SFSU Itec
ITEC 860
Distance Education

Understanding of distance education development and delivery. Exploration of the field through demonstrations of telecommunications facilities, meetings of professional organizations, internet capabilities, and teleconferencing classrooms. Development of an instructional unit delivered via distance education.

Prerequisites:
ITEC 800 and 801 should be completed before enrolling in ITEC 860. Permission to enroll in this course may be requested from the instructor if a student is able to demonstrate knowledge of ITEC 800 and 801 content through parallel coursework or life experience.

Introduction to Distance Education:
This course introduces the learner to the principles learning at a distance, commonly called distance education, distance learning, distributed learning, e-learning, online learning, etc. In this seminar, we will explore the complexities of designing instruction in various distance contexts (such as, corporate training, education, etc.). We will learn the fundamental instructional concepts supporting various distance learning strategies, tactics, and media, and apply these concepts in a real context through a major design project.

There are two major elements in this seminar:

  • An introduction to various distance teaching and learning methods, such as video telecommunication, print and satellite TV delivery systems, classic correspondence models, online education, and independent e-learning modules. We will explore the instructional design considerations, technical implementation requirements, and implications for learning (and teaching) with each of these methods. Your learning of this content will be assessed primarily through a “traditional” midterm exam approximately half way through the semester.
  • Practice applying instructional design skills for distance learning by completing a comprehensive distance learning instructional unit design project. This project will be selected by you – working in conjunction with a small group of your peers. Your team will complete a formal design plan and produce a limited (short, but complete) instructional unit as the major assignment for the second half of the course.
Readings assigned for each week will provide the foundation for our discussion and class activities. Readings from the text(s) encompass the majority of these assignments. Supplemental readings will provide alternative and complimentary views on distance learning (and there are many!). Finally, there will be several discussion topics that we will choose and develop together as a class, based largely on your (collective) interests.

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