participants in the learning enterprise.” (Gabelnick, MacGregor, Matthews, & Smith, 1990).
Guided conversation. The college’s distance learning courses and programs incorporate distance learning pioneer researcher Borje Holmberg’s Theory of Guided Didactic Conversation (Holmberg, 1989). Concern for the emotional well being of the distance learner and the importance of enjoyment in learning and motivation to continue studies is emphasized in his seven postulates:
Feelings of personal relation between the teaching and learning parties promote student pleasure and motivation
Feelings (of personal relation) can be fostered by well developed self-instructional material and suitable two-way communication at a distance.
Intellectual pleasure and student motivation are favorable to the attainment of study goals and the use of proper study processes and methods.
The atmosphere, language and conventions of friendly conversation favor feelings of personal relation.
Messages given and received in conversational forms are comparatively easily understood and remembered.
The conversation concept can be successfully translated, for use by the media available, to distance education.
Planning and guiding the work, whether provided by the teaching organization or the student, are necessary for organized study, which is characterized by explicit or implicit goal conceptions.
Multiple Intelligences. The learning activities of the college’s distance learning courses and programs are designed to address “multiple intelligences” (Gardner, 1993) of learners: Logical/Mathematical, Linguistic, Spatial, Musical, Bodily-Kinesthetic, and Personal – Interpersonal and Intrapersonal.
Learner-centered. The college’s distance learning courses and programs are learner-centered (Weimer, 2002). Learner-centered instruction focuses on what the student is learning, how the student is learning, the conditions under which the student is learning, whether the student is retaining and applying learning, and how current learning positions the student for future learning (Weimer, 2002).
Brain-based. The learning activities of the college’s distance learning courses and programs are brain-based. The nine brain-compatible elements identified in Susan Kovalik’s (1993) Integrated Thematic Instruction model are absence of threat, meaningful content, choices, movement to enhance learning, enriched environment, adequate time, collaboration, immediate feedback, and mastery (application level).
Authentic Assessment. The college’s distance learning courses and programs incorporate authentic assessment tools and strategies. These methods should authentically allow a student to demonstrate his or her ability to perform tasks, solve problems or express knowledge in ways which simulate situations found in real life (Hymes, Chafin, & Gonder, 1991). Variety and interaction (learner to content, learner to learner, and learner to faculty) are important components of authentic assessment.
WTCS Distance Learning Guidelines