These are my notes from a panel discussion by Rich Rice (Texas Tech), Lennie Irvin (San Antonio College), SanJuanita Santoy (Texas State Technical College) and Peter England (Texas A&M)

Five models of distance learning: (contexts)
– Supplemental
– Replacement
– Emporium
– Fully Online
– Buffet

Adult learners need to be more in charge of their education
– working towards a buffet model

How do we address issues of adult motivation for online courses?
– what about those who just select desserts from the buffet?
– in some cases, adults select online courses because they think it will be easier than F2F, and are very disappointed when they learn it is not easier (can require as much or more work)

Outcomes need to be clearly articulated to online students, so they can more clearly think about what they are expected to be learning
– explicit rubrics can greatly assist with this

With some of these courses, content is highly modularized and is oriented substantially toward self-directed learning
– permits a shift in efforts to focus on what students need

Systems Approach
– Post-Process
– Andragogy
– User-Centered
– Universal Design

The buffet model can portray the wrong image
– we need students having the ability to choose not just the food they want, but the way it is prepared (do they prepare it themselves, do they eat and run, is it prepared for them, etc.)
– social networking differences are important too: not just IM, email, also podcasting, videoconferencing, webcams, meeting for coffee somewhere
– not that I just am picking nutritional requirements for 1 day or 1 meal, but so I am choosing patterns of activities for a lifetime of learning

Some limitations of models come from the assumptions we make
– sometimes students don’t KNOW what will help them most to learn particular content
– that is a big assumption to make

How do we reconcile the idea that students need to reach the same outcome by different pathways?
– is a 5000 word essay equal to a 5 minute podcast? Probably not. But that podcast could be an artifact used along the way to create a product, to reach an outcome
– as long as your scoring guides are valid and reliable across different learning pathways

How can students “show what they know?”
– need prior research

Closing term: “programware”
– software, hardware, lots of “ware” terms
– that is not what you need to focus on, you want to focus on the ENTIRE program, sustainability, working with different students
– the program is a SYSTEM, a way of feeding the system info based on a variety of factors, they are all dynamic
– each student changes the modalities and relationships
– think of the entire thing as a system, a “programware” approach
– that is a very different approach than the one we are typically pressured to use: using existing resources, shoehorning in your pedagogy to existing resources
– the approach we are advocating is very different from that typical approach
– think about individuals and how they affect each other and the system overall

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