora of uses in learning/teaching to transfer content of textbooks and far beyond the ability to students at a distance. In fact, none of the ICT uses denotes separation and support of the learner from the teacher at any and stage of

the physical to enrich

the study process. Many of the ICT qualities can be used most efficiently
lectures, seminar meetings face-to-face

tutorials (Collis and Moonen 2001; Fetterman 1998; Guri-Rosenblit 2002; Harasim et al. 1995;Harley et al. 2002; Littleton and Light 1999; Robinson and Guernsey 1999; Scott et al. 2002; Somekh and Davis 1997; van derWende 2002).
are applied for infor of domains in a variety technologies and other infor retrieval from periodicals, books, newspapers multi-media and mation simulations resources; presentations; in- and after-classes; communication instructors communication with The new mation notice exercises and sample tests; reading students; drilling a etc. have ICT class Furthermore, administration, boards; huge impact on other areas of university such as: library man activities, important amongst enhancement of research and loan administration; registration and between academic communities; mobility cooperation publishing; men in the above institutions. The applications of the technologies agement; tioned distance areas have nothing in common with the traditional roles of education.

In early 2000 the National Academies of the USA launched a study on the implications of the information technologies for the future of the
nation's was research universities of leaders panel composed and foundations with the research purported activities university, the broader university, to examine Council Research 2002). The (National drawn from industry, education higher in the areas of information technologies, The members the new the panel on the technologies outreach of the research and impact on that the impact of

expertise and public policy. of the implications

of

service and research, teaching, as well as on its organization, management, They concluded enterprise. higher education The

of the information technologies on the research university will likely be


profound, influence and and rapid and discontinuous. the intellectual activities but also change how they of new technologies will not only the university (learning, teaching is organized, the university financed, as a that the campus, emphasized

research) governed.

geographically culture, will of the new knowledge

of scholars and a center of community to play a central the impact role. In other words, on the universities' and on the ways operation technologies in the future, will grow but is generated and transformed continue

Nevertheless, concentrated

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472
most based of

SARAH

GURI-ROSENBLIT

will take place in the framework their applications or virtual universities and not in distance settings.

of campus

Target A

clienteles distinctive of characteristic clienteles of distance that for education is its attention

second

special a face-to-face gathering, of intensive exchanges Examples have been known since ancient times. attend tween Plato and Cicero and their

to the needs

a variety cannot of reasons a school or a conventional campus. of letters for educational purposes Such and is the correspondence the famous letters be sent

students, to the early Christian the nine Since Paul communities. by Apostle extensions and distance teenth institutions, century correspondence to of academia cli universities have the diverse gates teaching opened enteles kind social for higher and continuing mission. and family policies education. By doing so, the distance

teaching institutions fulfilled an emancipatory ethos (Morrison 1992), a


of barrier-removal class, working be overturned by special education institutes. The level of education, space, prior were as barriers to defined obligations Time, and mechanisms distance and applied by distance at post older usually

target populations studying through as distinct level were considered secondary the age cohorts students according decided between specifically that women 1877 and than at classical to a variety were 1931 also an universities, of criteria. entitled external

education

special, and mostly 'second chance' Such was the case of Prof. offered

Knight of St. Andrews University,

the oldest Scottish university, who


to higher He education. education degree higher in over one and hundred difficulties in arts centers of stu

designed

for women

scattered

world-wide

(Bell and Tight

1993). Traditionally,

distance education at

to overcome barriers level purported university to attend a conventional dents that were unable which formal distance entry education qualifications; and hospitals, even nowadays has enabled

The obstacles campus. to overcome lack of include constraints; geographical

physical/health etc. when millions

barriers; working; family obligations; being held in closed institutions,


such as prisons Interestingly, of people use the Internet

and exploit its distance learning capacities, the profile of the students studying all or most of their higher education programs through dis
tance distance education student. methods still resembles the profile survey of the by traditional the U.S. In a comprehensive published

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DISTANCE EDUCATION AND E-LEARNING

473

Department
pation dents who

of Education
Education chose

in November

2002 on A Profile of Partici

in Distance

that stu it was clearly found 1999-2000, were with "those to take distance education programs

family responsibilities and limited time. They were more likely to be enrolled in school part time and to be working full time while enrolled"
of Education 2002, pp. iii-iv). This survey was con (U.S. Department on all undergraduate in USA enrolled students and graduate ducted academic the institutions year. 1999/2000 during post-secondary is used by all types of students e-learning to doctoral studies. from levels, kindergarten uses of various and all learners of attractive for offers ages E-learning and its multi-media interests and needs. Younger games enjoy pupils in acquiring fun activities very basic literacy skills; older students use its Unlike all distance education, on educational homework, assignments preparing use e-mail, and chat groups of people examinations; as of telecommunication other formats learners, and in their social and meant for distance is by no way exclusively lives. E-learning working and and millions students learners. As argued earlier, it is used extensively by on-campus and laboratories in classes, of their activities in the framework seminars, other academic assignments and projects. endless information resources for

Cost A

considerations characteristic

at university level in education of distance access to higher education its ability to broaden true since become economies of scale. This has particularly by providing the 1970s, when a new brand of large scale distance teaching universities was established. the universities followed The mega distance teaching recent third major decades has been

model of the British Open University


30 such universities universities were tional missions, goal has been in various parts

founded in 1969. There are about


of the world. All of these large scale set to fulfill na at a lower

a product of governmental planning to of students absorb large numbers mainly achieved of through an industrialist model

cost as compared to traditional campus universities (Daniel 1996). This


of operation

(Peters 1994, 2001).


The division rate phases constitutes into two sepa the academic teaching responsibility of the industrial model of distance the essence of such courses by teams of experts. The production of since they are developed by a small number

education. The first phase is devoted to the development of high quality


self study materials is most expensive,

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474
academics control and other

SARAH GURI-ROSENBLIT

and they undergo quality stringent professionals in Most do not participate of the course developers The the second phase of the actual process. underly learning/teaching can study of students of this phase is that large numbers ing assumption the didactic the pre-developed materials apparatus integrated through mechanisms. into the self study materials, (such as tutors and teaching and the assistance of lower ranks as the number of faculty of students constitutes universities distance

and assistants); This simple formula the cost per student decreases. increases, one of the main distance raisons d'?tre of the mega teaching

(Bates 1999; Curran 2001; Daniel


is that teaching the well-articulated universities have courses, teaching universities

1996;Guri-Rosenblit
of the new not textbooks

1999). The fact


brand and only the low-level by students at students many from

study materials

correspondence in the distance conventional distance operating

replaced ordinary and are used extensively but also universities, in different have academic national gained

by many

teaching as highly

universities respected

settings. additional houses.

Hence, revenues

publishing operate, of scale

It seems that the simple formula of the industrial model upon which
of universities the large scale distance teaching as to the economies the misconception accounts that ICT were for part ex

to provide. 'distance between educa of meanings The blurring pected that through and predictions led to expectations tion' and 'e-learning' be of students would dozens media of thousands the new interactive as at costs lower education able to join higher and continuing programs compared model to classroom teaching as will in be campus universities. further than But the

underlying premises of e-learning differ meaningfully


of distance effective education, e-learning elaborated not less, frequently, costs more,

from the industrial


on. Quite conventional

face-to-face teaching (Bates 2001; Guri-Rosenblit 2001b; Matkin 2002; Ryan 2002). The distinct differences between the industrial model of
distance distance very education teaching limited extent, and e-learning have universities in spite of of the large scale explain why most so far incorporated the new ICT to a to distance their apparent suitability

teaching.

Why

is it difficult

to implement

e-learning

in large distance

teaching institutions?
The have new are most technologies to overcome the potential attractive three major for distance problems They teaching. of 'traditional'

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DISTANCE EDUCATION AND E-LEARNING distance education: to rescue with the isolated teachers, students from and their

475 loneliness

professors by providing the study process; with other peer students throughout access which to libraries and other information resources, in the past; and to update impossible basis. But, as aforementioned, ongoing most universities distance teaching large mentation distance education' of the ICT. 'Distance and teaching is based universities on the self the very hinders

interaction

tutors, as well as to provide easy was

nearly on an study materials of basic infrastructure

education' 'e-learning'

the wide scale imple as provided by the large are based on two different

teaching/learning paradigms. While

the industrial model

of 'distance

of students by a handful large numbers teaching at not with the students most communicate of whom do of professors, a small interaction between direct encourages all, efficient 'e-learning' is aimed 'Distance education' number of students and expert teacher/s. dis and are physically in dispersed places whereas tant from their teachers 'e-learn and the teaching institution, can utilized both distant be and students, on-campus by easily ing' at univer education' and even more effectively by the latter. 'Distance at students who are located

sity level in the last thirty years has prided itself for providing economies
of scale as 'e-learning' to-face encounters. with below. the ICT compared environments The for use to universities, campus tend to cost even more while well designed face than comparable are associated which access and course

and problems information communication, advantages

update in the framework of distance teaching institutions are discussed

Communication The

merits

and problems and student-student education communication The new

lack of direct the Achilles

teacher-student heel

has been interactive

of distance

for centuries.

to overcome this shortcom enable universities technologies labor intensive. But its intensive communication is, by very nature, ing. the of Phoenix and Maryland University College University University are two of the most that provide successful USA universities e-learning

(Ryan 2002; Trow 1999;Twigg 2001). Their online classes are restricted
from 8 to 15 students University charges since study centers, value is not students more to guarantee Phoenix high levels of interactivity. than for tutorials in for its online programs which that the its operators found interactivity scaleable at marginal costs. It turns out that

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476
students increased versity's who study

SARAH GURI-ROSENBLIT are willing to pay the additional costs for to this the of Phoenix Uni but, date, interactivity, majority to meet in face-to-face students prefer tutorials. in distance in theory, enhanced communication is education online its actualization faculty of hundreds of are is much unable students. more to complicated to communicate with

Thus, enabled by the ICT, but achieve. Small numbers thousands action study or even with between courses

direct inter Moreover, and the faculty members who developed the self students the involvement of the latter in the actual necessitates

In other words, it requires the abolishment of process. learning/teaching the very basic characteristic industrial model of distance of the educa cannot if not all, large distance tion. Most, afford teaching universities, to facilitate to hire many more in order academics student-professor interaction students. and lower in most Interaction ranks of their among of academic but often taken by thousands of large courses, tutors between students and students and staff has been enhanced in most distance

between the synchronous communication the universities, teaching structure for the overall and content senior faculty who are responsible is either extremely of any self study course and the students limited or non-existent. It is no education mainly surprise therefore is still also that distance education the 'old' satellite in most higher conducted

The USA is the exception - most of the distance education in the USA is delivered through e-learning (Bradburn 2002; Gladieux and Swail
1999; U.S.A. of e-learning Department in American of Education higher 2002), education but not is not vice versa. Most used et al. do not for distance der the 1995; van possess

systems but print,

through

through and radio, TV

technologies: broadcasts.

2001b; Harasim (Guri-Rosenblit teaching in particular, Wende countries, 2002). Developing resources infrastructure and technology appropriate purposes available Institute on for for a wide Educational scale. Bates, who was asked Planning of UNESCO

to make

e-learning

by the International to recommend national

strategies in various are not that not

yet those

in post-secondary education e-learning implementing the countries concluded that: "Those that of world, parts are for the knowledge-based economy yet ready probably and he suggested (Bates 2001, p. Ill), ready for e-learning" countries years of with large numbers or higher rather of students unable should to access adopt the secondary education, education than

the final best works. route

industrial model of the distance teaching universities,


for mass design

that provides the


e-learning frame

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DISTANCE EDUCATION AND E-LEARNING access - on equality and other and duplication resources More

477

Information Access has been both

to libraries used distance and

information universities.

in the last decade campus

at an accelerated

the Internet through of pace by members are libraries and more

becoming digitalized and going online. But also in this domain of


more encounter universities distance the mega access, teaching as compared to campus of their universities. difficulties Many not have do in countries, students, ready access developing particularly information

to computers (Bates 2001; Guri-Rosenblit


losophy of most

2001b). The egalitarian phi

that they that requires distance universities, teaching to also all forces them of their of students, provide equality opportunity to continue that self contained their study packages developing printed can be delivered to to each student by mail. In other words, catering large numbers nity to reach distance parts of reference lack of whom of students, many Internet facilities and information universities from the ability or opportu hinders the resources, or some of their courses,

teaching

any given mechanism

the duplication velop their adds process currently students on

substituting a. built-in and with online materials, course, with This accounts for textbooks. in the pre-prepared education institutes de distance Many phenomenon. versions mode to the and enable of courses, of study. Such a policy already very expensive

and online printed to choose their preferred both additional costs self study materials.

substantial of developing

Update of study materials -potential


One of the major them. problems associated

and difficulties
with the development to amend, used of expen

sive high quality materials


updating materials manner

for distance education


difficult and

is the difficulty in
change and revise in a standardized

years over many 1996; Guri-Rosenblit years (Daniel 1999). Unques the new technologies and the availability of desktop tionably, publish course a the time of substantially reducing ing provide partial remedy by

It is tremendously over several produced

But in of materials less fraught. and making the updating production on an ongoing course the order to be able to update the materials basis, have to be part of the actual process. Here learning/teaching developers infrastructure of the distance the organizational again the ICT challenge teaching universities and demand a major overhaul of their whole

operation (Bates 1999, 2001; Guri-Rosenblit

2001b; Peters 2001).

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478

SARAH GURI-ROSENBLIT

lecturer or tutor in any class universities the individual In campus room may alter and redefine reading and study lists, and set assignments

tasks in light of the teaching dynamic. However,


most distance such to make apply teaching universities The principles alterations. do not have of

teaching faculty at

as they to assignments and exams the distance flexible teaching universities updating mechanisms, employ The their overall have to redefine and restructure teaching mechanisms. in most distance teaching responsibility and uted among many actors, exempts updating undertake task seems universities teaching most of the senior is distrib academic

any latitude whatsoever sameness and uniformity to In order do to content.

faculty from involvement in the actual study phase. As difficult as the


it, incurring to be, the distance will have to teaching universities costs of such a associated also the additional

process. sum To advantages the distance

that in spite of the it seems up this section, and merits of the new ICT for distance education,

lack the appropriate institutions teaching as as to utilize the full well the human and necessary conditions, capital, more the electronic media of the ICT. To integrate fully and potential a whole of into their learning/teaching processes restructuring efficiently is required, take time and will and such a process will their operation necessitate teaching totally universities new agreements and the national between the governments large that scale sponsor distance them.

apparent of many infrastructure

Some A few

erroneous

assumptions

as to e-learning

applications

and practi economic ago, many analysts, policy makers in the aca would that take dramatic place changes projected new from the in world demic and technology push training professional Several and the emergence of the new information years on, economy. years tioners industries and their sweeping the euphoria high technology surrounding and higher has subsided. A large education effects on training markets edu of ICT in 174 higher scale comparative study on the applications the UK, the USA, in the Netherlands, institutions cation Germany,

Australia, Norway
presented in an

and Finland
international

(Collis and van der Wende


conference on 'The New

2002) was
Educational

Benefits of ICT inHigher Education', that took place in Rotterdam in September 2002. The final conclusions of this study were: "Change in
relation to the use of ICT has projects been have experiments and pilot and gradual been launched Many unsystematic. to interesting leading

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DISTANCE EDUCATION AND E-LEARNING which

479

innovations, used mainly Institutions

not well disseminated. ICT is are, however, generally to increase flexibility in on-campus of education. delivery on new target focused turned out to be only moderately students. seem Competi to be a major

such as lifelong learners and international groups, does not tion from foreign or corporate providers There in higher erroneous

driving force for institutional ICT policy" (CHEPS 2002, p. 2).


are very good reasons for the piecemeal of the ICT adaptation as to the sweeping of the predictions education settings. Most assumptions which are examined below.

effects of the ICT on higher education have been based on several

Space One based times

and

time as barriers

to overcome spread of e-learning was a at given to attend campus physical most to overcome students. This by as to the fast

of the erroneous on

the notion as a barrier is perceived In a recent report issued by in many is echoed publications. perception it was stated that the for Academies of USA National Science, example, new in some cases obliterate, "will erode, and higher technologies Research usual constraints of space and time" (National education's

assumptions that the need

Council 2002, p. 2). But the fact is that most


those of traditional and meeting and seminar knowledge The need Wave

students, and particularly

the physical campus age, enjoy attending college lecture halls in the framework of classrooms, their peers rooms for reasons the acquisition of that go far beyond and skills. of humans to socialize is essential, not only in higher

education. Alvin Toffler (1980) coined in his famous book on the Third
a return to the cottage He predicted cottage". a new emphasis on the on a and electronic new, higher, basis, industry as not center In his predictions have home the of society. reality their work, and a firms decentralized materialized. Some business the term "electronic

handful of professionals
prefer social as well. Many prefer studies to attend in the classes to work interaction. outside This

like to work at home, but still most people


their homes, social need last decade because applies show of their immense education need for to higher settings students to get the elec at UC

even when exercises and

video-taped tronic media.

lectures, For instance,

provided intimate scale

that most clearly with the opportunity tutoring study was through conducted

a large

Berkeley from September 2000 to June 2002 on the use of technology

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480
enhancement to watch in some

SARAH GURI-ROSENBLIT courses online in chemistry instead of going studied

large undergraduate entirely

(Harley to the all the

et al. 2002). This study found that only 16% of the students would be
willing lecture webcasts

lecture hall. 84% of the students indicated that they prefer to attend
face-to-face materials, lectures even though encounters, they could have all of the experiments conducted and watched at home. the video-taped

A wide national project in Israel to enhance the use of the ICT in Israeli universities through special funding and incentives provided by
the Israeli Council demics. A study 1000 University have utilized various in their classes forms of e-learning faculty members in the last 3 years, but only to sub media 1% of them used electronic more stitute for class encounters studies (Guri-Rosenblit 2002). Many for Higher showed that Education, at Tel-Aviv was joined by many more than aca

substantiate this trend (CHEPS 2002; Collis and van der Wende 2002; Collis and Moonen 2001; Curran 2001; Fetterman 1998; Somekh and Davis 1997; van der Molen 2001; van der Wende 2002).
Not tance action of in campus but also students in dis universities, a high demand institutions for personal inter express teaching with academics and other students. One of the main lessons from only teaching Contrary universities to some underlines initial the importance as theories which students

the running of distance the social interaction. that adult on their students own to learn

sumed academic shows

to study via distance methods choosing prefer to and to interact time from time with only

of the large distance staff, teaching universities that many with both academic contact, prefer frequent faculty and fellow students dis (Guri-Rosenblit 1999). In some places, where a real physical more tance does not present like in than obstacle, Israel,

the experience

80% of the distant students urged the Israeli Open University


weekly At with meetings the University their of

to provide

tutors in study centers. a subsidiary of the giant Apollo Phoenix, the accredited distance in the Group, largest private teaching university USA that has operated since about of its student 10% 1976, only are registered for online programs population (Ryan 2002). The Uni no to have of Phoenix intention of downscaling its appears versity in favour of online provision. On the contrary, physical learning centers a "bricks an and clicks" model, both online and distributed offering as face-to-face is the best solution for the adult option regarded working market. Even apparent in the business resistance world, many students by many courses. There is prefer hybrid to the notion of exclusively online

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DISTANCE EDUCATION AND E-LEARNING education. One

481

universities is the group targeted by many to and to classes commit weekly highly unwilling busy professional, has in work patterns. for this group, a hybrid model mobile Specifically online communication/resources supporting combining emerged, demographic intensive residential periods on campus to engender group cohesion and

social learning. A
companies using

recent European

study found
a stand-alone

that only

15% of

with the approach, e-learning preferred use to and of interaction for online e-learning greater majority opting reinforce face-to-face for and prepare (Ryan 2002). provision for those students barriers In other words, space and time constitute or a res a variety of constraints cannot attend a campus that because idential school been ditionally below. But space and time do not grow in the future, as will be discussed a universal for the most for constitute students, particularly problem cohorts and that attend school traditional age university. are the students who have at specific times. These to distance and their numbers attracted education, tra will

The A

urge of universities second erroneous on have

to extend

their student

population

tronic media universities student versities utilize

the impact of the new elec assumption regarding that most the academic world was based on the notion their boundaries The fact increase their and student to extend campus body their uni and to is that most

an urge to expand if only possible. clienteles, no reason to have good

in The elite research universities, teaching methods. access to interested in their less are, by very nature, widening particular, to remain selective for the of students. They are inclined large numbers distance

few and well-to-do

students. MIT

is a leading institution

in ICT

runs nearly to various It currently related forty projects applications. uses of the new technologies its president, (Olsen 2002). Nevertheless,

Charles Vest,
residential providing chines cannot

stated firmly in his 2000/01 annual report that: "The


will remain an essential element of our and effective education. intense, advanced, that occurs when bright, creative the magic society, Ma young

university the most replace

people live and learn together in the company of highly dedicated fac ulty" (Vest 2001). MIT is currently developing its Open Courseware
but not for its own stu for 'academic purposes, philanthropy' project students and will dents. The Open Courseware project give interested a over of the MIT curricula of members all the world glimpse faculty no means courses. to enroll MIT But does intend 2000 about large by

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482
numbers In an was found of students,

SARAH GURI-ROSENBLIT or offer online courses on from MIT for in it cli

professors

credit (Olsen 2002).


international 174 institutions enteles either comparative in seven different universities study countries, do not reach settings or the applications of ICT that was aforementioned, out to new international student domain

that most

in their national

in the

(Collis and van der Wende 2002). Part of the reason is that it is a complicated and demanding task to design study programs for distant
students students. qualities are more afar. For by academics The teaching of various that have been accustomed faculty media for and are required shaping new enhance to teach on-campus to comprehend the unique environments that learning students situated a new to develop services. The full a huge amount mechanisms of

learner-centered

such programs promoting course infrastructure for design and distance teaching and human universities efforts

with dialogue there is a need student have support invested

fledged

energy, money at a distance. suited for teaching in the field of distance novices equipped campus export when confronted

Most

establishing special are relatively universities are not appropriately and education, campus learning concerns. use the ICT Many to

for

with

distance number

In spite of the apparent difficulties to operate distance teaching by


universities, a variety a growing of programs of universities as a commodity for profit. new

consortia have been founded

in the last decade, most

noticeably by
in

Canadian and British universities that Australian, and academic for international students programs third world for countries. These consortia the ongoing van der Wende graduate fessional not versities. of operation 2002). Most purport the participating of the exported

export professional located mainly more

to generate universities programs

funds

(Ryan 2002; are aimed at

success and postgraduate and have greatest in pro students, new are But the of the student majority training. populations an integral part of the main student body of these uni considered

USA,

John Hopkins and Brown in the universities Dartmouth, in recent years in for-profit been investing college companies offer that the for-profit 2003). The programs (Blumenstyk companies core curricula in common with the traditional of these elite have nothing for example, research universities. Harvard is the biggest University, Harvard, have

institutional investor in a $590 million fund run by Boston's Charles bank Capital partners, which made its foray into the sector in April 2002 by investing in a school that trains automobile and motorcycle
technicians (ibid) not exactly typical Harvard students. In other

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DISTANCE EDUCATION AND E-LEARNING most of the well-based is mainly areas. universities for profit, are in no rush

483
to

words, student sional

campus

significantly expand their student body. Their reaching out to additional


clienteles training conducted and mostly in profes

Lack A

of clear problems

as a problem impact the hidden there the of the new technol

third erroneous regarding perception was based on ogies on higher education of the ICT are self evident, advantages them. In other words, the merits of

and the new

that the assumption is no need to define are so great, technologies

that they will be adopted easily and eagerly by policy makers


to define

and

world without in the academic any need practitioners or vision of problems solve what in higher edu parameters they might new were cation The electronic media could introduced they improve. into the academic world like a sudden thunderstorm without taking

a clear

the

time to define what purposes and functions they could fulfill or substitute
lack of clear problems in the turned out to be an acute problem new of the in universities and process adaptation technologies colleges. were defined The old and traditional distance media education by for. The Their main very clear parameters. goal was students that, for a variety of reasons, were face classroom. radio and television Print, parent characteristics. the communication new to deliver unable have to study content to attend a face-to and trans

clear-cut

It is totally clear what the self study materials and in channels stand for, and what kind of functions

the learning/teaching process they replace. This is not the case with the
technologies. the clear Unlike obstacles were and barriers which traditional distance

to overcome, the new technologies teaching technologies designed uses with no clear relation or future to any existent offered multiple in in the The universities. campus processes problem teaching/learning new reactions of many academics asked to incorporate the technologies

into their classrooms have been of the type: "If it ain't broke, why fix it?'
or "Technology is the answer but what are the questions?" (Guri

Rosenblit 2002).
The UC Berkeley study, mentioned earlier, constitutes an interesting

example of the impact of problem definition on institutional decision making (Harley et al. 2002). In the process of conducting the study, it
was found faculty time that technology-enhanced and space. Instructors classes spent less can save both in chemistry time answering routine

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484
because questions information online.

SARAH GURI-ROSENBLIT students And were it was able found to find that some of the necessary sessions could

laboratory

hypothetically be reduced from four hours to three to better utilize lab space. Such a finding has been most interesting for the UC policy makers is face of Tidal Wave II, namely the fact that the University of
California 63,000 faculty students, enrollment system is facing an increased ten-campus a in the full-time 43% increase students, years. coming time, a strategic becomes solution technology save not it does money although (ibid). for both governments and institutions of about If through more

the use of technology it is possible to save from 10% to 20% of space and
to absorb

Many
time has

studies in the field of the ICT implementation claim that the


come to become more

focused and strategic in their policies regarding the use of the ICT (Bates 1999, 2001; CHEPS 2002; Collis and van derWende 2002; Guri Rosenblit 2001b, 2002; Harley et al. 2002; Laurillard 2001; Matkin 2002; National Research Council 2002; Trow 1999; van derMolen 2001;
van der Wende 2002). A macro to decision level organizational makers in higher effort education is needed to

consolidate themultiple findings of the ICT uses into a coherent body of


knowledge, available settings.

Laurillard
versity

(2001) in her widely acclaimed book on 'Rethinking Uni


emphasizes campus-based of higher the pressing need education to and distance education providers,

Teaching' both institutions,

meet the demands of the knowledge society by taking full advantage of


to move the rich possibilities the new technologies and present teaching a new era. the into For processes learning/teaching learning making and discursive, interactive, reflective, high rank policy makers adaptive, and as system designers. role as resource allocators play a crucial

E-learning A fourth

as a profit erroneous was

making

activity

higher years billion works Several

education

assumption based on

ago many analysts, dollar e-education

in the ICT implementation regarding A few its fast profit making capabilities. such as Morgan (2000), Keegan projected net Virtual and e-training markets globally.

a marker of a new economy. of colleges and universities became education later has caused many years costly experience higher costs to to the of their commitments institutions increasing question It seems that the fast reasons account three major for and easy profit from e-learning. this misconception as explained First,

digitization and wired campus programs (Matkin 2002; Ryan 2002).


regarding

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DISTANCE EDUCATION AND E-LEARNING the economies of on

485

earlier,

universities, operating believe is by its very nature cost that any distance technology teaching cuts in training costs that took place in the effective. substantial Second, on as a result of cutting out flights and hotel expenses world corporate occur assume to will also that such caused money many saving training at universities employing

scale provided by the large distance teaching to led many the basis of the industrial model,

to economical it ismore Obviously, e-learning. to the work than sponsor rather the programs bring training place to remote conference sites and workers for of training sending days It is no wonder of the profit-making claims sessions. then that most

came from the business and corporate world. But cuts in hotel and flight
in the aca have no relevance at all for students and faculty expenses an demic world. of the Third, setting up appropriate high expenses its ongoing maintenance, infrastructure for e-learning, and its wastage were heavily downscaled. management, of utilization infrastructure for the effective Setting up an appropriate or college the ICT in any university investments. The large requires its and hardware is still and computer quite expensive, rapid change entailed. The the need for its frequent increase the expense replacement initial

costs of the basic infrastructure is needed for operating e-learning on no means a issue. in his 'National trivial Bates stressed by report for E-learning in Post-secondary Education and Training' Strategies on that: "E-learning is heavily dependent appropriate technological or commerce for infrastructure in government already being place reasons. access there Not costly. Internet Stable and reliable and moderately electricity priced is a necessary condition for e-learning" (Bates 2001, p. 113). Until a in place, e-learning is unlikely is basic and reliable infrastructure or practical choice for learners. of e-learning the but also the maintenance is infrastructure, only to It is of tremendous for establish systems support importance

to be a realistic

both students and teachers who use the ICT. The


teaching faculty sional and technical for students, into the new support weak technologies and the establishment students necessitates

induction of the

ongoing profes of special centers for 2001; Guri

course development (Bates 1999, 2001). Ongoing


particularly (Collis

support is also needed

and Moonen

Rosenblit 1999; Littleton and Light 1999; Scott et al. 2002; Somekh and Davis 1997). Sir John Daniel who served until 2001 as the Vice-Chancellor of the UK Open University already stressed in 1996 that the potential success
of the innovative electronic technologies depends to a great extent on

the ability

to provide

individual

learners with

adequate

backup

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486
throughout mail, their studies.

SARAH GURI-ROSENBLIT Daniel and asked: "Can we electronic provide the

through Web,

computer

conferencing

the World

Wide

level of individual student support that we think necessary? We are experimenting with that, but despite all the arm waving, I think the jury is still out. If the jury comes back and declares us guilty of being able to
provide effective, personal, tutorial support to students on a large scale,

then all sorts of things become possible" (Daniel 1996, p. 38). It seems that since Daniel phrased this question, the jury has brought in its
verdict numbers In is extremely teaching costly. with associated up an expenses high setting infrastructure and its mainte for up e-learning appropriate keeping turns to be an unexpected the wastage of the outdated hardware nance, cost. Getting additional rid of outdated financial, poses computers addition to the environmental University and ethical for challenges instance, to pull computers and the chips that contain minium, copper gold, and to get rid, in an the boom of it contains. of the way, many During appropriate poisons in the truckload. education, by computers technology colleges bought demanufacturing of old Now the institutions away. have to be careful when computers In some USA states, such and South those aging they throw as California, New Jersey, have Carolina, legislators waste which and in of Minnesota, (Carlson spent more Last the year 2003). than $100,000 for the out valuable steel, alu is possible when support of of students, and such a mode such teaching online very small

Massachusetts, Oregon, Virginia or passed laws that ban the disposal of electronic proposed outline how to treat large quantities materials of hazardous clude waste puters puter number deal with

televisions and other electronics. Electronic monitors, computer as the next big environmental issue. Old com is now regarded stream in the USA, but com 10% of the solid-waste compose as three times as fast as any other kind. related waste is growing

The number of computers


of obsolete computers waste

retired in 2002 was 40 million,


is believed and how to be nearly

and the
in

300 million

2004 (ibid).Many universities and colleges have not yet decided how to
their electronic not easy it is definitely to sponsor this activity. to turn e-learning into a profit making In sum, activity.

On

the future of 'distance education9 remarks education concluding article and examined 'e-learning' the distinct in higher

and

'e-learning'

in higher

This tion'

differences education,

between and clarified

'distance

educa

the erroneous

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DISTANCE EDUCATION AND E-LEARNING on which decade the remain

487

assumptions the upcoming will apparatus,

many more

exaggerated and more

predictions

as to the sweeping

effects of the new electronic media were based. Though it is likely that in
incorporate still will and various education of distance providers in their learning/teaching of e-learning and between education' 'distance differences forms noticeable. will blur The boundaries between in some areas, but in the future, 'distance never will they for but mostly

'e-learning' will grow Both phenomena totally merge. reasons and in different directions. different

'e-learning' education'

How

will distance education new

education

at university level will It will

level evolve

in the future?

Distance will tance attract mixed-mode

student

at university clienteles. and

institutions

consortia

years and grow in the coming and more by be provided more to stand-alone in addition dis

will its mode of operation and institutions; depend teaching national infrastructure of various settings. greatly on the technological were mainly for institutions designed Initially, most distance teaching the last two decades more diverse older part-time students. Throughout

student clientless have joined distance study frameworks, and it is likely


that the future will credits education. student be more The cohorts, both in distance More high younger school school and universities distance academic is difficult to draw, education student Grosso ceeding adults heterogeneous. desire of many with campus-based students will join to gain students as well continue distance new adult as

concurrently

their high

studies,

their attraction to highly demanded fields of study, to which admission


at a conventional young students haven university, to highly acclaimed education is likely and will drawn, and reputable several

providers. In the future distance constituencies.

to attract

and dominant

lifelong learning education institutions worldwide. higher on education is based modo, pro part-time lifelong learning are the whole life Part-time students throughout cycle. typically slogan

Today, of most

has become

the leitmotif

and social and/or employment having family at three the older distinct students least groups Among can be identified: and second-chance students; workers; professional to broaden to become in order adults their education better seeking commitments. with new fields of knowledge. The proportion of students acquainted and for distance for recreational education joining upgrade professional will grow immensely in the future. purposes

in full or partial

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488

SARAH GURI-ROSENBLIT

education in any higher institution, be towards will programs, studying to than rather education courses, of International full degree programs. wards students, mainly composed will be a in international young corporations, working professionals institutions. in education distance Being highly component growing or as they move to continue within mobile studying they will expect national different between jurisdictions. A large proportion of students in distance but particularly teaching and continuing various diplomas The stable, higher access ables costs Print status and of their main distance the mega will mandate out teaching continue will universities to be who continue economies cannot will attend remain access to or gain on the en to widen

education by reaching to conventional universities. model them well

to students They

industrial

paradigm to enroll large numbers below those of campus media will continue institutions, components.

which

produces of students

to operate of scale and

and mass

at relatively low marginal or e-learning universities providers. in these to serve as the main media though part of their courses will be

teaching large distance enhanced by e-learning mode students cation. institutions to study Consortia

New leading models of distance education will be provided by mixed


and consortia-type concurrently ventures. The mixed-mode and distance enables edu on-campus in which through a number of universities

join type ventures, or as an inter education national either within systems forces, higher of distance will offer a rich variety national pro teaching enterprise, to will continue and have been consortia of Some the created, grams. operate, Many as partnerships of the mixed-mode between the corporate world. distance and consortia institutions offering of the new the communication capabilities universities and coun and developed developing education of distance in the mode delivery. and skilled the resources do not possess on a wide feasible and available e-learning between

courses will teaching interactive media. technological tries will be clearly Most The

utilize divide reflected

developing to make workforce necessary countries of developing that only a handful claimed scale. Bates (2001) a move into e-learning will be able to indig through growing partially class and export of enous high-tech middle sector, a rapidly developing academic countries the from developing programs as well, the new electronic teaching continue countries. media However, will applications as add-ons in developed be used in to the core

countries

large distance that will curricula study materials

universities to be based,

mainly

and mass

media.

self by and large, on printed the self of the Nevertheless, production

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DISTANCE EDUCATION AND E-LEARNING study courses Communication study process and

489

their ongoing drastic changes. update will undergo students and tutors in the students and between among will be greatly enhanced by the new electronic media.

How The

will

e-learning of

at university technologies

level evolve on higher and

in the future? education environments

impact

the new -

will grow dramatically


academic nance and have activity

in the future, and will affect all domains of


teaching fi learning, organization, the new technologies

research,

government policy. Unquestionably, new exciting to improve the to provide the potential possibilities and delivery of and affect the generation of the study process, quality universities. in and distance both However, campus teaching knowledge a partial function of will constitute the provision of distance education the campus will remain a center of uni and the locus of students-faculty versity culture, knowledge generation, are not likely to endanger the exis interaction. The new technologies e-learning applications, while

tence of the campus universities, of their activities. many E-learning Wende adjust settings will greatly

but

rather

enrich,

support flexibility

and

enhance

contribute offers

to growing students

in academic

study patterns (Bates 2001; Collis and Moonen


2002). Flexible learning their interests, needs and and media of combinations. face-to-face learning

2001; Collis and van der

components institutions. online in academic However, emerge as a growing pattern a as a stand-alone will be used to very limited extent, teaching pedagogy in teaching/ add-on will functions for and most be e-learning employed learning processes. sities will prefer college online The majority of to attend classes, residential among students or will

Hybrid encounters

to many opportunities a to of learning styles variety various courses, combining with online will provision

univer campus attending to distribute choose their commuter students will prefer and colleges will study on con the more trade and aca

graduate the majority of undergraduates line, whereas encounters. ventional face-to-face will E-learning demic philanthropy. academic promote More the growth universities

experience courses. More

campuses, or postgraduate

of both

academic

and new for-profit will companies a a as to and programs export commodity variety professional are already some noticeable There of student populations. differences the UK and Canada in this domain. Australia, among national policies are more oriented to the international market (Ryan 2001). Many of their

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490 universities world

SARAH GURI-ROSENBLIT

erally of purchases

as a commodity to third try to export their higher education are more countries. universities American directed inwards, gen of ICT, with a few examples preferring campus-based integration

and partnerships in physical overseas. campuses use of e-learning with the growing for profit and Concurrently commercial academic the utilization of purposes, philanthropy through the ICT capabilities will grow as well. The MIT's Courseware Open

an excellent constitutes in this domain. It demonstrates project example can practice how a leading private university intellectual in philanthropy the world of academic over education institutions all teaching. Higher

the world will be able to adapt content and ideas from theMIT courses
for their benefit. involved Also currently Mellon and Princeton universities Carnegie to make course materials in experiments public generosity. This is a collaborative are on effort

theWeb
additional free

(Olsen 2002). The Open Knowledge


example and of academic

Initiative constitutes an

led by MIT,
oping and

Stanford University with

six other institutions of devel

technical of learning management open specifications related infrastructures systems (ibid). will unquestionably enhance trends. 'Inter E-learning globalization are new buzz words nationalization' and 'globalization' in higher edu cation and practice. two terms draw attention These to the undeniable fact that boundaries of what were relatively closed national systems are

increasingly being challenged by common international trends (Enders and Fulton 2002). Universities are at present engaged in becoming
partners towards transferred ensure in inter-institutional schemes Students, globalization. and exchanged between in accrediting academic and pushing forward in the drive are staff and curricula accreditation agencies and learning to

institutions; previous append

promptness academic previous

cooperative projects between academic institutions national borders will exerts

studies; governments in higher education. within be central

experiential their

signatures

agreements Strengthening a particular and across country to the mobility of adult students.

E-learning are able, dents university students. This

where

In an international outreach. stu market, global so in the future, and will be more to approach any access policy and extends to international encourages be The true in professional and particularly training to international outreach of universities student ranging

will fields.

postgraduate on a global clienteles level could be activated at different levels, from enrolling individual students from different countries, collaborative enterprises), ventures with other institutions with (universities governments, to cooperative undertakings

through or business interna

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DISTANCE EDUCATION AND E-LEARNING tional

491

ment

involve The and intergovernmental organizations. corporations is essential for the systematic of such central bodies implementa education into higher tion of the new technologies systems efficiently and on a large scale.

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