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Facilitating Asynchronous Distance Learning: Exploiting Opportunities for Knowledge Building in Asynchronous Distance Learning Environments
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Mid-South Instructional Technology Conference,

Abstract

Computer mediated communication tools enable today's distance learners to engage in collaborative problem solving, threaded discussions, and peer tutoring through asynchronous distance learning environments. This paper suggests that these are best accomplished by establishing virtual learning communities, which break down traditional instructor-as-transmitter, learner-as-receiver roles and instead promote a more learner driven environment. In virtual learning communities, members share mutual responsibility for each other's learning. Instructional strategies for facilitating online distance learning are identified and discussed, including: instilling ownership through individualized content, projects, and assessments; making meaningful connections through goal-based exploration of content; collaborating through learning communities; encouraging reflection through moderated discussions; and representing complex knowledge structures through concept mapping. These strategies call for instructors to play a more facilitative role in the learning environment. Five facilitator roles are discussed: that of a guide, mentor, catalyst, coach, feedback-giver, and resource provider. These roles give rise to several new competency requirements for online instructors. (Contains 46 references and 4 figures.) (Author/MES)

Citation

Prestera, G.E. & Moller, L.A. (2002). Facilitating Asynchronous Distance Learning: Exploiting Opportunities for Knowledge Building in Asynchronous Distance Learning Environments. Presented at Mid-South Instructional Technology Conference 2002. Retrieved October 16, 2019 from .

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