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Life goals are something that people set themselves and work hard to achieve.

These goals could be
something you personally want to achieve in your career, such as working your way up in a company
to end up in a well paid job that you are happy in. Life goals can also be personal, where people set
themselves the goal of buying a house, getting married and having a family. A further type of goal is
an academic one. This could be the wish to gain a college degree or a Masters. Life goals are
personal to the individual who sets them; one person might see climbing the career ladder as more
important than starting a family and getting married.
There is a debate as to whether people should actually set themselves life goals. Some people may
find that the process has a positive effect on them as it provides something to work towards. However
how would an individual feel if they didn’t reach their goal? Would it make them feel like a failure, even
if they had a number of other achievements under their belt that they never put on their life goal list?
This poses the question whether life goals impact a person positively or negatively. Is setting goals a
way to motivate a person, or a way to make them feel worthless if the goals are not met?
One problem with life goals is that when unrealistic ones are set, it can lead to self-esteem issues,
depression and a feeling of failure. In order to overcome this it is important that realistic and
obtainable goals are set. While it is good to dream big, it is necessary to realistically consider exactly
how possible the goal will be. For example, saving up for a once in a life time holiday or to go traveling
is much more realistic than purchasing a million dollar mansion in Beverly Hills.
There is a difference between goals and pipe dreams, something that many of us forget. A life spent
chasing pipe dreams and not focusing on what is actually possible could lead to a lifetime of feeling
disappointed and unfulfilled. Life goals should be something that could be on the cards for you when
you work hard and study hard.
It has to be said that life goals do give you clarity on your end vision and where you see yourself in the
future. Bill Copeland once said, “If you don’t have a goal in life, you are spending your life running
around and not achieving anything for yourself”. This basically means that you are busy doing but not
working towards anything and building the future the way that you see it and want it. Setting goals
helps you to channel your energy and time on the things that are important to you, making you live
more consciously.
Setting life goals can be very beneficial to some people and help them to set the future how they want
it. Unrealistic life goals however pose a problem. When goals are set that are unobtainable with the
amount of time and skill you have then they can leave you feeling worthless. To avoid this people
must learn the difference

The Importance of Goal Setting
Goals are notions about future desired conditions and are usually embedded in a set of ideas parties have about
their plight and what can be done about it.[1] Factors that influence the formation of goals include the aspirations

the more an adversary seeks. When conflicts escalate. the particular culture and social system. What sort of preferred future do parties want their opponent to help them create? Goal Setting Obstacles It is not always easy to set clear and productive goals. People must set goals to which they will be committed and devoted. When the goal shifts to damaging the opponent rather than helping oneself. conflicts tend to become protracted and destructive. This helps to define the nature of the conflict more clearly.  Second. parties have ideas about what they would like their opponent(s) to do to bring about that future. While goals may change somewhat over the course of conflict. Success in conflict resolution is often a matter of focusing on a few key goals. it is reasonable to suppose that in some cases.  First. and the specific grievances of group members. and needs met. Ambiguity about goals is also a problem for third parties who enter a conflict to "help. beginning with a reasonably clear image of what they hope to achieve can help parties move toward their preferred future. It is important for parties to be clear about what it is they want their opponents to do and how best to encourage them to do it. To minimize the costs and harms associated with conflict. often because their goals are formulated too vaguely. so that parties are able to respond more effectively. Parties may discover that their own goals are utterly incompatible with those of their opponent. what they themselves want to do. at other times they become broader. Just as you cannot walk to a destination if you do not know where it is. The failure to set clear goals may result in ineffective actions that needlessly confuse or even enrage the other side. . too many conflict interventions involve initiatives that are not clearly connected to parties' goals. If they begin to pursue goals that they have no chance of achieving. Often people who are confused about what the conflict is really about or what is important to them will have ambiguous or unclear goals. relationships established. the greater resistance it may face in achieving its goals. which makes resolution more difficult. parties should carefully sketch out their goals and objectives. the parties' goals can change from an initial goal to get one's own way to a later goal of depriving the other or hurting the other. they can easily do more harm than good. they have ideas about what they would like to accomplish themselves to bring about their desired future. Third party intermediaries must clearly understand what the parties want them to do. well-meaning efforts fail because of excessive and unrealistic expectations. Goal clarification is largely a matter of defining one's interests and values and getting clear about the interests and values of one's opponent. While goals sometimes become clearer and more narrowly defined. they are likely to become disillusioned and burn out quickly. For this reason. What goals adversaries seek from each other profoundly influence the settlements they reach and their subsequent relations. [2] Also." If they do not understand what their own goals are for involvement. If they see that their initial goal of helping the parties deal with the conflict more effectively cannot be achieved. you cannot achieve your goals if you do not know what they are. All too often. they should be sure to withdraw from the conflict before they do more harm than good. In addition. goal setting is an important part of conflict management and resolution.of leaders. they have a vision of a preferred future in which certain conditions are instituted. Another problem that parties may encounter stems from a failure to set reasonable goals. and how both of these goals relate to what is actually possible. [3] Setting reasonable goals makes it more likely that parties will find a way to resolve their conflict or dispute. One complicating factor is that goals may change significantly as the situation changes. Parties in conflict generally have three types of goals. Goal confusion can therefore lead to escalation of a conflict.  Third.

[6] As group members begin to think about their goals. Action Evaluation.extension. alternative solutions. goal Participants' concerns. Intermediaries help parties to define their own goals and agenda. Constructive Conflicts: From Escalation to Resolution. Available at: http://www. understandings are constantly changing. Collective goal setting is a crucial first step in public policy advocacy. Clearly defining one or more shared goals can also encourage parties to take a more cooperative approach to conflict.Parties should also be aware that while some goals are relatively easy to achieve. project participants may discover that there is a gap between their espoused goals and the goals implicit in what they are actually doing. This is often surprisingly difficult to do. needs. problems. action evaluation seeks to promote a reflection about. Iowa State University Extension. Getting clear about goals is also helpful in reconstruction efforts and peacebuilding initiatives. and discover mutual goals. In cases where civil society has broken down. [2] Norm Riggs. and negotiation. In some cases. and assess whether a particular option or decision meets those goals. they can begin to identify and implement the strategies needed to reach their goals. 78. [5] Helping parties to set goals is also an important task for facilitators in mediation. Therefore. the intervention itself. It seeks to make explicit the goals and motivations of all stakeholders so that they can define explicit criteria of success for intervention projects and then design those projects to maximize the possibilities of success. It plays a central role in Envisioning. Action Evaluation. References: [1] Louis Kriesberg. and the contexts in which conflicts are situated are continuously shifting. [4] Groups meet separately and then together to develop a successive set of goals and eventually collaborative goals. consensus building. they can list and prioritize objectives. In addition. 2nd edition. others may be beyond reach in the short-term and may require more struggle and patience. Goal setting is also an important part of the work done by action coalitions. Instead. where parties try to envision ideal futures. As the intervention proceeds. [7] Note the goal setting is an incremental process. various obstacles to implementation will force parties to reconsider their goals. they may ask the group to brainstorm about goals. (Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield Publishing. and Facilitation Setting goals is an integral part of conflict intervention and the design of effective conflict resolution initiatives. Action Evaluation incorporates goal setting. A variety of stakeholders join forces in these coalitions in order to achieve specific aims or objectives.iastate. legislative initiatives and media campaigns. and shared commitment to. The broad consensus that emerges is directed toward specific aims and the design of an action plan to implement these goals. This process of collaborative goal setting clarifies the purpose of an intervention and allows the shared goals of the stakeholders to evolve over time. facilitation. Facilitating For Results: A Task-Oriented Approach To Reaching Consensus And Taking Action. and option analysis.html . and strategies. 2002). it is not wise for initiatives to fully articulate project goals at the outset and to refuse to modify them over time. international NGOs may play an important role in training local organizations in advocacy skills. monitoring and evaluation into a conflict resolution initiative. devise ways of achieving them. learn each other's priorities. Collaborative goal setting in negotiations can help parties to discover compatible interests. government lobbying. The task of setting goals should continue throughout the life of a project. there should be room to incorporate incremental changes in goals into project designs. and negotiation. People become so used to conflict situations that they lose any notion of what life could be like without conflict. Once parties have considered the feasibility of particular objectives and the appropriate time frame for achieving them. By making the participants more aware of their goals. The action evaluator facilitates the continuous monitoring and assessment of these goals throughout the life cycle of the intervention. Envisioning or future imaging is essentially a goal-setting process. Goal Setting.

so has the definition of distance learning. distance learning has been around for well over 100 years. Iowa State University Extension. the combination often falls short of what it attempts to accomplish. problems. particularly types that are delivered via electronic means.impactalliance. and the future possibilities in modern distance learning. Facilitating For Results: A Task-Oriented Approach To Reaching Consensus And Taking Action. One of the earlier forms of distance learning was done through correspondence courses started in Europe. [4] Marc Howard Ross "Action Evaluation in the Theory and Practice of Conflict [6] Norm Riggs.[3] Kriesberg. This paper will examine some of the current research and thought on the Introduction Distance learning and its relationship to emerging computer technologies have together offered many promises to the field of education. History of Distance Learning Before any discussion of distance learning. In practice we need to look at the way the term has been defined in the past and how it is currently defined in the Available at: http://www. p. others have more to do with As technology has changed. Some of the shortcomings are due to problems with the technology." Available at: http://www. Despite the problems. Although it is thought of as a new term." Cypress Consulting. many users like technologies such as compressed video and see continued growth in the area.html [7] Janice Forsythe. or students.htm [5] ibid. This stayed the primary means of distance learning until the middle of this century when instructional radio and television became more popular (Imel.doc+&hl=en&gl=us&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEESgG4XyJcHcxRy25 pwrMAZaqhLl1ecCHRfMNMEo6MbhXj2SvAQDICHVtuy5_9p3Bg3KCzWkKtpAae20_n87iGQTfMzvLFqYXYSwAGT3psrbYts9F_lC2kqE4g89F5zhdOkCWLEQ&sig=AHIEtbQYC _Kz7VgyQFZ_Lt2kYQn6yVBnLA Distance Learning: Promises. 304.php %3Flocation%3DS_U%26filename %3D10196830860A_Guide_to_Coalition_Building. Videotaped lectures have been a standard in university . and Possibilities Doug Valentine University of Oklahoma Sottovoce7@aol. instructional methods. 1996). The term can be used to describe any of a number of instructional situations. "A Guide to Coalition Building. Problems. Available at:

There have been many definitions put forward in modern literature. Bollag and Overland say countries like China are moving from “elite to mass education. Today. which is delivered in real time. He says that distance education and training result from the technological separation of teacher and learner which frees the student from the necessity of traveling to “a fixed place. The theory is that class size increases while the overhead remains the same. As stated earlier. they say that developing countries are turning to state run distance education programs to take the place of ever increasing enrollments and a lack of physical building space. the number of students in distance learning doubled from 1995 to 1998 totaling 1. its primary distinction is that the teacher and the learner are separate in space and possibly time” (pg. 1999). Audiotapes and lessons sent through the mail have been used in correspondence courses to teach subjects such as foreign language for quite some time (Teaster & Blieszner. and South American countries such as Brazil and Argentina have all begun to use distance-learning techniques to reach those that would by any other means be unreachable. Of course there is also wide use in the United States. Curtain University uses compressed video conferencing to reach remote students in Western Australia. 741). According to the American Council on Education. Live video instruction is the most popular and fastest growing delivery mode in the United States (Ostendorf. and to enhance classes in Business Studies by connecting with students in Singapore. This would include compressed video. 1998). Not only that. two-thirds of which are in a degree program.5 million students. that it can meet the promise to deliver classes to a geographically broad and diverse population. Other examples can be found in the UK and Norway where several sites have been linked together (Keegan. In a 2001 article by Burton Bollag and Martha Ann Overland. It should be obvious by these examples and by the definition of distance learning. From these definitions we can see that the student and teacher are separated by space. . Teaster and Blieszner (1999) say “the term distance learning has been applied to many instructional methods: however. Desmond Keegan (1995) gives the most thorough definition. 2001). Universities hope to save money by delivering education to students that are unable to attend classes because of time or distance. 7). In Australia. China uses a radio and television delivery system to serve 1. A29). The Promises of Distance Learning Many of the promises of distance learning are financial in nature.” and that “traditional universities cannot meet the demand” (pg. but not necessarily by time. much of the discussion here will be dedicated to the promises and problems of this technology. Because of this. Definitions of Distance Learning With the history of distance learning encompassing so many different learning environments. Jakarta. this type of live video instruction is the fastest growing means of distance learning today. allowing distance learning to occur in real time. 36). but the need seems to be strong for such programs.and professional courses for the last two decades (Moore & Lockee. Places such as Beijing. in order to be trained” (pg. Greenberg (1998) defines contemporary distance learning as “a planned teaching/learning experience that uses a wide spectrum of technologies to reach learners at a distance and is designed to encourage learner interaction and certification of learning” (pg. both in the public and private sectors. we need to find a definition that fits in all situations. 1995). to meet a fixed person. 1997). the Internet and compressed video have taken distance learning in new directions.6 million (Devarics. at a fixed time.

2001). Many times it seems that the administration believes the technology itself will improve the quality of the class. depending on the method used. In many ways. This type of answer may be seen as a quick fix for many administrators. there are problems that need to be resolved. 1998. If not approached seriously however. and the attitudes of instructors. The satellite campuses could conceivably help the school’s enrollment to grow tenfold (Savoye. 4). hidden costs. We will examine each of these issues separately. Distance learning seems to address all of these Satellite campuses such as the ones Arkansas State University have recently opened are drawing out a “hidden market” of adult students in small towns and recent high school graduates who don’t want to go away to a bigger city to get an education. Quality of Instruction The first issue is the quality of instruction that is given through distance learning programs. Distance learning technologies have the potential to assist in solving these problems. 2000). increasing or maintaining access.. the instructor’s understanding of the needs of the students. Too often instructors do not design their lessons to take advantage of the technology presented. They report that after teaching one course. Many Universities are feeling the pressure to control their costs. Research suggests that the effectiveness of distance learning is based on preparation. and an understanding of the target population (Omoregie. using technology more efficiently. This is a great advantage for non-traditional students who cannot attend at regular times. The convenience of time and space is a big promise made by distance learning. and sharing resources across state lines so that colleges won’t have to be all things to all people” (Pg. They make the point that the issue is not technology itself. The answers they most often received were: “meeting increased demands at a time of decreased resources. Problems of Distance Learning Despite the promises and obvious advantages to distance learning. a full 15 per cent of all U. Students do not have to physically be with the instructor in space and. Sherritt (1996) found in her survey of higher education administrators that many of the decision makers view distance . 1999. cited in Dibiase 2000). but how it is used in the design and delivery of courses. In 1994. and respond to the competitive pressures (Horgan. misuse of technology. focus on customer needs. effective teachers do”(pg. but that they rated the quality of the course as only equal or lower quality than other classes taught on campus. This affects the quality of the instruction. college students (Rochester. and administrators.Another market forecast says that by the year 2002 there will be 2. 1997). they do not have to be together in time as well. Much of the quality of instruction depends on the attitude of the administration and the instructor. Data collected in a 1999 study by Elliot Inman and Michael Kerwin showed instructors had conflicting attitudes about teaching distance education.1). 4). et. students. p. These problems include the quality of instruction. each of these issues relates to the others. Basom and Sherritt surveyed higher education administrators and state politicians to find out what they thought would be the major problems facing American higher education in the next millennium. Each one of these has an effect on the overall quality of distance learning as a product.S. improve quality of instruction.2 million students in distance education program. Administrators hope that distance learning methods will help make higher education more cost-effective (Dibiase. Palloff and Pratt (2000) remind us that “technology does not teach students. the majority of instructors were willing to teach another. the distance programs can quickly become second rate.

one at each site. while it was still more cost effective to teach smaller groups in a traditional setting. it is bound to have a negative influence on the entire distance learning experience. and personnel costs should also be factored in to arrive at a true cost for a distance-learning program. personal and professional deprivation” (pg. The teaching purpose of the different approaches needs to be taken into account. 2000) notes. The report found that only in really large courses with many sections would cost savings be possible. Southern Arkansas University-Magnolia decided to try compressed video as an alternative to other methods.2). Atkinson (1983. Misuse of Technology .3). The startup costs. If this is not factored in by administration. 303). “Human capital and the costs of conversion are expenses that can easily be underestimated” (pg. These costs are startup only and do not reflect any of the human capital costs as discussed earlier. If the administration and instructors are lacking in true commitment. the staff delivering the instruction should be well trained. Establishment of a permanent T-1 telephone line was another $1. isolation. Cost Effectiveness The second issue is the true cost and the cost effectiveness of distance learning programs. If it is implemented as a primary teaching medium. which found off campus instructors to be “a demoralized bunch. a “necessary but deficient form of education” (pg. Carr (2001) discusses a report by the California State University System that looked at cost savings in distance learning programs. Sherrit also cites a study by Caffarella et al. Ng notes that the cost of online courses is affected by how they are implemented: as an enhancement or as the primary teaching medium. 306). For effective distance education to take place. 1996). Are they actually cost efficient? A study by Phelps et al. This means a minimum of three people is needed to deliver the same class as one instructor does in a traditional setting.000. (1992) found in a study at the University of Northern Colorado that when electronic distance delivery costs were compared with those of instructor travel directly to the site.200 per month (Weber. He states. This attitude hardly seems conducive to an effective learning environment for the students. perceiving poor working conditions. Ng also comments on the cost of human capital. the least costly alternative was the live instruction with the instructor traveling to the remote site compressing the class into fewer weeks. This alternative was one-third the cost of any other alternative. The startup equipment for the unit was approximately $80. The study further showed that the concepts of costs and effectiveness are not as simple as they first appear. 2). “it is possible for a program to be efficient but not cost effective if the outputs which are actually produced do not contribute to the program objectives: that is it may be efficient at doing the wrong things” (pg. Starting a compressed video distance-learning program is not cheap. The minimum number of staff required for delivery of a compressed video class would be one instructor and two technicians. it is considerably more expensive. Caffarella et al. maintenance costs. She writes that this attitude also was found in academic departments that “have no strong mandates to adjust their curriculum and instruction to fit distance learning beyond cursory cooperation” (pg.programs as second rate. cited in Ng. Courses in excess of 500 students would benefit from this setup. (1991) found that “the potential cost-effectiveness of using online technologies in distance education is still uncertain” (pg. There are no rewards for doing so and the effort takes away from research time. The costs associated with training technicians and instructors should not be overlooked. done in 1992. there may be costs that are not apparent at first glance. 306).

Much of the outcome depends on the attitude of the instructor. 2000. If there are too many instances. In a 1995 study. yet many times the instructor and the technicians do not meet until the initial class meeting. well-informed instructors (Greenberg. found that technicians could indirectly influence the learning environment by “orientating participants to the technology. Again. and those who could not. pg. Advancement in technology does not lead to effective distance education. in the opinion of the technicians. Olenski also found that the technicians felt the instructors were given inadequate orientation to the equipment and really could not operate it until they had hands on experience. one site will miss out on that information. Problems with Equipment Equipment and hardware malfunctions can be a great detriment to the effectiveness of distance learning. if a compressed video presentation has problems. A program studied by Teaster and Bliesner (1999) found that unanticipated technical problems with the system shortened the class time . can have a huge impact on the quality of the presentation.Besides the cost of the technology. but also to shift the way in which they organize and deliver material” (Palloff & Pratt. For instance. The instructors must be trained “not only to use technology. “and by advising the instructor on instructional techniques”(pg. It seems to be self evident that instructors need to be trained to use distance learning technology. If the instructor goes ahead with the lesson. When a problem occurs in a class everything comes to a standstill and the learning environment is interrupted. it appears that administration may feel that the technology itself will improve the course. The technicians also saw a difference in the instructors who could adapt their styles to the technology. 3). but too often they are not. the entire class must be stopped until the problem is resolved. and still others by hardware problems. if viewed negatively by the instructor. The Role of the Technicians One overlooked factor in the success or failure of distance learning programs is the role that the technicians play in distance learning. 1998). So we see not only does the instructor need to adapt to the educational environment. One of the questions he asked pertained to the equipment and technology operating correctly. reducing the anxiety of the participants” (including the instructor). 3). Olenski et al. Of course they play a large role in the technical delivery. Carter (2001) did a study of students taking courses by compressed video in the Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College program. Once again. However. the instructor should be trained to take advantage of both their experience and being able to adapt that experience to the new environment of distance learning. Those who adapted were. but little is known about the non-technical activities of the technicians that could have an influence on the instructional process. if an overhead projector goes out during an instructor’s presentation. Some of these problems arise from a lack of training. they must also adapt to another person in the room that can help or hinder the delivery of the lesson. The best distance education practices depend on creative. His results from three groups spread over the different sites showed that only 42% agreed with the statement that the equipment and technology operated correctly. Bates (1995) suggests that newer technologies are not inherently better than old ones and many of the lessons learned from the application of older technologies will still apply to any newer technology. This type of role. there is the possibility of not utilizing all its potential.. the entire course can be affected. superior in conducting the classes. some from the instructor’s attitudes about using the technology. an alternate way of delivering that information can easily be found.

It is up to the instructor to be aware of this in the distance learning environment and to encourage collaborative learning and a sense of community among the students. Schlosser and Anderson (1994. multimedia presentations are successful (Weber 1996). Those students used to the traditional face-to-face instruction and who do not have a tolerance for ambiguity will have a difficult time. The idea of learning as a collaborative process is very important when students are separated by distance. shared exploration. Of course this means more preparation time for the instructor and the motivation must be there. face-to-face instruction as possible” (pg. Instructors must also change the manner in which information is delivered. It is important for the instructors to develop a sense of community between the sites. 2000) found in a study of adult distance learning that “to effectively bridge the gaps between classroom and distance teaching. we must come back to instructors and their attitudes towards teaching in a distance-learning environment as a major potential roadblock to effective distance education. In one presentation the connection was lost twice prior to the students arriving and ten times during the actual instructional session. As in any educational situation. tests. At Southern Arkansas University-Magnolia. but similar to past experiences” (pg. For the instructor. For the technician. cited in Carter. An instructor must have technological skills and confidence to use all of the various electronic devices in order to be truly effective in the electronic classroom. they discovered that using compressed video as a single medium of delivering distance education was not as effective as was first hoped. 1998) put this thought forward in a review of distance education literature. and get the participants to buy in to the process. faculty need to look at the distance teaching from the students’ point of view” (pg. the course experience was “better. For the student. Attitudes Towards Distance Learning Despite problems with hardware that may or may not get worked out with new advances in technology. Because of this they developed a different concept of an “electronic classroom” that did not rely on just one mode of delivery (Weber. Another important consideration for the instructor is their view regarding the goal of distance education. While lecture does not work well.and discussion that negatively affected the overall quality of the presentation. (Walcott 1994. the frustration and inability to keep the class running smoothly may affect the instructor’s view of their competency. causing friction. They submit that the goal of distance education in the United States is “to offer the distance student an experience as much like that of traditional. 3). 743). That instructor must be properly trained and motivated to be effective. The failure of the hardware can be a very frustrating thing for all involved in distance learning. Their experience was that compressed video had connection problems and did not work well broadcasting information delivered by lecture. the instructor can set the tone for learning in the educational environment. 249). The faculty must also be aware of getting instructional materials. There are two main thoughts on this. an inability to get a flow to the class and feel like progress is being made can hinder the learning process. During this particular session there was never more than a four-minute period before the connection to one of the sites was lost. “collaborative learning processes assists students to achieve deeper levels of knowledge generation through the creation of shared goals. and other class items to both sites simultaneously. and a shared process of meaning making” (pg. it means they can be well prepared for the class only to have a bad connection or camera failure cause the entire lesson to go bad. . but according to the instructor involved in the presentation. cited in Imel. handouts. 1996). 6). achieve maximum participation. According to research by Palloff and Pratt (2000). This may be an extreme example.

pg. and cheaper. This puts the instructors behind when trying to publish to get their department recognized. As we saw earlier. The students at the remote site are not always in clear view of the instructor. West (1994) calls adapting to the lack of visual cues a major adaptation for the instructor. 1996. primarily how it will change their role in education. He suggests that instead of using technology to replicate traditional methods. workers to deliver the technologically prepackaged course (Noble. which can work to create the feeling of a true class (Hiltz & Wellman. Bates (1995) has a different idea. The instructor must do all he can to overcome the limits of the technology and involve the students in an environment of interaction. it should be used to improve instruction. such as grant writing and publishing. 4). “Tenure and promotion usually does not recognize excellent off campus teaching which. Instructor Concerns Instructors have other concerns about distance learning. 2). Student Concerns . Instructors are not always convinced that administration is behind distance learning. The increased amount of time necessary to adequately prepare for distance learning takes away from the activities they will be evaluated on. Instructors also have adaptations they need to make to the technology. This puts a burden on the instructor and causes the students to respond differently than they might in a traditional classroom setting.This would mean that distance learning pedagogy would not differ much from that used in an ordinary classroom. that communication is not always present. The rewards are not always there for the good distance-learning instructor.” thereby limiting their ability to respond to student needs. This puts the administration in a position to hire less skilled. 2000). in fact. the discipline would “risk losing our collective soul in the rush to convenience. The instructor must decide which attitude they will adopt because it has a profound impact on their approach to instruction. as is predicted to happen. She asserts that professors are unable to observe the emotions of the students and cannot detect “moments of anxiety. Holmberg (1989) also discusses these two schools of thought and concludes that distance education as a mode of education in its own right has very different consequences (than viewing it as a substitute for face-to-face instruction). McKnight (2000) contends that proximity and eye contact are important factors in education that are limited in the distance learning environment. She says that we inherently recognize the connection these provide. Instructors worry about putting their course materials online because once there. 1997). but as we have seen earlier. Many of the instructors concerns are valid and should be addressed by administration as distance learning becomes more common. but in the distance learning environment they are “both severely and sometimes permanently compromised” (pg. Writing about geography educators. Part of this can be alleviated by good communication with the technician. the knowledge and course design skill in that material is out of their possession. creating a community is an important factor for the instructor to have an effective class. costeffectiveness. An instructor used to visual cues may find it difficult to adapt to a situation such as compressed video. Gober (1998) worries that if they rely too much on distance-learning techniques. takes valuable time from research agendas” (Sherritt. 130). and accountability” (pg. Clark (1993) found in a national survey of attitudes of higher education faculty that there was a moderately positive attitude about distance learning in general. but moderately negative attitudes about their own use of it. 1998 cited in Dibiase.

Two other findings were generally favorable and included comments on how the course could be improved. Already we see improvement in the delivery systems of compressed video and computer assisted instruction. The second showed that students were highly satisfied with the instructors and the course. 1998). This type of miscommunication can cause the community problems as the class progresses. participation is generally low and dialog is absent (Palloff & Pratt. A study of students at Indiana University of Pennsylvania found 75% were very satisfied with the instruction they received and 90% rating the technology as satisfactory (Fergusin & Wijekumar. and is misperceived as a verbal attack. Students also need the attention of the instructors.Finally. and an ability to be flexible (Threkeld & Brzoska. Students in these communities often feel less pressure to perform individually. a need for autonomy. Hardy and Boaz (1997) found that “compared to most face-to-face learning environments. They have well defined goals and are more motivated (Dibiase. Greenburg (1998) describes this as a virtual learning community. studies indicate they are relatively satisfied with what they are receiving. It would seem one element that needs immediate improvement is with instructors. Conclusions What may we conclude from the promises and problems of distance learning? Are there possibilities for improvement in the future? The technology will undoubtedly keep improving and the price will drop. distance learning requires students to be more focused. and to be able to work independently and with group members” (p. Not all students are suited to this type of learning and not all subjects are best taught via this medium.5% would take another such course. students cannot be disciplined nor affirmed by eye contact and body language (McKnight. They found that 57. there are the students and their concerns with distance learning classes. This may be truer in a distance situation than in a traditional classroom. The literature indicates a need for instructors to adapt their teaching methods to the distance . but that direct interaction with the instructor played no role in the students’ satisfaction (Inman & Kerwin. 2000). Many distance learners are different from traditional undergraduates in that they are already in professions.. Another study by Harner et al. This lack of interaction can cause problems when there is a dissenting opinion that cannot be picked up on with non-verbal cues. and more pressure to collaborate and be part of the team (Kantor. better time managers. Students are prone to pick up on a lack of organization and direction and respond with apathy and absenteeism (West. When this is not encouraged. 1999). distance education students need to feel a part of a community. It is fair to say that compressed video can magnify the strengths and weaknesses of the instructor. More mature students are the most likely to find success with distance learning. and that the students needed to have more guidance on how to fully take advantage of the presentation (Teaster & Blieszner. 1994).43). 2000). In a situation where eye contact and proximity are limited. Being involved in a collaborative learning process is an important part of forming the foundation of a learning community. As we saw earlier. The successful student needs to have a number of characteristics such as tolerance for ambiguity. 2000). The first suggested the instructors needed to be comfortable with the medium. (2000) was done on a distance learning accounting course at the University of Connecticut. as technology is prone to do once it comes into general use. 1998 cited in Greenberg. Students may also have a difficult time reading the reactions of the remote location class members. 1999). Despite student problems with distance learning. 1994). 2000).

Bates. E. Developing countries turn to distance education. simple supplies. Administrators need to carefully weigh their goals and objectives when taking on a distance education program. and even font size considerations. Technology: Open learning and distance education. B. But. Nice. coordination. et al.586). Paper presented at the Annual Conference for International Higher Education Administrators. lacking the heart for distance education. Chronicle of Higher Education. higher education administrators and politicians understand the need for technology. pg. (2001).A. S. 4). the future of distance learning seems bright. Chronicle of Higher Education. Sherritt (1996) found in her survey of higher education administrators that “for whatever reasons. “Because teaching a distance learning class involves a new role for instructors. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. Higher education problems in the twenty-first century: A survey of higher education administrators and politicians. and the training to meet these new responsibilities” (Inman & Kerwin. T. 1995). p. 1999. 39-41. . speaking voice. References Basom. Caffarella. Despite the cost. Western Institution for Higher Learning. it has “great potential to deliver and receive educational programs to and from remote sites” (Weber. 47 (40). and training that must be put into a program.. they cannot bring themselves to support it with adequate personnel. & Overland M. & Sherritt. France. 37). 2000. 29-31. M. Union publishes guide citing high cost of distance education. Perhaps Keegan (1995) puts it best when he says “the challenge is to design cost-effective and educationallyeffective systems for use in the new millennium of the new technologies that permit for the first time in history (electronic) teaching of students face-to-face at a distance” (pg. administrators must provide them with the time. An analysis of the cost effectiveness of various electronic alternatives for delivering distance education compared to the travel costs for live instruction. (1992). 1996. Instructors must be motivated to prepare adequately for classes. ED 380 127). 219). Carr. and a reasonable operating budget” (pg. Colorado: University of Northern Colorado. Despite the need for improvement. (1992). 47 (35)... 53). the tools.. Increasing numbers of students enrolling in distance learning classes underscore the need for “comprehensive and thoughtful evolution of distance education if it is to become the educational model of the future” (Harnar. Keegan (1995) shows many excellent ways that instructors can better prepare for the classroom including multimedia use. Bollag. This sort of attitude from administration can do nothing but trickle down into the instructors and the students. Part of the responsibility for motivation must lie with the administration and their support of the program.learning format. Many times opinions and communication between the technician and the instructor are not shared either because the technician’s role is unclear. et al. Administration needs to train and educate instructors on this role and how to meet the challenges. Instructors also need to realize that the technician is an integral part of the experience of distance learning and treat them as such. or there is a shared perception of a difference in status between the two (Olenski et al. C. (1995). (2001). New York: Routledge..Greeley. pg.

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