Distance Education Challenges

Picture Courtesy of The Open University of Isreal

I found some of the insights from the Guri-Rosenbilt video very interesting.

The first was that teaching was the primary focus of conventional education until the 19th century (Guri-Rosenblit, 2008). Ironic since today research is the culminating activity to obtain advanced degrees, not teaching. However, the timing for the rise of research makes a lot of sense as positivism emerged in the 19th century (Harasim, 2011). Positivism was responsible for the development of theories that ask “why?” or “how?” and then seeks to answer those questions through evidence based study, drawing on empirical data and verifiable facts (Harasim, 2011).

The second insight was an interesting contradiction. Guri-Rosenbilt (2008) talks of how Distance Teaching are expanding from their local area to the global market and that English is the language of the academic instruction and research. A fact which is not really based on language statistics – there are more Chinese and Spanish speakers than English speakers (https://www.ethnologue.com/statistics/size).


Guri-Rosenblit, S. (2008). Challenges Facing Distance Education in the 21st Century: Implications for setting the research agenda. Paper presented at the 5th EDEN Research Workshop, Paris. Retrieved from mms://vod-dun.u-strasbg.fr/vod/2008/1020_eden/20081020_eden_guri.wmv

Harasim, L. (2011). Learning theory and online technologies. Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group.

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