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Education limited : framing possibilities and constraints of online teaching in a university course 2002

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EDUCATION LIMITED: FRAMING POSSIBILITIES AND CONSTRAINTS OF ONLINE TEACHING A UNIVERSITY COURSE by ADNAN AHMER QAYYUM B.A. (Honours) Queen's U n i v e r s i t y , 1991 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS i n THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES Department o f E d u c a t i o n a l S t u d i e s (Adult Education) We a c c e p t t h i s t h e s i s as c o n f o r m i n g t o jthe r e q u i r e q L - s t a n d a r d THE UNIVERSITY OF November ©Adnan Ahmer BRITISH COLUMBIA 18, 2002 Qayyum, 2002 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department of The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada DE-6 (2/88) ABSTRACT How much i n f l u e n c e and c o n t r o l do i n s t r u c t o r s have when they teach o n l i n e ? How c r e a t i v e can they be and what l i m i t s do they encounter? Teaching v i a the i n t e r n e t can be a c r e a t i v e and engaging process that allows f o r i n n o v a t i v e approaches to l e a r n i n g f o r students from a l l over the world. I t can a l s o be a c h a l l e n g i n g s e t t i n g f o r i n s t r u c t o r s and students to teach and l e a r n . This study i n v e s t i g a t e d how i n s t r u c t i o n a l processes i n an internet-based course were shaped by f a c t o r s beyond the i n s t r u c t o r ' s c o n t r o l ? Frame f a c t o r theory was used as the conceptual framework to i d e n t i f y and analyze f a c t o r s that shape i n s t r u c t i o n . The unique c o n t r i b u t i o n of t h i s study i s to examine an o n l i n e s e t t i n g . Thus, most of t h i s research i s about how i n s t i t u t i o n a l and t e c h n o l o g i c a l frames shape teaching. Documents were analyzed from an o n l i n e graduate course to i d e n t i f y and analyze frame f a c t o r s . P o l i c y documents of a distance teaching u n i t , course design documents and the a r c h i v e d course d i s c u s s i o n forum were examined. The research i n d i c a t e s that c l a s s s i z e , i n s t r u c t o r r o l e and a c c o u n t a b i l i t y , the assessment c r i t e r i a , course content and methods of teaching o n l i n e were a l l f a c t o r s decided by the host o r g a n i z a t i o n before an i n s t r u c t o r began teaching. Technological f a c t o r s a l s o shaped i n s t r u c t i o n beyond an i n s t r u c t o r s c o n t r o l , i n c l u d i n g : the technology r e q u i r e d to access the course, place- independent access to the course, the nature of asynchronous communication and the nature of text-based communication. Text- based asynchronous communication h i g h l i g h t e d students w r i t i n g s t y l e s , allowed f o r the use of quotes and references, allowed f o r t h o u g h t f u l , r e f l e c t i v e communication but a l s o created concerns about l u r k e r s and workload. These f i n d i n g s from the research were used to create an a n a l y t i c a l framework, a t e t r a d , conceived as a s e r i e s of questions. The questions are meant to guide decision-making by i n s t r u c t o r s and planners of internet-based courses. The four questions are: 1) What teaching d e c i s i o n s does the o r g a n i z a t i o n make before you, the i n s t r u c t o r , begin the c l a s s ? 2) How w i l l the technology a f f e c t people's p a r t i c i p a t i o n l e v e l and t h e i r q u a l i t y of i n t e r a c t i o n ? 3) How much a c c o u n t a b i l i t y i s ' b u i l t - i n ' t o the communication? 4) How l a b o u r - i n t e n s i v e i s the medium? The t e t r a d has been conceived so i t may be a p p l i c a b l e to a l l internet-based teaching, even as the medium continues to change. TABLE OF CONTENTS ABSTRACT i l TABLE OF CONTENTS i v LIST OF TABLES v i i LIST OF FIGURES v i i i ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS i x CHAPTER 1 1 THE PROBLEMS OF INTERNET-BASED TEACHING 1 S t r u c t u r e of Study 7 CHAPTER 2 . 9 LITERATURE REVIEW: ORGANIZING DISTANCE EDUCATION FOR ADULTS .... 9 Distance Education I n s t r u c t i o n , Learners and Organizations . . 10 Designing Courses and Supporting Students 13 Course Design 14 Student Support . 15 Learners: L o c a t i n g Distance Education i n Adult Education ... 18 Distance Education i n Higher Education 26 R e l a t i o n s h i p of an Orga n i z a t i o n to a Course 30 Factors that I n t e r a c t i n a Course 31 Context of Planning Educational Programs 33 Planning Courses at a U n i v e r s i t y 35 Technology i n Distance Education 37 Summary of L i t e r a t u r e Review 41 Purpose 4 3 CHAPTER 3 45 METHODOLOGY 45 Frame Factor Theory 4 7 Research Question 54 Research Design 54 W r i t i n g the A n a l y s i s 60 L i m i t a t i o n s of the Study 61 CHAPTER 4 64 INSTITUTIONAL FRAME FACTORS 64 C r e a t i n g an o n l i n e course 64 Or g a n i z a t i o n a l Factors 68 Class S i z e 68 I n s t r u c t o r Roles and A c c o u n t a b i l i t y 69 C u r r i c u l a r Factors 75 Assessment 75 Set Content 77 Teaching Online 7 9 Study S k i l l s 82 Summary 83 CHAPTER 5 84 TECHNOLOGICAL FRAME FACTORS 84 Technical Requirements 84 Place-independent Access 85 Asynchronous Communication 87 Text-based Communication 93 W r i t i n g S t y l e s 94 Lurkers 95 Quotes and References 97 Thoughtful Communication 100 Workload 103 Summary 104 CHAPTER 6 107 ANALYTICAL FRAMEWORK AND CONCLUSION 107 Students and I n s t r u c t o r s Experience and Worldviews 107 A n a l y t i c a l Framework 110 Conclusion 114 REFERENCES 115 LIST OF TABLES Table 1: Student support needs of distance education students at s p e c i f i c e d u cational stages 16 Table 2: Schroeder's Typology of Adult Education Agencies 20 Table 3 : R e l a t i o n s h i p of O r g a n i z a t i o n a l S t r u c t u r e to Or g a n i z a t i o n a l Goals 28 Table 4: ACTIONS Model- Summary of Strengths & Weaknesses of Technologies f o r Distance Education 39 Table 5: Example of How Data Was Organized i n t o Themes 58 Table 6: Monthly Postings by I n s t r u c t o r s i n D i s c u s s i o n Forums 81 Table 7: Day of Postings 88 Table 8: Time of Postings 90 LIST OF FIGURES Figure 1: L i t t l e ' s c l a s s i f i c a t i o n of adult l e a r n i n g s e t t i n g s and agent r o l e s 23 Figure 2: Kowalski's model of f a c t o r s i n v o l v e d i n any- educational o r g a n i z a t i o n 31 Figure 3: Frame f a c t o r s i n the o n l i n e teaching process ...51 Figure 4: T o t a l postings by i n s t r u c t o r s and students, by month 81 Figure 5: Day of p o s t i n g t o d i s c u s s i o n forum „ 88 Figure 6 : Time of postings 91 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS This work i s the outcome of many f a l s e s t a r t s . Throughout i t a l l Roger has been both p a t i e n t and prodding, and I appreciate both a t t r i b u t e s . Many colleagues have come and gone i n the meantime, most of whom I have treasured and a few who deserve s p e c i a l a p p r e c i a t i o n : Mary, R a l f , Sarah, Glen, Sandy, Rebecca and Andy, i t i s my honour t o have met you i n t h i s process. Work colleagues at UBC's Distance Education u n i t have been and are a source of much sustenance. The s t a f f at Distance Teaching Unit and Dual Mode I n s t i t u t e was very h e l p f u l i n my work and data c o l l e c t i o n and Wayne i n p a r t i c u l a r must to be thanked. Many personal f r i e n d s and f a m i l y have supported me (Hanif, Rahat, A l i r e z a , V i c t o r , Peter) and Jan's kindness e s p e c i a l l y needs to be noted. And Rachel, you are always w i t h me. F i n a l l y , I came to Adult Education because of a book by a B r a z i l i a n author I picked up over ten years ago at Broadway Books i n Saskatoon. When I began t h i s program Paulo F r e i r e was s t i l l a l i v e . He has since passed away, and I hope that a f t e r f i n i s h i n g I can remember the s p i r i t and content of h i s work as I continue. CHAPTER 1 THE PROBLEMS OF INTERNET-BASED TEACHING But the key question for people is not about their own authorship ; I can only answer the question "What am I to do?" if I can answer the p r i o r question, "Of what story or stories do I find myself a part?" A l i s d a i r Maclntyre After Virtue Adult educators p l a n and i n s t r u c t educational programs but not i n circumstances of t h e i r choosing. There are many d i f f e r e n t ways t o organize adult l e a r n i n g through educational programs i n formal and non-formal s e t t i n g s . D i f f e r e n t educational contexts can make immense d i f f e r e n c e s i n how ad u l t s l e a r n . Even many r a d i c a l a d u l t educators or l e a r n e r s f i n d t h e i r methods constra i n e d when they work i n formal educational s e t t i n g s . As an adult education student at the U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia (UBC) I have f e l t a t e n s i o n about studying a d u l t education i n a higher education i n s t i t u t i o n . Adult education i s o f t e n espoused as an open, l e a r n e r - d i r e c t e d a c t i v i t y d i f f e r e n t from the r i g i d p r o g r e s s i o n of scho o l i n g . This i s an appeal of adult education. When adul t education i s planned or taught w i t h i n any i n s t i t u t i o n , i n c l u d i n g one of higher education, demands are u s u a l l y put upon planners, i n s t r u c t o r s and le a r n e r s from the i n s t i t u t i o n . These demands have an impact on the reputed independence of adult l e a r n e r s or educators. This t e n s i o n can e x i s t i n d i f f e r e n t ways i n a l l formal educational programs f o r planners, i n s t r u c t o r s , l e a r n e r s , a d m i n i s t r a t o r s or researchers. I t underpins my d e s i r e to analyze how the setting of adult education programs affects dynamics in these programs. The World Wide Web was created i n 1990 and the f i r s t f u l l y o n l i n e courses using t h i s medium were o f f e r e d i n 1995. During the e a r l y years of the Web, o n l i n e distance education was o f t e n trumpeted as a panacea to a l l educational problems. Course d e l i v e r y v i a the Internet has increased s u b s t a n t i a l l y since then. F e d e r a l l y funded TeleEducation i n New Brunswick provides an extensive l i s t i n g of f u l l y o n l i n e courses. In 2002, 52,000 courses were a v a i l a b l e i n E n g l i s h and French worldwide, i n c l u d i n g 1,400 i n New Brunswick alone. This does not i n c l u d e courses, which combine classroom-based and o n l i n e l e a r n i n g s e t t i n g s . In recent years Internet use has expanded beyond the d i s t a n c e education f i e l d . Widespread Internet use has created a neologism, d i s t r i b u t e d l e a r n i n g , which r e f e r s t o teaching that occurs i n v a r i o u s d i s t r i b u t e d l o c a t i o n s on and o f f s i t e of the campus, community centre or classroom. There are many reasons f o r u s i n g the Internet f o r teaching. F i r s t , n e a r l y 48% of Canadians used the Internet at home i n 2000, up from 43% i n 1999 and the highest home use i n the western world (PriceWaterhouseCooper, 2000). Growth of Internet use has l e d t o claims i t can widen access to educational programs. This i s appealing f o r adult educators. However, a d i g i t a l d i v i d e e x i s t s w i t h i n Canada and has become a p o l i c y focus of the f e d e r a l government (Cuneo et a l , 2000). This year the O f f i c e of Learning Technologies, a branch of Human Resources Development Canada (HRDC), has i d e n t i f i e d the d i g i t a l d i v i d e between have and have-not educational o r g a n i z a t i o n s as a funding p r i o r i t y . Even while I n t e r n e t use i s i n c r e a s i n g many people s t i l l cannot access o n l i n e courses. Second, many have claimed the Internet can improve the q u a l i t y of l e a r n i n g , w i t h l i t t l e s u b s t a n t i a l evidence (Harasim et a l . 1995, Goldberg 2000). Recently c r e d i b l e s t u d i e s have emerged about the educ a t i o n a l e f f e c t i v e n e s s of using the Internet f o r teaching (Dzubian & Moskal, 2001). These i n d i c a t e teaching v i a the Internet can improve student r e t e n t i o n , grades and s a t i s f a c t i o n , and f a c u l t y s a t i s f a c t i o n . But i t depends upon how a course i s designed. There are good and bad courses using the Inter n e t , j u s t as i n classrooms, church basements or correspondence courses. T h i r d , there i s pressure from business, i n d u s t r y and governments to use more inf o r m a t i o n technology (IT) i n edu c a t i o n a l s e t t i n g s . Educational o r g a n i z a t i o n s are being asked by governments to serve the same number of l e a r n e r s w i t h fewer resources, or more lea r n e r s w i t h the same resources. Some c l a i m (e.g. Twigg, 1999) teaching v i a a d i s t r i b u t e d l e a r n i n g format can be c o s t - e f f e c t i v e i n the middle and long-term f o r educational o r g a n i z a t i o n s , although l i t t l e c r e d i b l e research e x i s t s to support or r e f u t e t h i s . A l s o , human resource groups are lobbying that f u t u r e labourers w i l l need s k i l l s provided i n IT-based courses. As a r e s u l t the f e d e r a l government funds Industry Canada and HRDC to encourage IT use i n education and t r a i n i n g . Using the Internet f o r teaching i s a l s o b i g business, j u s t as p u b l i s h i n g academic books and j o u r n a l s have been. Even wi t h the ^dot-bomb' f a i l u r e s , corporate enthusiasm f o r ' e - l e a r n i n g ' p e r s i s t s and i n many cases has increased. In the s o b r i e t y of the past year, i t i s evident the promise of changing B2B (business-to-business) dynamics has not been as r e v o l u t i o n a r y as was hyped by the IT i n d u s t r y . So they have s h i f t e d marketing and lobbying e f f o r t s to the f i e l d of x e - l e a r n i n g ' . I t i s seen as a l u c r a t i v e , p o t e n t i a l market f o r Internet use, and s e r v i c e s and products of the IT i n d u s t r y . Even before the dot-com bubble burst, Internet use f o r education had spread so r a p i d l y e- l e a r n i n g had s t a r t e d to a t t r a c t l a r g e businesses. In 1994 WebCT was created at UBC as a course authoring t o o l and by 2001 was used i n over 22 00 i n s t i t u t i o n s i n 77 c o u n t r i e s around the world i n c l u d i n g 216 i n s t i t u t i o n s i n Canada (WebCT, 2001). 1 I t has f i n a n c i a l backing from JP Morgan and Thomson Corporation, and secured $125 m i l l i o n e q u i t y f i n a n c i n g since 1997. Thomson Learning i s a l s o a major partner f o r the U n i v e r s i t a s 21 i n i t i a t i v e to develop a "Global e - U n i v e r s i t y " . UBC and M c G i l l 1 It should be noted that WebCT has a loose d e f i n i t i o n of the term ' i n s t i t u t i o n s ' . For example, they include the U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia as an i n s t i t u t i o n , and also include UBC s Faculty of Education as an i n s t i t u t i o n . are member u n i v e r s i t i e s of t h i s Euro-English speaking world i n i t i a t i v e . P a r t l y because of WebCT's success, i t s main competitor, Blackboard, formed an a l l i a n c e w i t h M i c r o s o f t i n A p r i l 2001. Co-funded by AOL Time-Warner and D e l l Computer Corporation, Blackboard i s supposed to allo w i n s t r u c t o r s t o "seamlessly connect l e a r n i n g m a t e r i a l s developed i n M i c r o s o f t O f f i c e XP-based a p p l i c a t i o n s i n t o Blackboard-powered course environments" (Blackboard, 2001). WebCT and Blackboard are a l s o working w i t h v a r i o u s p u b l i s h e r s such as McGraw H i l l and P r e n t i c e H a l l to develop f u l l y customizable o n l i n e course m a t e r i a l s . Online education i s not j u s t about access, educational e f f e c t i v e n e s s and pedagogy. I t i s a l s o about c a p i t a l i s m . The educational t e r r a i n i s s t i l l new w i t h regard t o the uses and i m p l i c a t i o n s of the Internet f o r education and many dimensions of t h i s way of teaching and l e a r n i n g are not understood. But a l l the above reasons f o r Internet-based teaching beg important educational questions. Foremost i s a r e c u r r i n g question- "does i t work?" 2 A r e l a t e d question i s "how does i t work?" 2 The increased use of the Internet i n education has had the happy r e s u l t of f o r c i n g the issue of q u a l i t y (of teaching, of curriculum, of learning) to the foreground. This study addresses aspects of the l a t t e r question. Any formal ad u l t education program i s a confluence of s e v e r a l people's approaches, i n t e r e s t s and goals. To each moment of l e a r n i n g , i n s t r u c t o r s and l e a r n e r s b r i n g t h e i r personal h i s t o r i e s and knowledge. When l e a r n i n g occurs i n formal o r g a n i z a t i o n s , they a l s o b r i n g the o r g a n i z a t i o n and t h e i r r o l e w i t h i n i t . When the educational process i n v o l v e s technology, t h i s too i s an important p a r t of the context. This study examined how o r g a n i z a t i o n a l and t e c h n o l o g i c a l f a c t o r s shaped teaching an o n l i n e f o r - c r e d i t d i stance education course f o r a d u l t s . Structure of Study Several dimensions of t h i s study need unpacking i n order to r e f i n e the research question; distance education (DE), formal adult education, a d u l t education i n higher education and the r o l e of technology i n teaching. Chapter Two begins w i t h a review of key features of dis t a n c e education i n s t r u c t i o n . Then dis t a n c e education i s l o c a t e d i n adult education. The course Technophiles l i k e to point out that most educators r a r e l y discussed issues of qua l i t y , issues taken up only by s p e c i a l i z e d academics of education. This l ed to immense complacency about teaching and curriculum by many p r a c t i t i o n e r s . Concerns about qual i t y , created by the use of the Internet for teaching, has produced t h i s needed "blowback". researched i n t h i s study i s l o c a t e d at a distance teaching u n i t of a u n i v e r s i t y that o f f e r s predominantly f a c e - t o - f a c e teaching. So the r e l a t i o n s h i p of DE to higher education i s a l s o examined. This study focuses on how context shapes teaching. There e x i s t s l i t e r a t u r e w i t h i n a d u l t education about the impact of s e t t i n g on the planning and teaching process. This i s reviewed i n order to draw out s a l i e n t i n s i g h t s . F i n a l l y , two f a c e t s of distance education l i t e r a t u r e are reviewed -the impact of technology i n designing and d e l i v e r i n g d i stance education, and o r g a n i z a t i o n s o f f e r i n g d i stance education. This background i s used t o c l a r i f y the purpose of t h i s study. In Chapter Three, the research methodology, t h e o r e t i c a l framework and l i m i t s of t h i s study are discussed. Lundgren's Frame Factor theory (1981, 1983) was used to help i d e n t i f y dynamics and values that e x i s t i n o r g a n i z a t i o n s o f f e r i n g adult education. In Chapters Four, Five and S i x an o n l i n e course i n a c t i o n i s reviewed through the lens of frame f a c t o r theory. Chapter S i x a l s o i n c l u d e s the a n a l y t i c a l framework, the output of t h i s study. CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW: ORGANIZING DISTANCE EDUCATION FOR ADULTS To examine how the s e t t i n g of an o n l i n e course shapes i n s t r u c t i o n , three component p a r t s of t h i s process need to be c l a r i f i e d : what counts as the s e t t i n g ; what counts as i n s t r u c t i o n ; what i s the r e l a t i o n s h i p between these two? This chapter begins by i d e n t i f y i n g components of a dis t a n c e education course i n c l u d i n g : teaching i n distance education, the l o c a t i o n of distance education i n ad u l t and higher education, the r o l e of technology i n DE, and the importance of the o r g a n i z a t i o n . These components provide context f o r understanding the l i m i t s and p o s s i b i l i t i e s of d e l i v e r i n g and teaching d i s t a n c e education v i a the I n t e r n e t . Then l i t e r a t u r e i s reviewed on how the features and dynamics of an educational o r g a n i z a t i o n can a f f e c t adult education g e n e r a l l y and dis t a n c e education programs s p e c i f i c a l l y . F i n a l l y , the c e n t r a l purpose of t h i s study i s formulated i n the context of t h i s extant l i t e r a t u r e . Distance Education Instruction, Learners and Organizations Most f u l l y o n l i n e courses are dis t a n c e education courses. Distance education always i n v o l v e s at l e a s t three f e a t u r e s : an o r g a n i z a t i o n , which creates educational m a t e r i a l s and provides an i n s t r u c t o r to guide the l e a r n i n g experience, l e a r n e r s , and a mechanism t o connect the two. An o r g a n i z a t i o n i s a r e l a t i o n s h i p , which f a c i l i t a t e s p a r t i c u l a r a c t i v i t i e s . A formal o r g a n i z a t i o n i s an a d m i n i s t r a t i v e r e l a t i o n s h i p that has some d i v i s i o n and c o - o r d i n a t i o n of labour, and s t r u c t u r e of a u t h o r i t y . These are not always f o r m a l l y defined. An educational o r g a n i z a t i o n o s t e n s i b l y e x i s t s to host or f a c i l i t a t e the teaching and l e a r n i n g r e l a t i o n s h i p between l e a r n e r s and i n s t r u c t o r ( s ) . In many educational s e t t i n g s , the i n f l u e n c e of an o r g a n i z a t i o n on the i n s t r u c t i o n process can o f t e n seem i n v i s i b l e . I t ' s an i n v i s i b l e s t a g i n g area upon which i n d i v i d u a l a c t o r s perform f u n c t i o n s to achieve p a r t i c u l a r aims. This i s e s p e c i a l l y the case i n an e f f i c i e n t o r g a n i z a t i o n or one c o n s i s t e n t w i t h the norms of a s o c i e t y . These o r g a n i z a t i o n s can o f t e n blend i n t o the backdrop. DE i s a case of rendering the strange f a m i l i a r and f a m i l i a r strange. In di s t a n c e education the r o l e and importance of o r g a n i z a t i o n s i s o f t e n h i g h l i g h t e d , and r a r e l y seen as a n e u t r a l backdrop. The nature of distance education demands i t . In DE there i s a p h y s i c a l and at times temporal s e p a r a t i o n of l e a r n e r s and i n s t r u c t o r ( s ) . This creates what has been c a l l e d " t r a n s a c t i o n a l d i s t a n c e " -the e f f e c t that d i s t a n c e has on "the forms of communication and i n t e r a c t i o n [among l e a r n e r s and i n s t r u c t o r s ] , the curriculum, and the management of the program" (Moore & Kearsley, 1996, p.200). A l l education i s a type of communication and some t r a n s a c t i o n a l distance e x i s t s i n any educational event but i n dis t a n c e education the se p a r a t i o n of i n s t r u c t o r and l e a r n e r a f f e c t s t h e i r behaviour i n major ways (Rumble, 1989). The goal of di s t a n c e education i s to address the s p e c i f i c challenges of geographic s e p a r a t i o n and provide e d u c a t i o n a l l y e f f e c t i v e communication. In DE the t r a n s a c t i o n a l d i s t a n c e must be "overcome by i n s t r u c t o r s , l e a r n e r s , and educational organizations i f e f f e c t i v e , d e l i b e r a t e , planned l e a r n i n g i s to occur" (Moore & Kearsley, 1996, p.200; emphasis added). The o r g a n i z a t i o n , or the dis t a n c e teaching u n i t w i t h i n i t , does the work that could otherwise be handled by the p r o x i m i t y of le a r n e r s to the i n s t r u c t o r and p h y s i c a l s e t t i n g . In DE, much of the focus by l e a r n e r s and i n s t r u c t o r s i s on the o r g a n i z a t i o n and people who make i t up: planners, designers, course authors, student support s t a f f and a d m i n i s t r a t o r s . DE always i n v o l v e s an o r g a n i z a t i o n . Keegan (1980) contends the i n f l u e n c e of the educational o r g a n i z a t i o n i s the second most important d e f i n i n g feature of distance education - f o l l o w i n g the se p a r a t i o n of l e a r n e r from i n s t r u c t o r . With DE, the s t r u c t u r a l features and i n t e r n a l f u n c t i o n i n g of an o r g a n i z a t i o n are v i s i b l e to a l l i n v o l v e d p a r t l y because i t i s u n f a m i l i a r t o many peoples' approach to teaching and l e a r n i n g . Internet-based DE i s novel f o r many people and the educational approaches i n v o l v e d are not the norm. So there i s gre a t e r awareness of the r o l e of the o r g a n i z a t i o n that provides Internet-based DE. Designing Courses and Supporting Students I n t e r a c t i o n between the i n s t r u c t o r and l e a r n e r i s not the only- feature of i n s t r u c t i o n i n DE. The o r g a n i z a t i o n i s an a c t i v e p a r t of the i n s t r u c t i o n a l process. The d i s t a n c e between l e a r n e r and i n s t r u c t o r creates a delay i n communication flow. Thus any d i s c u s s i o n of DE i n v o l v e s questions about communication and i n t e r a c t i o n . Three types of i n t e r a c t i o n are important to the i n s t r u c t i o n a l process i n DE: learner-content i n t e r a c t i o n , l e a r n e r - i n s t r u c t o r i n t e r a c t i o n and l e a r n e r - l e a r n e r i n t e r a c t i o n . The key to o f f e r i n g educational programs at a d i s t a n c e i s to see distance as a pedagogical phenomenon, and pedagogical approaches of program planning, c u r r i c u l u m development, course d e l i v e r y and i n s t r u c t i o n are used to address the s e p a r a t i o n of l e a r n e r from i n s t r u c t o r . Teaching i n distance education courses v a r i e s but there i s u s u a l l y an overt awareness of the development of the c u r r i c u l u m and supporting students. Two components are i n v o l v e d i n overcoming the pedagogical distance between l e a r n e r s and i n s t r u c t o r s - i n s t r u c t i o n a l design and student support. Course Design I n s t r u c t i o n a l design i s the matching of appropriate methods, techniques and devices to l e a r n e r s ' needs. I t in v o l v e s understanding the needs of the l e a r n e r , d e s i r e d l e a r n i n g goals, and how technology might f a c i l i t a t e these goals (Gagne et a l . , 1992). There are two important p a r t s of i n s t r u c t i o n a l design; s t r u c t u r i n g the content and i n s t r u c t i o n a l method. S t r u c t u r i n g the content i n v o l v e s d e c i d i n g how informat i o n should be provided. What i s the best way to order the ma t e r i a l ? W i l l i t be presented l i n e a r l y or have m u l t i p l e p o i n t s of entry? When w i l l graphics be appropriate? The s t r u c t u r e of the content i s supposed to provide s t r u c t u r e to the l e a r n i n g . I t can encourage p e r s i s t e n c e and moti v a t i o n , both of which are necessary f o r l e a r n i n g , e s p e c i a l l y f o r independent adult l e a r n e r s . I n s t r u c t i o n i n v o l v e s c r e a t i n g a c t i v i t i e s that help students l e a r n the d e s i r e d knowledge and s k i l l s . When should l e a r n e r s do problem-solving e x e r c i s e s or decision-making e x e r c i s e s ? When should they i n t e r a c t w i t h an i n s t r u c t o r or other l e a r n e r s or t h e i r community? When should they do research, community a c t i v i s m or sim u l a t i o n s ? Such a c t i v i t i e s create the foundations f o r subsequent l e v e l s of l e a r n i n g . I n s t r u c t i o n a l s o i n c l u d e s an a c t i v e r o l e f o r i n s t r u c t o r s as support, f a c i l i t a t o r s or l e c t u r e r s to students. In d i s t a n c e education, i n s t r u c t i o n a l methods can both i n c l u d e the i n s t r u c t o r , and be embedded w i t h i n the i n s t r u c t i o n a l design m a t e r i a l s (e.g. a videotape of an i n t e r v i e w w i t h Paulo F r e i r e f o r Aded 412 at UBC). The d e l i v e r y of the educational program i n v o l v e s more than production and p h y s i c a l d e l i v e r y of information. Formal education r e q u i r e s educators take r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r follow-up w i t h l e a r n e r s , otherwise i t i s j u s t i n f o r m a t i o n p r o v i s i o n . Education r e q u i r e s o f f e r i n g guidance and s t r u c t u r e t o the l e a r n i n g experience, supporting l e a r n e r s w i t h d i f f i c u l t i e s they may be having and, i n formal education, e v a l u a t i n g l e a r n e r s , and assessing the e f f e c t i v e n e s s of the technology. Student Support Student support r e f e r s to forms of a s s i s t a n c e intended to remove b a r r i e r s (e.g. g e t t i n g books from the bookstore to a student i n Fort St. John or addressing communication problems between the student and i n s t r u c t o r ) and promote academic success of students (Potter, 1998). Student support i n distance education includes a v a r i e t y of a c t i v i t i e s and s e r v i c e s (see Table 1). Table 1: Student support needs of distance education students at specific educational stages Stage Support needed Pre-enrollment • Information about s p e c i f i c programs • Advice about course s e l e c t i o n • Information about appropriateness of s p e c i f i c d i stance education formats • Information about g e t t i n g books and l e a r n i n g m a t e r i a l s • Help w i t h understanding p o t e n t i a l e f f e c t s of distance study on s e l f • O r i e n t a t i o n t o media/course d e l i v e r y format S t a r t i n g • Communication w i t h course i n s t r u c t o r courses/program • O r i e n t a t i o n to media/course d e l i v e r y format • O r i e n t a t i o n to l i b r a r y / l e a r n i n g resources • Information about g e t t i n g books and l e a r n i n g m a t e r i a l s • Communication w i t h other distance l e a r n e r s • Help w i t h l e a r n i n g s k i l l s • T u t o r i n g a s s i s t a n c e w i t h course content Moving through • Communication w i t h course i n s t r u c t o r program • Tut o r i n g a s s i s t a n c e w i t h course content • Communication w i t h other distance l e a r n e r s • Help w i t h w r i t i n g process Abridged from Potter, (1998) Some student supports are the same as those provided t o l e a r n e r s i n a d u l t or higher education o r g a n i z a t i o n s , such as 'information about s p e c i f i c programs'. But i n DE, the o r g a n i z a t i o n provides many f u n c t i o n s an i n s t r u c t o r would f u l f i l l i n a classroom course. This i n c l u d e s a d m i n i s t r a t i o n , i n f o r m a t i o n about g e t t i n g course m a t e r i a l s , f a c i l i t a t i n g communication w i t h other l e a r n e r s , and e v a l u a t i o n . The o r g a n i z a t i o n i s an a c t i v e part of what i s otherwise f a m i l i a r i n classroom i n s t r u c t i o n . I n t e r a c t i o n among i n s t r u c t o r s and l e a r n e r s i s c r u c i a l i n DE and t h i s depends on how the course i s designed and technology used. I f the course i s designed to be 'independent study' w i t h minimal i n s t r u c t o r guidance, i t i s p o s s i b l e a student may communicate wit h the i n s t r u c t o r only at the beginning of the course by phone and handing i n assignments. Most student communication f o r the course w i l l be w i t h support s t a f f . Other courses can r e q u i r e students to i n t e r a c t a c t i v e l y and r e g u l a r l y w i t h the i n s t r u c t o r and other l e a r n e r s . Some o n l i n e courses have team i n s t r u c t i o n or guest i n s t r u c t o r s . And o f t e n the i n s t r u c t o r i s not the course author or i n s t r u c t i o n a l designer. Who i n t e r a c t s w i t h and i n s t r u c t s the students can vary immensely. Communication i n DE i s mediated by technology and t h i s g r e a t l y e f f e c t s the i n t e r a c t i o n . In fa c e - t o - f a c e i n s t r u c t i o n , teacher immediacy in c l u d e s nonverbal behaviours that reduce p h y s i c a l and/or p s y c h o l o g i c a l d i s t a n c e between teachers and l e a r n e r s . Each technology has b e n e f i t s and l i m i t a t i o n s . C e r t a i n media encourage a more passive r o l e f o r students than others (e.g. p r i n t versus telephone), and a l l o w f o r w r i t t e n , v i s u a l , or o r a l communication. This e f f e c t s o p p o r t u n i t i e s to ask questions or construct knowledge. The e f f e c t i v e n e s s and volume of communication depends on how i n s t r u c t o r s and l e a r n e r s use technology. An i n s t r u c t o r ' s r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h l e a r n e r s i s framed p a r t l y by course design and technology. Learners: Locating Distance Education i n Adult Education Most distance education programs are o f f e r e d at c o l l e g e s and u n i v e r s i t i e s , where the l e a r n e r s are predominantly youth and the focus i s on the reproduction of knowledge. Such a s e t t i n g can seem at odds w i t h a d u l t education, w i t h i t s emancipatory i d e a l s . However, there are a v a r i e t y of goals f o r adult education and places where i t occurs. Many d i f f e r e n t types of o r g a n i z a t i o n s o f f e r adult education programs. Programs may be sponsored by or l o c a t e d i n an o r g a n i z a t i o n that i s l a r g e , s t a b l e and r i g i d , such as a p r i s o n , h o s p i t a l , or u n i v e r s i t y . Or an o r g a n i z a t i o n may be sm a l l , p r e c a r i o u s , and f l e x i b l e , such as Roots of Resistance, RAIN (Real A l t e r n a t i v e Information Network) and other a n t i - g l o b a l i z a t i o n and a n t i - r a c i s t community-based groups i n Vancouver. Organizations o f f e r i n g a d u l t education pervade s o c i e t y and o f t e n have p e r i p h e r a l s t a t u s (Bruner & Verner, 1968; Selman, 1988). This makes i t d i f f i c u l t to i d e n t i f y p a t t e r n s i n purposes, p h i l o s o p h i e s , composition, a d m i n i s t r a t i v e s t r u c t u r e and c u l t u r e (Courtney 1989; Rachal, 1989). Distance education i s a type of adult education. For example, DE can be e a s i l y l o c a t e d w i t h i n Schroeder's (1972) commonly used typology of o r g a n i z a t i o n s o f f e r i n g a d u l t education. Schroeder i d e n t i f i e s four types of agencies where formal a d u l t education occurs (see Table 2). These are d i s t i n g u i s h e d according to how important education i s to an i n s t i t u t i o n o f f e r i n g adult education programs. Schroeder's typology h i g h l i g h t s the immense v a r i e t y of places where formal adult education occurs. I t a l s o shows the o f t e n p e r i p h e r a l s t a t u s of adult education w i t h i n an o r g a n i z a t i o n . Table 2: Schroeder's (1972) Typology of Adult Education Agencies FUNCTION EXAMPLES IN VANCOUVER 1. Primary f u n c t i o n i s to F r o n t i e r C o l l e g e , J u s t i c e I n s t i t u t e , serve a d u l t s Open L e a r n i n g Agency 2. Youth i n s t i t u t i o n with Night sc h o o l s , Community C o l l e g e s , a d u l t e d ucation as a ESL programs, P r i v a t e C o l l e g e s , secondary f u n c t i o n U n i v e r s i t y E x t e n s i o n programs 3. Allied f u n c t i o n i s Museums, l i b r a r i e s , h e a l t h and a d u l t e d u c a t i o n w e l f a r e agencies, St Paul's h o s p i t a l ' s cancer g r i e v i n g program 4. Subordinate f u n c t i o n Churches, labour unions, v o l u n t a r y i s a d u l t e d ucation a s s o c i a t i o n s , government agencies, Greenpeace Distance education programs could take place i n any of these types of agencies, but DE f o r - c r e d i t tends t o be o f f e r e d i n one of the f i r s t two types of o r g a n i z a t i o n s . I f dis t a n c e education i s the primary f u n c t i o n of an o r g a n i z a t i o n , the c l i e n t e l e tend to be mainly ad u l t l e a r n e r s . In DE l i t e r a t u r e , such o r g a n i z a t i o n s are c a l l e d single-mode i n s t i t u t i o n s . Athabasca U n i v e r s i t y i n A l b e r t a and the Open Learning Agency i n Burnaby are two examples of single-mode i n s t i t u t i o n s . Often d i s t a n c e education i s a p e r i p h e r a l feature of a predominantly youth- focused higher education o r g a n i z a t i o n . These are c a l l e d dual- mode i n s t i t u t i o n s that focus on face-to-face education while a l s o o f f e r i n g d i stance courses. Many u n i v e r s i t i e s (UBC, U n i v e r s i t y of V i c t o r i a ) and fewer c o l l e g e s o f f e r d i stance education programs. These can be l o c a t e d w i t h i n a c o l l e g e , u n i v e r s i t y , school or t r a i n i n g department; or they can be l o c a t e d o f t e n as a branch of extension or c o n t i n u i n g s t u d i e s d i v i s i o n s . Distance education i s a l s o used f o r v a r i o u s types of t r a i n i n g programs or can be i n i t i a t e d by a consortium of agencies. This paper focuses on distance education that occurs i n e i t h e r s i n g l e or dual mode i n s t i t u t i o n s . These correspond w i t h Schroeder's f i r s t two types of agencies. Much distance education then i s formal adult education, as i t tends to take place only i n i n s t r u c t i o n a l s e t t i n g s w i t h i n an i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z e d system. The term formal adult education i n c l u d e s any purposeful, systematic and sustained l e a r n i n g a c t i v i t y that i s sponsored, planned or d i r e c t e d by an o r g a n i z a t i o n even i f i t does not have education as a primary focus (Darkenwald & Merriam, 1982, p.152). This i n c l u d e s educational programs i n i t i a t e d or hosted by night schools, government, v o l u n t a r y a s s o c i a t i o n s , unions and other o r g a n i z a t i o n s . This i s i n c o n t r a s t t o informal a d u l t education, which i s not sponsored, planned or d i r e c t e d by an o r g a n i z a t i o n . I t can i n c l u d e p r i v a t e i n s t r u c t i o n , l e a r n i n g exchanges, and groups independent of o r g a n i z a t i o n s ( l i k e reading c l u b s ) . L i t t l e l o c a t e s s e t t i n g s where a l l adult l e a r n i n g occurs. As he s t a t e s , "while l e a r n i n g occurs w i t h i n the c e n t r a l nervous system of an i n d i v i d u a l , education... i s a c o n d i t i o n e s t a b l i s h e d to f a c i l i t a t e l e a r n i n g " ( L i t t l e , 1980, p.9). Learning occurs everywhere i n n a t u r a l s o c i e t a l s e t t i n g s and not j u s t i n formal s c h o o l i n g s e t t i n g s (see Figure 1). Adult education can be s e l f - d i r e c t e d or d i r e c t e d by others. Of the l a t t e r , e d ucational programs can be i n s t i t u t i o n a l or n o n - i n s t i t u t i o n a l . Non- i n s t i t u t i o n a l programs i n c l u d e , f o r example, a workshop on drumming or c i v i l disobedience at a music f e s t i v a l . I n s t i t u t i o n a l education takes place i n agencies i d e n t i f i e d i n Schroeder's taxonomy. DE would be l o c a t e d as a program of i n s t r u c t i o n , i n an i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z e d system, d i r e c t e d by others, l o c a t e d i n a formal i n s t r u c t i o n a l s e t t i n g . Figure 1: Little's (1980) classification of adult learning settings and agent roles. LEARNING Non-institutional Program Institutionalized System Curriculum Program External Instruction External Instruction s: Extemalslnstruction» Independence Dependence Independence Dependence Independence Dependence Distance education i s a l s o considered adult education because DE serves mainly a d u l t s . This i s common f o r most DE programs and courses. Even i n dual-mode i n s t i t u t i o n s , which focus more on youth, distance education programs tend to have.older students. At UBC f o r example, the average age of students t a k i n g distance education courses i s 28 years (X=28.1, S.D.=9, N=1671, Distance Education & Technology, 2000) while the average age of the o v e r a l l student p o p u l a t i o n at UBC i s 24.9 (UBC, 2001). The o l d e r age of UBC DE students i s noteworthy given the smaller percentage of graduate courses o f f e r e d by Distance Education & Technology than at UBC as a whole. The average age of l e a r n e r s at single-mode DE i n s t i t u t i o n s tend to be even higher. At Athabasca U n i v e r s i t y 60% of undergraduate students are 25 years of age or o l d e r , while 40% are under 25 (Athabasca, 2001). The number o f . a d u l t l e a r n e r s i s higher f o r graduate courses and programs. Only 3.5% are under 25 years o l d , 32.4% are between 25 and 34 years o l d and over 64% are 35 years of age or o l d e r . This trend i s a l s o found i n i n s t i t u t i o n s o f f e r i n g DE i n other c o u n t r i e s (Curran, 1992). DE students are o l d e r and more l i k e l y to be parents and employed than non- distance education students are (Distance Education & Technology, 2000). Distance education e x i s t s p a r t i a l l y to overcome b a r r i e r s to l e a r n i n g , an e t h i c shared w i t h a d u l t education. Access i s the r a i s o n d'être f o r distance education. P h y s i c a l access i s only one component of DE. I t i s a l s o supposed t o be a c c e s s i b l e f o r le a r n e r s who are, f o r va r i o u s reasons, m a r g i n a l i z e d by conventional formal education. Distance education programs in c l u d e s e v e r a l i n i t i a t i v e s that p a r a l l e l a d u l t education. F i r s t , many DE programs are second chance education " f o r those who missed out the f i r s t time around" (Curran, 1992,p.56). Of these courses many incl u d e 'top-up' programs that l e t students complete higher l e v e l q u a l i f i c a t i o n s so they can move, f o r example, from a diploma to a degree. Secondly, DE i s used f o r primary access to education, as an a l t e r n a t i v e t o conventional education, e s p e c i a l l y i n developing c o u n t r i e s . To t h i s end, many distance education programs are s t i l l a s s o c i a t e d with the term 'open l e a r n i n g ' , as i n open to any l e a r n e r s r e g a r d l e s s of previous educational background. Even i n B.C. l e a r n e r s who may have l i t t l e formal education experience or success can f i n d p o i n t s of entry i n t o formal education, v i a programs l i k e P r i o r Learning Assessment at the Open Learning Agency. T h i r d l y , many DE programs serve as recurrent education, programs that a l l o w l e a r n e r s to upgrade and do p r o f e s s i o n a l development. E s p e c i a l l y since the advent of the Internet there has been immense enthusiasm f o r using DE to serve l i f e l o n g l e a r n e r s i n v o l v e d w i t h r e c u r r e n t education. These l e a r n e r s who have been sentenced to l i f e (Falk, 1999) are, by d e f i n i t i o n , adult l e a r n e r s . Distance Education i n Higher Education While d i s t a n c e education i s used f o r t r a i n i n g , much DE occurs i n a formal higher education context. These programs and courses n e c e s s a r i l y incorporate c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of higher education o r g a n i z a t i o n s . DE f o r - c r e d i t courses are part of the formal education system 3. This e f f e c t s what occurs i n a program or course. Teaching i n higher education i s p a r t of an o r g a n i z a t i o n a l network that provides space to disseminate and reproduce knowledge, values and s k i l l s to other members of s o c i e t y . Higher education (and o f t e n adult education) p l a y ( s ) an important r o l e i n human resource development. Higher education i n Canada during the 1960s i s s t r o n g l y t i e d t o the economic f u n c t i o n of education. In 1961, Schultz argued that a c q u i r i n g knowledge and s k i l l s was comparable to o b t a i n i n g a "means of production" (Schultz, 1961, p.11). Knowledge, he claimed, i s a form of c a p i t a l . Knowledge i s an investment i n a worker's 3 I use Coombs' d e f i n i t i o n of formal education as the " h i e r a r c h i c a l l y structured, chronologically graded 'education system' running from primary school through the uni v e r s i t y " (Coombs i n Rubenson, 1982, p. 3) . c a p a b i l i t i e s that could lead to higher earnings f o r the worker and higher p r o d u c t i v i t y f o r the economy. He c a l l e d t h i s human c a p i t a l -the sum of education, n a t u r a l t a l e n t , t r a i n i n g , and experience that comprise the w e l l s p r i n g of futu r e earnings flows (Bernstein, 1996, p.110). Formal education i s seen to have a c e n t r a l r o l e i n h e l p i n g to develop human c a p i t a l . Based p a r t l y on t h i s r a t i o n a l e , governments increased the number of u n i v e r s i t i e s during the 1960s and i n i t i a t e d community c o l l e g e s . T r a i n i n g i s an important s o c i a l f u n c t i o n of higher education. In adult education language, t h i s would be considered education that serves to i n t e g r a t e people i n t o the economy. Higher education does pl a y other important r o l e s i n s o c i e t y ; c r e a t i n g new knowledge, applying knowledge t o solve s o c i a l problems, p r o v i d i n g a means of s o c i a l m o b i l i t y , c o o l i n g o f f people's a s p i r a t i o n s , s o c i a l i z a t i o n , and a l l o w i n g f o r s o c i a l c r i t i q u e . This feature of education has been c a l l e d the e q u i l i b r i u m - c o n f l i c t dimension of s o c i a l change, i . e . i s the purpose of an educational program to create e q u i l i b r i u m or f o s t e r s o c i a l change (Paulston, 1977; E l i a s & Merriam, 1980; L a b e l l e , 1986; Rubenson, 1982, 1989). Most higher education teaching e x i s t s to f o s t e r s o c i a l e q u i l i b r i u m although c e r t a i n s i t e s , w i t h i n c o l l e g e s and u n i v e r s i t i e s , i n the i n t e r s t i c e s , develop and s u s t a i n r e s i s t a n c e and co u n t e r c u l t u r e a c t i v i t i e s ( M i l l a r , 1984, p.298). These s o c i a l f u n c t i o n s of c o l l e g e s and u n i v e r s i t i e s t r a n s l a t e i n t o s p e c i f i c o r g a n i z a t i o n a l processes and goals. Any o r g a n i z a t i o n can have t i g h t or loose goals and t i g h t or loose processes and p r a c t i c e s to achieve these goals (see Table 3). Table 3: Relationship of Organizational Structure to Organizational Goals ORGANIZATIONAL TIGHT GOALS LOOSE GOALS STRUCTURE Tight Processes E.g. m i l i t a r y , some E.g. Prisons educational o r g a n i z a t i o n s Loose Processes E.g. D e c e n t r a l i z e d E.g. Non-formal formal education education (Adapted from Peters & Waterman, 1982). Higher education o r g a n i z a t i o n s can have t i g h t goals w i t h t i g h t processes or t i g h t goals w i t h loose processes. The mission of higher education i n s t i t u t i o n s w i l l vary as w i l l t h e i r c u r r i c u l a emphasis. But each c o l l e g e or u n i v e r s i t y has some standardized educational p r a c t i c e s unto themselves. The funding and l e g a l s t r u c t u r e of higher education makes these i n s t i t u t i o n s i n Canada accountable p r i m a r i l y , though not e x c l u s i v e l y , to the s t a t e . The s t a t e o f t e n plays a l a r g e r o l e i n d e f i n i n g the s o c i a l f u n c t i o n and o f f i c i a l goals of higher education. This means the o r g a n i z a t i o n a l s t r u c t u r e of higher education tends t o be more r i g i d than many agencies o f f e r i n g adult education, as c o l l e g e or u n i v e r s i t y must produce c e r t a i n educational 'outputs'. An example would be a c e r t a i n number of students each year that have completed diplomas or degrees. Even a d e c e n t r a l i z e d or l o o s e l y s t r u c t u r e d c o l l e g e or u n i v e r s i t y f u l f i l s i t s s o c i a l f u n c t i o n by having a p r i v i l e g e d , s t a t e - sanctioned r o l e i n c e r t i f y i n g l e a r n i n g . Grades are used t o measure l e a r n i n g (or at l e a s t l e a r n e r performance) and connect the r e l a t i o n s h i p between i n s t r u c t o r s and l e a r n e r s t o l a r g e r s o c i a l and economic f u n c t i o n s of education. E v a l u a t i o n of le a r n e r s a r t i c u l a t e s the process of higher education to the f u n c t i o n of education i . e . reproduction of s o c i e t y . Distance education i s c o n s t r a i n e d by t h i s requirement, imposed upon a l l f o r - c r e d i t higher education programs and courses. Relationship of an Organization to a Course What an o r g a n i z a t i o n i s supposed to do and what takes place i n a given course do not n e c e s s a r i l y correspond. Any o r g a n i z a t i o n has o f f i c i a l goals and operative goals, what i s p o l i c y and what i s procedure (Nnazor, 1998, p.34). A c o l l e g e or u n i v e r s i t y has an i n t e r f a c e w i t h the outside environment of the s t a t e , economy and surrounding community. I t a l s o has an i n t e r n a l i n t e r f a c e w i t h v a r i o u s u n i t s , departments and, i n u n i v e r s i t i e s , f a c u l t i e s . Attempts have been made i n adult education to connect a course or program to an o r g a n i z a t i o n . Discussions about o r g a n i z a t i o n s o f f e r i n g adult education are u s u a l l y found i n program planning l i t e r a t u r e , the branch of adult education where a d m i n i s t r a t i v e issues are addressed. In t h i s l i t e r a t u r e s e v e r a l authors di s c u s s how the o r g a n i z a t i o n a l context of a course or program can shape the a d u l t educator's a c t i o n s . This next s e c t i o n discusses f a c t o r s that i n t e r a c t i n a course; the o r g a n i z a t i o n a l context and n e g o t i a t i o n i n v o l v e d i n planning a course i n higher education. Factors that Interact in a Course In DE i n s t r u c t i o n a l design, Kowalski's work i s o f t e n used to dis c u s s the planning and design process. He analyzes adult education planning and provides a model of d i f f e r e n t f a c t o r s that i n t e r a c t when adult education i s o f f e r e d by an o r g a n i z a t i o n (see Figure 2). Figure 2: Kowalski's model of factors involved in any- educational organization General Environment Parent Organization Program Each c i r c l e represents a l e v e l of a c t i v i t y . The outer c i r c l e i s the general environment w i t h i n which an o r g a n i z a t i o n e x i s t s . The second c i r c l e , moving inwards, i s a parent o r g a n i z a t i o n i t s e l f such as a c o l l e g e or u n i v e r s i t y , the way educational programs are administered, the s t r u c t u r e of a u t h o r i t y and o r g a n i z a t i o n a l c u l t u r e . Program planners tend to work i n t h i s realm. T h i r d i s the program i t s e l f , i n c l u d i n g i n s t r u c t i o n , i n s t r u c t o r s and curricu l u m . The most inner c i r c l e has l e a r n e r s . The l a t t e r two c i r c l e s tend to be seen as the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y , predominantly, of i n s t r u c t o r s . This model i s h e l p f u l because i t names components of an o r g a n i z a t i o n o f f e r i n g d i s t a n c e education. I t does not e x p l a i n them i n great d e t a i l or how they i n t e r a c t . For example, we know an o r g a n i z a t i o n ' s environment (laws, community, the state) can vary g r e a t l y depending on the type of o r g a n i z a t i o n i t i s , i t s purpose and i n t e r n a l f u n c t i o n i n g . A l l higher education o r g a n i z a t i o n s o f f e r i n g DE are r e q u i r e d to have a r e l a t i o n s h i p to other agencies or the s t a t e because government p o l i c y or economic pressures r e q u i r e i t . Some higher education o r g a n i z a t i o n s choose t o react to changes i n the e x t e r n a l environment. An example i s industry-based adult education ( i n c l u d i n g d i s t a n c e education) programs o f f e r e d by extension d i v i s i o n s at c o l l e g e s and u n i v e r s i t i e s . And any o r g a n i z a t i o n i s a f f e c t e d by the c u l t u r e of the e x t e r n a l environment. An o r g a n i z a t i o n r e l a t e s t o i t s e x t e r n a l environment because of s p e c i f i c r e l a t i o n s h i p s such as the l i n k of DE to the economy and s t a t e . Through h i s model, Kowalski i d e n t i f i e s s e v e r a l components w i t h i n an o r g a n i z a t i o n and why o r g a n i z a t i o n s can be d i f f e r e n t . But he does not d i s c u s s how these fe a t u r e s may a f f e c t an o r g a n i z a t i o n dynamics. Context of Planning Educational Programs Cervero and Wilson (1994) examine the context of planning by l o o k i n g at planners' everyday p r a c t i c e i n t h e i r o r g a n i z a t i o n a l s e t t i n g . They s t u d i e d three d i f f e r e n t types of o r g a n i z a t i o n a l s e t t i n g s t o evince how an o r g a n i z a t i o n can e f f e c t program planners' p r a c t i c e , even planners who do not n e c e s s a r i l y t r y i n n o v a t i v e a d u l t education programs. They found that an important feature of what program planners do everyday i s to negotiate personal and o r g a n i z a t i o n a l i n t e r e s t s . An a d u l t educator (or a learner) i s not an autonomous i n d i v i d u a l , s e l f - d i r e c t e d i n h i s or her own approach t o teaching, planning or l e a r n i n g . Adult educators are embedded i n an o r g a n i z a t i o n a l s t r u c t u r e of power. "Power r e l a t i o n s h i p s s t r u c t u r e the t e r r a i n on which programs are always planned" ( I b i d . , p.12). Various s t a f f members i n an o r g a n i z a t i o n embody i n s t i t u t i o n a l power, defined by t h e i r r o l e s , manifest i n t h e i r i n t e r a c t i o n . An o r g a n i z a t i o n ' s power becomes v i s i b l e i n everyday n e g o t i a t i o n s among act o r s and i n how a u t h o r i t y i s s t r u c t u r e d . These n e g o t i a t i o n s are e s p e c i a l l y important i n distance education where planning u s u a l l y i n v o l v e s a team of people. The team can include i n s t r u c t i o n a l designers, content experts and t e c h n i c a l production s t a f f . Cervero and Wilson argue planners need t o " a n t i c i p a t e the s t r u c t u r a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s of power", i n order to be aware adult educators. T h e i r p e r s p e c t i v e i d e n t i f i e s power as a c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of formal a d u l t education. However, they have a r e l a t i v e l y u n c r i t i c a l d e f i n i t i o n of power i n t h e i r work. They s t i l l maintain a strong b e l i e f that "the educator can do what they want to" (St. C l a i r , 2000, p.22). Planning Courses at a University Adult educators encounter o r g a n i z a t i o n a l c o n s t r a i n t s when planning a course 4. These are o f t e n more v i s i b l e w i t h i n n o v a t i v e or novel courses. O r g a n i z a t i o n a l c o n s t r a i n t s can be imposed on educators not j u s t from the o r g a n i z a t i o n , the s t a t e , or peers but from what students expect of a course. A u s e f u l example i s a l e a r n e r - c e n t r e d c u r r i c u l u m f o r a teacher education program at a South A f r i c a n u n i v e r s i t y i n i t i a t e d during a p a r t h e i d by a group of innovative adult educators ( M i l l a r 1986, 1989). Instead of using a r e g u l a r approach to teaching, these educators wanted to 'democratize the curriculum' by having students negotiate what they learned. The i n i t i a t i v e f a i l e d because of r e s i s t a n c e p r i m a r i l y from l e a r n e r s . They were i n i t i a l l y uncomfortable w i t h the new approach to program planning, as i t was s i g n i f i c a n t l y d i f f e r e n t from previous experiences. And once l e a r n e r s , as student-teachers, were i n the workplace, they f e l t the c u r r i c u l u m d i d not prepare them to meet work demands. This 4 I define "constraints' as Giddens does: " l i m i t s upon the range of options open to an actor, or p l u r a l i t y of actors" (Giddens, 1984, p.177). He i d e n t i f i e s three types. Material constraints derive from the q u a l i t i e s of the material world and the human body. Negative, power-based constraints ( i . e . sanctions) are punitive responses by others because of one's actions. S t r u c t u r a l constraints, derive from the context of action, i . e . from the s t r u c t u r a l property of a s i t u a t i o n . A l l three types e x i s t i n the context of teaching online. attempt to introduce a new s t y l e of planning f o r student- teachers f a i l e d because i t stepped outside the t a c i t c o n tract that e x i s t s between ac t o r s i n an educational s e t t i n g . When le a r n e r s , educators and planners are i n v o l v e d i n an educational program, they t a c i t l y agree to normative "terms of educational p r a c t i c e " . This t a c i t c o n tract i n c l u d e s : norms of behaviour, "predetermined ca t e g o r i e s of knowledge", accustomed r o l e s , and an unstated understanding of where a u t h o r i t y l i e s . As long as these terms are adhered to, an o r g a n i z a t i o n ' s r o l e and norms of educational p r a c t i c e remain i n v i s i b l e . This t a c i t c o n t r a c t i s v i o l a t e d when someone attempts to i n i t i a t e c u r r i c u l u m or i n s t r u c t i o n that breaches expected p r a c t i c e s . When educators i n i t i a t e such programs, they encounter b a r r i e r s that make the educational context v i s i b l e . The s t a g i n g area of education i s no longer taken f o r granted or n e u t r a l . What l e a r n e r s and educators expect of an educational o r g a n i z a t i o n i s a component of any educational context. Planning educational programs must account f o r a program's i n s t i t u t i o n a l character, i n c l u d i n g normative expectations of the o r g a n i z a t i o n . The educational context can create tensions f o r educators who want to p l a n or i n s t r u c t i n a l e s s conventional approach than an i n s t i t u t i o n i s w i l l i n g to allow. The South A f r i c a n example underscores that an educator, planner, course designer, or l e a r n e r has freedom to act but i t i s a "sponsored freedom" where the o r g a n i z a t i o n i s the guarantor. The b a r r i e r s encountered makes context apparent. This i s not uncommon experience f o r adult educators who have undertaken new educational i n i t i a t i v e s i n an o r g a n i z a t i o n . Many- adult educators, i n c l u d i n g myself, have learned about these o r g a n i z a t i o n a l norms, the hard way. DE i s i n t e r e s t i n g because the teaching and l e a r n i n g contract i s not t a c i t . I t i s u s u a l l y s t a t e d up-front. And t h i s c o ntract i s dynamic i n DE, p a r t l y because of continuous changes to the t e c h n o l o g i c a l s e t t i n g s of DE. I w i l l r e t u r n to t h i s p o i n t i n Chapter 5. Technology i n Distance Education Distance education i s made p o s s i b l e by changes i n communication technology. DE i s i n t r i n s i c a l l y r e l a t e d to media. Bates' ACTIONS model provides a u s e f u l summary of technologies used i n teaching distance education, along w i t h t h e i r strengths and weaknesses (see Table 4). The f i r s t generation of media was p r i n t a s s o c i a t e d w i t h p o s t a l m a i l (Bourdeau & Bates, 1996) . P r i n t e d m a t e r i a l s such as textbooks, study packages, and l e t t e r s were used as communications media f o r correspondence study since the l a t e 1800s. The second generation of media was audio, v i a r a d i o and telephone. The i n t e r a c t i v e a b i l i t y of r a d i o i s l i m i t e d , as i t i s a one-way medium. Telephone allows f o r i n d i v i d u a l two-way t u t o r i n g and i s commonly used i n DE. In the 1950's, t e l e v i s i o n and l a t e r s a t e l l i t e s were a v a i l a b l e and could be used t o v i s u a l l y enhance l e a r n i n g m a t e r i a l s . But they too are g e n e r a l l y one-way media that are good f o r d e l i v e r y of i n f o r m a t i o n but not f o r i n t e r a c t i o n . This t h i r d generation of media r e l i e s on telephone and p o s t a l mail f o r i n t e r a c t i o n between i n s t r u c t o r and l e a r n e r and among l e a r n e r s . Table 4: ACTIONS Model- Summary of Strengths & Weaknesses of Technologies for Distance Education Media Access Number Large Costs of Learners Small Teaching Presen- S k i l l s t a t i o n I n t e r a c t i v i t y Learning S o c i a l Materials Organiz a t i o n a l Issues Novelty Speed (required to change course content) One-way media 1. Print Good Good Average Average Average Average Poor Poor Poor Poor 2. Radio Good Good Poor Poor Poor Poor Poor Average Poor Good 2. Audio- Good Good Average Average Good Good Poor Good Poor Average cassette 3. Educational Good Poor Poor Good Average Poor Poor Poor Average Poor broadcast TV 3. Pre-recorded Good Good Poor Average Average Average Average Average Average Poor I TV 3. Video- Good Average Poor Good Good Good Poor Average Average Poor cassettes 4. Computer- Average Poor Poor Average Average Good Poor Poor Average Poor based Learning 4. Multimedia Average Poor Poor Good Good Good Poor Poor Average Poor Two-way media 2. Audio Average Poor Good Poor Average Poor Good Good Average Good conferencing 3. Live Poor Poor Poor Poor Poor Poor Average Average Average Good i n t e r a c t i v e TV 3. Video Poor Poor Average Poor Average Average Average Average Good Good conferencing 5. Internet Average Average Good Average Good Average Average Good Good Good ITV= i n s t r u c t i o n a l t e l e v i s i o n (adapted from Bates, 1995, p. 17) Number beside media indicates generation of media. The f o u r t h generation i n v o l v e d computer and i n f o r m a t i o n technologies as stand-alone ways of d e l i v e r i n g l e a r n i n g m a t e r i a l s . The f i f t h generation i n c l u d e s d i g i t a l t echnologies, which since advent of the Worldwide Web has meant predominantly the In t e r n e t . While the Web was created i n 1990, the Internet has been around since the l a t e 1960s, and email has been commonly used since 1985. A r i c h and growing body of l i t e r a t u r e e x i s t s i n DE about the previous four generations of media. The f i f t h g eneration i s recent and research about i t s use i s nascent. This study focuses on Internet-based DE but e a r l i e r generations are important to know about and some previous l i t e r a t u r e i s of use and w i l l be discussed f u r t h e r i n the chapter on research methodology. As McLuhan s a i d , there are no completely new technologies, j u s t extensions of o l d technologies (McLuhan, 1964)". Summary of Literature Review To summarize, l i t e r a t u r e i n d i c a t e s d i s t a n c e education i s organized teaching where students and the i n s t r u c t o r are p h y s i c a l l y separate. This r e q u i r e s that an o r g a n i z a t i o n p l a y an a c t i v e r o l e to bridge the communication gap between l e a r n e r s and i n s t r u c t o r s . Thus, the o r g a n i z a t i o n i s more v i s i b l e i n DE than other types of education. I n s t r u c t i o n i n DE i n v o l v e s the i n s t r u c t i o n a l design process and student s e r v i c e s , as w e l l as the r e l a t i o n s h i p between i n s t r u c t o r s and students. Most distance education that takes place i n o r g a n i z a t i o n s that p r i m a r i l y serve a d u l t s , or youth i n s t i t u t i o n s where adult education i s a secondary f u n c t i o n . DE students tend t o be a d u l t s , o l d e r than most higher education students. The f u n c t i o n of most DE courses i s the same as other higher education programs: t o reproduce knowledge and develop l e a r n e r ' s human c a p i t a l . Most di s t a n c e education i s o r i e n t e d towards c r e a t i n g e q u i l i b r i u m r a t h e r than f o s t e r i n g s o c i a l change. This means that e v a l u a t i o n , u s u a l l y manifest as grades, i s an important feature of courses. Grades are used to measure courses and connect what takes place i n s i d e a course to the l a r g e r s o c i a l and economic f u n c t i o n of education. DE i s i n v o l v e d i n higher education o r g a n i z a t i o n s that tend t o have loose processes and t i g h t goals. A great v a r i e t y of s t u d i e s e x i s t on the o r g a n i z a t i o n a l context of adult education programs or courses. While some s t u d i e s address general f a c t o r s that i n t e r a c t i n a course, there i s l i t t l e d e t a i l e d a n a l y s i s of the impact of the educational context on teaching and l e a r n i n g . Importantly, the l i t e r a t u r e i n d i c a t e s adult educators r a r e l y act alone and, i n formal programs, t h e i r freedom t o act i s a "sponsored freedom" where the o r g a n i z a t i o n i s the guarantor. In DE, the importance of the sponsoring o r g a n i z a t i o n i s overt. F i n a l l y , DE i s made p o s s i b l e by technology and there i s extensive a n a l y s i s of the b e n e f i t s and l i m i t a t i o n s of most types of technology f o r teaching. As the Internet i s recent, there i s much l e s s l i t e r a t u r e about how i t shapes teaching. Purpose The l i t e r a t u r e i s h e l p f u l about the r o l e and importance of distance education s e t t i n g but i s patchy and there are many gaps. In p a r t i c u l a r there i s l i t t l e research a n a l y z i n g r e l a t i o n s h i p s among teaching, technology and the o r g a n i z a t i o n . There i s l i t t l e which e x p l a i n s , f o r example, how an adult educator w i t h a humanist or r a d i c a l t h e o r e t i c a l p e r s p e c t i v e teaches w i t h i n a b e h a v i o r i s t o r g a n i z a t i o n ? Yet many adult educators face t h i s t e n s i o n . I t i s a maxim of adult education that education does not occur only i n classrooms. Yet education f o r a d u l t s o f t e n takes place i n classrooms, t r a i n i n g centres, church basements, at p r o t e s t r a l l i e s and o n l i n e . How do we understand the importance of these contexts? Even ad hoc adult education programs are premised on some c o o r d i n a t i o n of labour and f a c i l i t a t i o n of power. I f a l l formal adult education i s o r g a n i z a t i o n a l education, educators need to be able to analyze the s e t t i n g of t h e i r p r a c t i c e . For DE, an important way to do t h i s i s to examine the o r g a n i z a t i o n a l , t e c h n o l o g i c a l and s o c i o l o g i c a l context of p r a c t i c e . Some engagement wi t h p e r s p e c t i v e s on o r g a n i z a t i o n s from s o c i o l o g y and o r g a n i z a t i o n a l theory i s b e n e f i c i a l . As G r i f f i n (1991) s t a t e d , "the study of adult education as bure a u c r a t i z e d p r o f e s s i o n i s r e l a t i v e l y underdeveloped." The i n t e r e s t i n t h i s study was to look at distance teaching as a bure a u c r a t i z e d and t e c h n o l o g i c a l form of i n s t r u c t i o n . What does i t mean to teach adult education v i a the Internet i n formal o r g a n i z a t i o n a l s e t t i n g s ? Therefore, having regard t o the foregoing, the purpose of t h i s study was: • to analyze the i n s t i t u t i o n a l and t e c h n o l o g i c a l c o n s t r a i n t s on adult educators teaching programs v i a the Internet i n a formal educational s e t t i n g • to create an a n a l y t i c a l framework that allows adult educators to assess c o n s t r a i n t s they face when teaching v i a the Internet The method used to achieve these aims i s discussed i n the next chapter. CHAPTER 3 METHODOLOGY The t h e o r e t i c a l framework and methodology f o r the study are discussed i n t h i s chapter. A f t e r a summary of frame f a c t o r theory and i t s use, the s p e c i f i c research question and design are described, along w i t h c r i t e r i a f o r assessing the soundness of the study. Extensive research has been done on the dynamics that occur w i t h i n o n l i n e d i s c u s s i o n s , even p r i o r to the advent of Web-based education (Henri, 1992; Mowrer, 1996). Communication v i a computer-mediated conferencing, and l a t e r email, has been analyzed f o r over a decade. Most of the focus has been on content a n a l y s i s of o n l i n e d i s c u s s i o n such as: what types of postings have l e a r n e r s and i n s t r u c t o r s made; are they personal impressions or do they r e f l e c t deeper l e v e l t h i n k i n g . Other s t u d i e s have looked at p a t t e r n s of i n t e r a c t i o n such as how of t e n students communicated wi t h each other and w i t h i n s t r u c t o r s at d i f f e r e n t p o i n t s i n the l i f e of a course (Fahy et a l , 2001; G a r r i s o n et a l , 2001, Hara et a l . , 2000). I look at some of t h i s i n f o r m a t i o n i n the course s t u d i e d f o r t h i s research. This l i t e r a t u r e i n d i c a t e s an emerging set of norms about how to teach o n l i n e . These norms are becoming a so r t of s o c i a l c o n s t r a i n t , beyond an i n s t r u c t o r ' s c o n t r o l . I n s t r u c t i o n i s determined p a r t l y by an i n s t r u c t o r ' s a c t i o n s and l e a r n e r - t o - l e a r n e r i n t e r a c t i o n s . However, many d e c i s i o n s are made by i n s t r u c t o r s or students that are not of t h e i r choosing. I n s t r u c t i o n i n c l u d e s the connection between what occurs ' i n t e r n a l l y ' i n the course and the ' e x t e r n a l ' s e t t i n g . The goal of t h i s study i s t o connect l o c a l experiences observable i n the i n s t r u c t i o n a l s e t t i n g w i t h l a r g e r forces that c o n s t r a i n e d ucational a c t i v i t i e s . In order to make t h i s s e t t i n g observable, I needed a t h e o r e t i c a l framework that connects the i n t e r a c t i o n among l e a r n e r s and students w i t h the s o c i a l context 5. Frame f a c t o r theory i s an a n a l y t i c a l t o o l that makes these connections. I t provides a u s e f u l t h e o r e t i c a l framework f o r connecting a c t i o n s of i n s t r u c t o r s and students with e x t e r n a l f a c t o r s . 5 I look at the context p a r t l y because I am d i s s a t i s f i e d by Pratt's (1998) otherwise very useful model of teaching. He i d e n t i f i e s f i v e d i f f e r e n t perspectives on the i n t e r a c t i o n of in s t r u c t o r s , learners, content and ideology. He mentions the context of teaching i n each of these f i v e perspectives but i t i s not discussed i n much d e t a i l even though i t can make a substantial impact on the i n t e r a c t i o n among ins t r u c t o r s , content, and learners. Frame Factor Theory 'Frame f a c t o r s ' r e f e r s to "the circumstances governing [teaching] a c t i v i t i e s " (Hoghielm, 1985, p.216). A t a n g i b l e d e f i n i t i o n of frame f a c t o r s i d e n t i f i e s them as " d e c i s i o n s outside the teacher's and student's c o n t r o l " which shape teaching and l e a r n i n g (Dahloff i n Lundgren, 1981, p.24, emphasis added). In the l a t e 1960s and e a r l y 1970s there was i n c r e a s i n g i n t e r e s t and awareness of how people's a c t i o n s were shaped by s o c i a l and i n s t i t u t i o n a l f o r c e s . As a part of t h i s trend, i n s t r u c t i o n a l processes were analyzed i n the context of s o c i a l s t r u c t u r e s . In Sweden t h i s was manifest w i t h the "Model A n a l y s i s of Pedagogical Processes" or MAP-project. I t c o n s i s t e d of s e v e r a l s t u d i e s about "the s t r u c t u r e of [the] teaching process as an expression of o r g a n i z a t i o n a l c o n s t r a i n t s " (Lundgren, 1981, p.3). The goal was to o v e r t l y l i n k t h e o r i e s of c o n s t r a i n t s w i t h t h e o r i e s of education i n general and teaching i n p a r t i c u l a r . Such an approach was a departure from how teaching was u s u a l l y viewed and analyzed. The focus i s u s u a l l y on i n s t r u c t o r s , l e a r n e r s and i n t e r a c t i o n between them (Knowles, 1970; B r o o k f i e l d , 1986; P r a t t , 1998). "The context of education i s l a r g e l y ignored i n much adu l t education l i t e r a t u r e so that education, a s o c i a l phenomenon, i s reduced to a p s y c h o l o g i c a l phenomenon, learning"(Rubenson, 1989, p.59). There has been l i t t l e focus on o r g a n i z a t i o n a l s e t t i n g s and t h e i r impact on teaching, e s p e c i a l l y i n a d u l t education contexts. The MAP-project sought to make teaching s t r u c t u r e s v i s i b l e and connect changes at the m i c r o - l e v e l of teaching w i t h changes at the macro-level of economy and s o c i e t y . 'Frames' was used by Dahloff and Lundgren (1970) and l a t e r modified by B e r n s t e i n (1975) as a way of c o n c e p t u a l i z i n g the connections between macro and micro l e v e l s . Frames are most r e a d i l y evident i n primary and secondary education where c o n s t r a i n t s on educators are q u i t e s t a r k . In K12 education, frames have been c a l l e d 'the grammar of schoo l i n g ' - " s t r u c t u r e s and r u l e s that organize the work of i n s t r u c t i o n " (Tyack & Tobin, 1993, p.454). In primary and secondary education, c l a s s e s are r i g i d l y d i v i d e d , r e s p e c t i v e l y , i n t o grades that are s e l f - c o n t a i n e d and 50 minute 'Carnegie u n i t s ' according to subject areas. These are h i s t o r i c a l o r g a n i z a t i o n a l r u l e s that shape i n s t r u c t i o n but are not decided by i n s t r u c t o r s . In K12, the way knowledge i s d i v i d e d i n t o subjects i s a frame, as i s having standardized c l a s s s i z e s , more or l e s s same-sized rooms, and having c l a s s e s the same length of time. These o r g a n i z a t i o n a l features of teaching create the co n d i t i o n s of i n s t r u c t i o n . The 'grammar of schooli n g ' helps i d e n t i f y grammar (or frames) that connect o r g a n i z a t i o n a l s t r u c t u r e to i n s t r u c t i o n a l p r a c t i c e . Teaching i n higher and e s p e c i a l l y a d u l t education tends to be more d i v e r s e than primary and secondary education. The d i f f e r e n t types of teaching i n higher education i n c l u d e : l e c t u r e s , l e c t u r e s p l u s t u t o r i a l s , seminars, wet l a b s , dry labs (e.g. f i l m p r o d u c t i o n ) , co-op courses, d i r e c t e d study courses and f i e l d courses. Factors frame i n s t r u c t i o n f o r a l l types of teaching, and a l l s e t t i n g s , even non-formal adult education. For example, a d e f i n i n g feature of adu l t education i s time l i m i t s on the l e a r n i n g process. [T]he fundamental d i f f e r e n c e between l e a r n i n g i n the n a t u r a l s o c i e t a l s e t t i n g and education i s that of systematic i n s t r u c t i o n . This systematic aspect i s c h a r a c t e r i z e d by a time dimension... [E] f f e c t i v e a n a l y s i s and planning of education i s aided by the s e l e c t i o n of a time l i m i t which sets boundaries to what i s e i t h e r sought or observed ( L i t t l e , 1980, p.9) . In a l l educational programs educators create time parameters to bound and h o p e f u l l y focus the teaching and l e a r n i n g r e l a t i o n s h i p . A time l i m i t a f f e c t s teaching and teachers and i s u s u a l l y beyond the c o n t r o l of the i n s t r u c t o r . A u s e f u l model e x i s t s f o r viewing contextual f a c t o r s that a f f e c t the teaching process i n a d u l t education (Nesbit, 1995). I t provides a lens to observe i n s t r u c t i o n i n context of: the i n s t i t u t i o n a l framework, students' and i n s t r u c t o r s ' experience, t h e i r general worldview about the subject matter, and s o c i a l s t r u c t u r e s ( i b i d . , p.63). I have adapted t h i s model to i n c l u d e technology as an important frame f o r teaching a d u l t s v i a distance education (see Figure 3). The model allows me t o apply frame f a c t o r theory, and provides a lens to see and unpack the c o n d i t i o n s of i n s t r u c t i o n i n one o n l i n e course. Teaching process i n t h i s study r e f e r s t o what takes place i n the communications among students and i n s t r u c t o r s . This i s a b i t of a departure from how people t h i n k of teaching i n distance education, where i t a l s o includes the m a t e r i a l s created i n the i n s t r u c t i o n a l design process. Figure 3: Frame factors in the online teaching process Socia l Structures Soc ia l Structures S o c i a l s t r u c t u r e r e f e r s to c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s or p r o p e r t i e s that make i t p o s s i b l e f o r " d i s c e r n i b l y s i m i l a r s o c i a l p r a c t i c e s to e x i s t across v a r y i n g spans of time and space and lend them 'systemic' form" (Giddens, 1984, p.17). P r a c t i c e s done r e c u r r e n t l y throughout long periods of time i n a given c u l t u r e or across c u l t u r e s are considered i n s t i t u t i o n s . Education i s an i n s t i t u t i o n , which r e i n f o r c e s r u l e s and resources i n s o c i e t y , and i s a l s o shaped by e x i s t i n g r u l e s and resources from other i n s t i t u t i o n s i n s o c i e t y . Several r u l e s and resources - e s p e c i a l l y from governments, i n t e r e s t groups, s o c i a l norms- shape educational programs, though not always d i r e c t l y . The work context and t h i n k i n g of i n s t r u c t o r s ' and l e a r n e r ' s are shaped and l i m i t e d by s o c i a l s t r u c t u r e s . " I n s t i t u t i o n a l framework" includes o r g a n i z a t i o n a l and c u r r i c u l a r f a c t o r s that a l l o w f o r educational courses to be provided and s p e c i f y how and what should be taught. These i n c l u d e : p h y s i c a l resources, a d m i n i s t r a t i v e processes of an o r g a n i z a t i o n , set procedures f o r teaching, r u l e s around what books and m a t e r i a l s can be used and how they are chosen. Technology i s an important frame i f one accepts McLuhan's slogan "the medium i s the message" 6. Technology mediates communication and each p r e s e n t a t i o n of i n f o r m a t i o n i s a f f e c t e d by the s t r u c t u r e of a medium. Each technology has advantages and disadvantages and t h i s shapes and l i m i t s what type of teaching can take place. 6 A modern day version of t h i s i s "Kranzberg's F i r s t Law: Technology i s neither good nor bad, nor i s i t neutral" (Castells, 1996, p.65). The quote i s f a r less nuanced and Experience of students and i n s t r u c t o r s r e f e r s t o the a t t i t u d e s and expectations that people b r i n g to a course or program. As i n d i c a t e d by the example of the South A f r i c a n u n i v e r s i t y , to each moment of l e a r n i n g , i n s t r u c t o r s and l e a r n e r s b r i n g t h e i r personal h i s t o r i e s and they a n t i c i p a t e what the educational experience w i l l be l i k e . These general expectations act as norms, outside an i n s t r u c t o r s ' c o n t r o l , that shape teaching. "Worldview about the subject matter" r e f e r s to l e a r n e r s ' and i n s t r u c t o r s ' p r i o r knowledge. Just as people b r i n g expectations to a l e a r n i n g s e t t i n g , they a l s o b r i n g some knowledge about the course content, however b a s i c or complex. This worldview i s p a r t l y based on l e a r n e r s ' personal knowledge and p a r t l y on s o c i e t y ' s conception of the subject area. Each knowledge area i s c o d i f i e d and made o f f i c i a l , w i t h r u l e s governing how i t i s a r t i c u l a t e d . This too i s beyond the c o n t r o l of the i n s t r u c t o r and shapes how she or he can teach. catchy than McLuhan's but i t points out an i r r i t a t i n g feature of l i t e r a t u r e about the Internet; the b e l i e f that somehow t h i s a l l completely new. These f a c t o r s are used to analyze what frames the c o n d i t i o n s of i n s t r u c t i o n i n an Internet-based course. Any course i s a confluence of frames and choices by p a r t i c i p a n t s . The a c t i o n s of students and i n s t r u c t o r s are important, but so are f a c t o r s not of t h e i r choosing. This model i s the s t a r t i n g p o i n t f o r a n a l y z i n g c o n s t r a i n t s and p o s s i b i l i t i e s of teaching o n l i n e . Research Question This study has a s i n g l e overarching problem: how are i n s t r u c t i o n a l processes i n an Internet-based course shaped by f a c t o r s beyond the i n s t r u c t o r ' s c o n t r o l ? P r a c t i c a l research e x i s t s on frame f a c t o r s i n adult education. The unique c o n t r i b u t i o n of t h i s study i s to examine f a c t o r s which frame teaching i n an o n l i n e s e t t i n g . Thus, most of t h i s d i s c u s s i o n i s about t e c h n o l o g i c a l and i n s t i t u t i o n a l frames, though the other two frames are a l s o considered b r i e f l y . Research Design To gather i n f o r m a t i o n about how v a r i o u s frames a f f e c t o n l i n e i n s t r u c t i o n I examined an o n l i n e course. Edu 555 i s a graduate course o f f e r e d at Dual-Mode I n s t i t u t i o n (DMI). A l l students i n the course were a d u l t s (ranging from 28 to 53 years o l d ) . The course was on technology use i n adu l t education. DMI o f f e r s predominantly classroom-based courses but has a small distance teaching u n i t (DTU) which administered and d e l i v e r e d t h i s course. I t i s inn o v a t i v e i n o n l i n e education and has served as a model f o r other i n s t i t u t i o n s wanting to use the Internet to d e l i v e r e d ucational programs. This i s one reason f o r choosing t h i s s i t e . The course was o f f e r e d during a four-month p e r i o d i n 2000 and the s i t e was archived. Data about Edu 555 and i t s s e t t i n g were c o l l e c t e d from three sources. F i r s t , p o l i c y documents were reviewed which describe the r e l a t i o n s h i p of DTU w i t h DMI i n order to i d e n t i f y what i n s t i t u t i o n a l and o r g a n i z a t i o n a l c o n s t r a i n t s were placed upon developing and designing of Edu 555. Second, I perused planning and design documents and l i t e r a t u r e of o n l i n e courses at DMI. Decisions about what to teach and how to teach are o f t e n separated i n analyses of adult education i n t o the c a t e g o r i e s of program and c u r r i c u l u m planning, and i n s t r u c t i o n , r e s p e c t i v e l y . By n e c e s s i t y , d i s t a n c e education r e q u i r e s t h i s s e p a r a t i o n be b l u r r e d i n i n s t r u c t i o n a l design. I n s t r u c t i o n a l designers make d e c i s i o n s while c r e a t i n g courses, d e c i s i o n s that e s t a b l i s h parameters and p o s s i b i l i t i e s of what can occur while teaching o n l i n e . Distance educators recognize course design i s an important o r g a n i z a t i o n a l frame of teaching. Most of the i n f o r m a t i o n comes from the course, the t h i r d source of data. Online education, more than most kinds of DE or classroom-based i n s t r u c t i o n , provides that rare goldmine f o r researchers; a snapshot of a l a r g e s e c t i o n of a course as i t occurred. Most i n t e r a c t i o n among l e a r n e r s , i n s t r u c t o r s and m a t e r i a l s are t e x t u a l and documented. The archived s i t e provides an extensive p o r t r a i t of most group communication during the course. I t i n c l u d e s course announcements, a l i s t of assignments, the course b l o c k s , d i s c u s s i o n forums, resources and t o o l s . Students a l s o communicated to t h e i r i n s t r u c t o r and each other outside of the d i s c u s s i o n forums v i a d i r e c t email. These were not examined, as t h i s would have r e q u i r e d approaching each student and perusing t h e i r i n d i v i d u a l email accounts i n search of correspondences wi t h t u t o r s and f e l l o w students. Another r i c h data source would have been to i n t e r v i e w i n s t r u c t o r s and students. I chose not to do t h i s because I wanted to see i f and how frame f a c t o r s manifested i n the practice of the course. Data A n a l y s i s The biggest dilemma f o r a n a l y z i n g data was how to organize and examine the immense volume of info r m a t i o n . The d i s c u s s i o n forum alone had over 1000 postin g s . Some order and meaning needed to be brought to t h i s data, so o r g a n i z i n g and a n a l y z i n g the data took place i n s e v e r a l phases. In the f i r s t phase, the purpose was to ' l e t the data speak' about the frames. I wanted to generate themes and cat e g o r i e s from the data i n order to derive i n d u c t i v e l y m a n i f e s t a t i o n s of frame f a c t o r s . NUD*IST q u a l i t a t i v e software was used to create a h i e r a r c h i c a l database of a l l Edu 555 documents and d i s c u s s i o n s which were e l e c t r o n i c a l l y archived. This r e q u i r e d tedious, time-consuming c u t t i n g and p a s t i n g of n e a r l y 1000 messages from the WebCT d i s c u s s i o n forum to NUD*IST document e x p l o r e r . Once i n NUD*IST, data was p r i n t e d out. The volume of data - the d i s c u s s i o n forum alone was n e a r l y 700 pages, i n ten p o i n t font- suggested that sampling the data would be a u s e f u l i n i t i a l step f o r developing emic c a t e g o r i e s . Two sampling approaches were used: random sampling of i n d i v i d u a l postings by students and i n s t r u c t o r s ; and s t r a t i f i e d random sampling of d i s c u s s i o n s about one subject. For random sampling, a colleague drove a n a i l through two p a r t s of the d i s c u s s i o n forum p r i n t - o u t s . Using a t a b l e of random numbers 50 pages from n e a r l y 700 were chosen. On any chosen page, f i v e l i n e s below and above the n a i l (or more a c c u r a t e l y the hole l e f t by the n a i l ) c o n s t i t u t e d a data sample. Each sample was perused to see i f i t e x e m p l i f i e d a p a r t i c u l a r m a n i f e s t a t i o n of frame f a c t o r s . Those samples that d i d so were c l u s t e r e d i n t o themes, as e x e m p l i f i e d by the t a b l e 5. Table 5: Example of how data was organized into themes Page Number - P o s t i n g Number Person Theme 20 -355 Sc o t t I - I n t e r n a t i o n a l student d i s c u s s e s h i s l o c a t i o n 35 -1114 Cynthia No n o t a b l e theme 53 -1917 Huang T -A l u r k e r : someone who logged on f o r a 19 days but d i d not p a r t i c i p a t e i n the d i s c u s s i o n . C u l t u r a l l y (Chinese) who was not used to t h i s k i n d of p a r t i c i p a t i o n . 84 -1093 Ron T -Quotes another p o s t i n g v e r b a t i m and comment upon.it, p o i n t by p o i n t . A l l the samples were then reorganized according t o themes. For example, a l l postings where students l i k e Scott discussed t h e i r i n t e r n a t i o n a l l o c a t i o n or p e r s p e c t i v e on a given t o p i c , were l i s t e d under the theme category "students i n d i c a t i n g t h e i r i n t e r n a t i o n a l l o c a t i o n " . I t took a s u b s t a n t i a l number of postings w i t h i n a category before i t could be considered a trend. Each theme was then a s s o c i a t e d w i t h c a t e g o r i e s from the frame f a c t o r model ( i n Figure 3), i n d i c a t e d i n Table 5 by a l e t t e r , such as "T" f o r t e c h n o l o g i c a l frame. These themes were a l s o compared to e x i s t i n g s t u d i e s (Hara et a l , 2000; Henri, 1992). I t became evident from t h i s comparison, that the c a t e g o r i e s that emerged from random sampling d i d not always cogently exemplify p a r t i c u l a r frames. So a second sampling approach was used, s t r a t i f i e d random sampling. In the d i s c u s s i o n forum, each p o s t i n g was organized i n t o a s t r i n g by 'subject heading'. I p r i n t e d out a l i s t of a l l the 'subject headings' discussed i n the forum. Using a t a b l e of random numbers, I s e l e c t e d one subject s t r i n g . This block of postings was a l s o analyzed f o r p a r t i c u l a r m a n i f e s t a t i o n s of frame f a c t o r s . These manifestations were c l u s t e r e d i n t o themes. This second sampling gave more c o n t i n u i t y and context to the data being analyzed than the f i r s t sampling method. A f t e r t h i s second l a y e r of sampling, I again t e s t e d the emerging themes and concepts against the e n t i r e data of the d i s c u s s i o n forum and the other two document sources. Writing the Analysis The research f i n d i n g s are organized according t o these themes. These f i n d i n g s were then compared to e x i s t i n g s t u d i e s that have used frame f a c t o r theory i n classroom-based a d u l t education courses. From t h i s comparison, a s e r i e s of g u i d e l i n e questions were created to serve as a t o o l that allows adult educators teaching v i a the Internet to assess t h e i r c o n s t r a i n t s . Textual data from course documents and the d i s c u s s i o n forum ( i . e . the words of the course p a r t i c i p a n t s ) and i t s q u a n t i f i e d v e r s i o n run through NUD*IST are not presented i n t h e i r raw form. Data i s used s e l e c t i v e l y to e x p l a i n and e x t r a p o l a t e the themes. Anonymi ty In order to ensure anonymity, the research s i t e , l o c a t i o n and course have been given pseudonyms. The names of c i t i e s , c o u n t r i e s , people and educational programs have a l s o been d i s g u i s e d . The o r g a n i z a t i o n a l and funding s t r u c t u r e of the s e t t i n g f o r the adult education course has been i d e n t i f i e d as a c c u r a t e l y as p o s s i b l e . Since the i n s t i t u t i o n and educational program are d i s g u i s e d , t h i s study would be considered anonymous document a n a l y s i s / group observation. A l l quotes are from the d i s c u s s i o n forum and have been checked to f i l t e r out any i d e n t i f y i n g or personal c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the commentator, other l e a r n e r s , i n s t r u c t o r s , or people w i t h i n the o r g a n i z a t i o n . Screen captures could not be used as t h i s would i d e n t i f y the research s i t e . Limitations of the Study This study i s a document a n a l y s i s . I d e a l l y , i t would have been u s e f u l to conduct a case study i n which i n s t r u c t o r s and students were interviewed during or a f t e r the course to get a complete p i c t u r e of the c o n s t r a i n t s and p o s s i b i l i t i e s that e x i s t e d f o r Edu 555. The course was completed sometime ago and i t proved l o g i s t i c a l l y d i f f i c u l t to i n t e r v i e w p a r t i c i p a n t s . A l s o , the above three sources of data provided immense information, e s p e c i a l l y the t h i r d source, the a r c h i v e d course. Q u a l i t a t i v e research always has the dilemma of how much data i s enough. This study i s not as comprehensive as i t could be but i t does have extensive data about what occurred i n the course i t s e l f . Much of the study was focused on how students and i n s t r u c t o r s communicated i n the o n l i n e course. Online courses can be designed i n a v a r i e t y of ways so i t i s d i f f i c u l t to g e n e r a l i z e from one instance t o another. Instead, the merit of t h i s study was not i n i t s g e n e r a l i z a b i l i t y but i t s r e l a t a b i l i t y ; the extent to which an educator reading i t can r e l a t e i t to her or h i s s e t t i n g (Bassey, 1981, p.73). A s e r i e s of g u i d e l i n e questions were the output of t h i s study. In a d i v e r s e and complex f i e l d l i k e a dult education an a n a l y t i c a l framework can be an e f f e c t i v e t o o l f o r understanding p r a c t i c e and guide d e c i s i o n making about teaching on the I n t e r n e t . Of the four frames, the i n s t i t u t i o n a l framework -the p h y s i c a l and o r g a n i z a t i o n a l s e t t i n g of the course- i s discussed f i r s t as i t provides context (Ch. 4). The unique c o n t r i b u t i o n of t h i s study i s the s e t t i n g of teaching a d u l t education o n l i n e v i a the I n t e r n e t . The t e c h n o l o g i c a l frame i s described i n some d e t a i l i n chapter f i v e , w i t h a focus on p o s s i b i l i t i e s and l i m i t a t i o n s i t creates f o r i n s t r u c t o r s and students. In chapter S i x I discu s s the other two frames b r i e f l y : the experience of students and i n s t r u c t o r s , and the general worldview about the subject matter as manifested i n the course. CHAPTER 4 INSTITUTIONAL FRAME FACTORS This chapter begins an a n a l y s i s of i n s t i t u t i o n a l frame f a c t o r s evident when an o n l i n e course i s viewed through the lens of frame f a c t o r theory. Both conceptual and p h y s i c a l f a c t o r s l i m i t the teaching process and are determined outside the c o n t r o l of the teacher. Examining the course i n a c t i o n shows how frame f a c t o r s manifest themselves. Creating an online course In 2000, DTU o f f e r e d an o n l i n e graduate course, Edu 555, on the Pedagogical and S o c i a l I m p l i c a t i o n s of E- l e a r n i n g . According to Edu 555 course design documents, the course was created by DTU w i t h i n DMI i n p a r t n e r s h i p w i t h a L a t i n American U n i v e r s i t y (LAU). DTU's mission i s to develop and d e l i v e r c o s t - e f f e c t i v e , q u a l i t y programs, courses and l e a r n i n g m a t e r i a l s i n f l e x i b l e formats p r i m a r i l y f o r academic departments at DMI. Edu 555 was one of se v e r a l o n l i n e courses that could count as course work toward a graduate degree at DMI f o r students already e n r o l l e d there. Academically, DTU i s l o c a t e d i n DMI's extension d i v i s i o n . This allows DTU to o f f e r courses f o r students not e n r o l l e d at DMI. As a way of a t t r a c t i n g students from the general populace, DTU o f f e r e d Edu 555 as part of a c e r t i f i c a t e i n E-Learning. This course could be part of a graduate degree f o r DMI graduate students, a stand-alone c e r t i f i c a t e i n E- l e a r n i n g f o r the general populace, or j u s t taken f o r general i n t e r e s t by anyone. A l l DTU courses are f o r - c r e d i t w i t h over 90% being undergraduate courses. Most DTU courses are i n i t i a t e d by deans, department heads or f a c u l t y members of a given subject. They submit a f u l l proposal to DTU f o r c r e a t i n g a distance course. DMI's Advisory Committee on Distance Teaching reviews the proposals and decides which ones w i l l r e c e i v e DTU funding and support to become a distance education course. The Academic V i c e - P r e s i d e n t of DMI must approve a l l courses s e l e c t e d by the committee. For each approved course DTU re q u i r e s a l e t t e r of agreement w i t h the academic department. The l e t t e r i n c ludes a budget, t i m e l i n e f o r course development, i n t e l l e c t u a l property agreement, and d e t a i l s about the length of the agreement. Most rele v a n t f o r t h i s study, the l e t t e r i n c ludes an academic review process and c l a r i f i e s the r o l e s of the academic u n i t and DTU f o r i n s t r u c t i o n and student support. The courses are the 'property' of the academic u n i t and the f a c u l t i e s . They are accountable f o r course q u a l i t y even though these are o f f e r e d by DTU. These courses u s u a l l y count toward a degree and only a F a c u l t y can grant a degree, not DTU. The F a c u l t y has to approve course m a t e r i a l s , c u r r i c u l u m and assessment, provide or agree to the i n s t r u c t o r s , and review academic content of the course at agreed i n t e r v a l s during i t s s h e l f - l i f e . Edu 555 i s the academic r e s p o n s i b i l i t y of the F a c u l t y of Education. For a course to count towards a c e r t i f i c a t e , DTU must negotiate the c o n d i t i o n s w i t h i n d i v i d u a l f a c u l t i e s and get approval from the Academic V i c e - P r e s i d e n t and Head of DMI's Extension S e r v i c e s . Given these i n s t i t u t i o n a l requirements, Edu 555 i n v o l v e d an extensive design process. Twenty-one people were i n v o l v e d i n designing and d e l i v e r i n g the course according to the course design documents. These people were part of va r i o u s teams re q u i r e d f o r the course, such as: • ten members of the Edu 555 course design team • seven members of the a s s o c i a t e d course team ( i n c l u d i n g members from LAU) • s i x members of the marketing and r e g i s t r a t i o n team • f i v e members of the T u t o r i n g / I n s t r u c t i o n Team • a f i v e member Advisory Committee f o r the courses and c e r t i f i c a t e s • a four member Academic Review Committee from DMI's F a c u l t y of Education (FOE) Many of these members overlapped t h e i r involvement i n va r i o u s committees. This meant people r e p r e s e n t i n g d i f f e r e n t i n s t i t u t i o n a l and educational i n t e r e s t s defined the s t r u c t u r e and content of the course. The course design team i n c l u d e d course authors from FOE and i n s t r u c t i o n a l designers, graphic designers, and web production and maintenance s t a f f from DTU. The FOE subject matter expert produced the course m a t e r i a l s f o r Edu 555 i n conjunction w i t h DTU. The l a t t e r agreed t o provide m a t e r i a l reproduction and d e l i v e r y to students, email support, web-site maintenance, supports f o r i n s t r u c t o r s ( i n c l u d i n g payment), student support ( i n c l u d i n g r e s o l v i n g a d m i n i s t r a t i v e problems, and t r a c k i n g student progress) and r e p o r t i n g of grades to DMI. The a s s o c i a t e d course team c o n s i s t e d of members from the i n s t i t u t i o n s (DMI and LAU) who had a vested i n t e r e s t i n the course. The advisory committee included r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s from the course design team, DMI's Extensions Services and DMI's Advisory Committee on Distance Teaching. The course advisory committee combined Edu 555 and a s e r i e s of other courses i n t o a stand-alone c e r t i f i c a t e at DMI. The Academic Review Committee reviewed Edu 555 f o r FOE, a review process common to a l l f o r - c r e d i t u n i v e r s i t y courses. These i n s t i t u t i o n a l requirements and arrangements created two kinds of frame f a c t o r s that a f f e c t e d the teaching process: o r g a n i z a t i o n a l frames such as c l a s s s i z e , s p e c i f i c r o l e s f o r i n s t r u c t o r s and t h e i r a c c o u n t a b i l i t y ; and c u r r i c u l a r frames sue as the course content, assessment, and s p e c i f i c assignments. Organizational Factors Class Size The design team decided that Edu 555 would be l i m i t e d to 40 students w i t h two i n s t r u c t o r s . This was an o r g a n i z a t i o n a l , f i n a n c i a l , and pedagogical d e c i s i o n by the design team and Academic Review Committee. Previous experience and research w i t h o n l i n e teaching i n d i c a t e d i t could become a l o t of work fo i n s t r u c t o r s . A r a t i o of twenty students to one i n s t r u c t o r was seen as an appropriate c l a s s s i z e i n order to keep the workload manageable f o r i n s t r u c t o r s . I t was a l s o decided that g r e a t e r than two i n s t r u c t o r s and 4 0 students would r e q u i r e more student s e r v i c e s and web support than DTU could a f f o r d to provide w i t h i t s current s t a f f and t h e i r workload supporting other courses. O f f e r i n g Edu 555 t o a gr e a t e r number of students would have r e q u i r e d DTU to i n v e s t more resources f o r support s t a f f , an investment deemed not f e a s i b l e . Instructor Roles and Accountability- Several o r g a n i z a t i o n a l f eatures of Edu 555 framed how i n s t r u c t o r s taught. These included: the course design method and i n s t r u c t o r s involvement i n i t ; the r e l a t i o n s h i p of i n s t r u c t o r s with the course content; and the o r g a n i z a t i o n a l a c c o u n t a b i l i t y s t r u c t u r e of the course. Edu 555 i n v o l v e d the i n s t r u c t o r l a t e i n course planning, design and d e l i v e r y . I n s t r u c t o r s d i d not have input i n the course content, which was created before they are brought on-board. This i s a f u n c t i o n of the planning and design method at DTU, which i s d i f f e r e n t from how a course i s planned and organized i n face-to-face i n s t r u c t i o n . DE course m a t e r i a l s are o f t e n considered manufactured, the way a product i s i n an i n d u s t r i a l or F o r d i s t o r g a n i z a t i o n (Peters, 1983). Many of the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of a F o r d i s t o r g a n i z a t i o n apply to the way Edu 555 was designed and d e l i v e r e d . A F o r d i s t o r g a n i z a t i o n has: • a s p e c i f i c d i v i s i o n of labour • economies of s c a l e i n which s t a r t u p f i x e d costs are high but costs decrease w i t h each e x t r a or v a r i a b l e u n i t produced • h i e r a r c h i c a l management • production of uniform products • standardized p o l i c i e s and procedures A set d i v i s i o n of labour was used to produce Edu 555, w i t h most of the people i n v o l v e d , and cost i n c u r r e d , at the f r o n t end. The l i s t of people i n v o l v e d (above) shows the way labour was d i v i d e d f o r Edu 555. DTU i s aware that a d u l t s are s e l f - d i r e c t e d l e a r n e r s , and they seek to support and f o s t e r t h i s p r i n c i p l e by designing courses that a l l o w f o r independent study. This i s p a r t of d i s t a n c e teaching's r a i s o n d'etre; t o provide l e a r n e r s w i t h f l e x i b i l i t y f o r l e a r n i n g . F l e x i b i l i t y i s maximized when course study i s independent of time, place and s o c i a l t i e s , such as r e q u i r i n g the c o n t i n u a l guidance of an i n s t r u c t o r . I t should be p o s s i b l e f o r a student to take DE courses and have l i t t l e i n t e r a c t i o n w i t h the i n s t r u c t o r or other students, depending on how the course i s designed. So, o f t e n a course package or website i n c l u d e s d i r e c t i o n s and i n f o r m a t i o n that might otherwise be provided by an i n s t r u c t o r to guide students through a course. The i n s t r u c t o r i s i n v o l v e d l a t e r during the d e l i v e r y ( i . e . teaching) stage. Even though the course package and website f o r Edu 555 can be used or experienced q u i t e independently by l e a r n e r s , some agent needs to provide guidance and s t r u c t u r e to the l e a r n i n g experience. Otherwise i t i s j u s t "informal education", where reading a course package or website becomes j u s t a p a r t of the everyday l e a r n i n g that happens i n c i d e n t a l l y everywhere (e.g. watching drama on TV or conversations) and i s part of l i v i n g (Coombs, i n Rubenson, 1982) . To r e f l e c t t h i s p r i n c i p l e many DE u n i t s are c a l l e d Guided Independent Study. I t i s a c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of F o r d i s t d i v i s i o n of labour that c e r t a i n i n d i v i d u a l s w i l l produce a course and others w i l l teach i t . This r e s u l t s i n pedagogical and c u l t u r a l d i f f e r e n c e s between the way DMI's F a c u l t i e s and DTU, t h i n k of teaching. The discrepancy i s evinced i n the nomenclature. People who teach courses i n the f a c u l t i e s are c a l l e d i n s t r u c t o r s or, i f they are tenured or tenure-track, p r o f e s s o r s . For Edu 555 they were c a l l e d t u t o r s and are seen more as a support person. DTU courses are uniform products. This allows DTU managers and the F a c u l t i e s to replace an i n s t r u c t o r , or b r i n g on an e x t r a one, q u i t e e a s i l y without having to change Edu 555 to do so. The o r g a n i z a t i o n a l model makes i t l o g i s t i c a l l y and f i n a n c i a l l y e a s i e r f o r the o r g a n i z a t i o n to adapt to changing circumstances. But when the o r g a n i z a t i o n or department has more f l e x i b i l i t y the i n s t r u c t o r has l e s s . The course content i s a f i x e d product and an i n s t r u c t o r has l e s s a f f e c t on i t s composition. In Edu 555 the i n s t r u c t o r was appointed by FOE i n c o n s u l t a t i o n with the course design team. T e c h n i c a l l y , the i n s t r u c t o r i s academically accountable t o the F a c u l t y and a d m i n i s t r a t i v e l y accountable to DTU. This was not the case i n p r a c t i c e , p a r t l y because i n s t r u c t o r s have more contact w i t h DTU than w i t h the Fa c u l t y . I n s t r u c t o r s f e l t accountable t o DTU because of the course e v a l u a t i o n , feedback process, and payment s t r u c t u r e f o r i n s t r u c t o r s . For example, the only e v a l u a t i o n of Edu 555 was undertaken by DTU. FOE d i d not p a r t i c i p a t e i n c r e a t i n g the e v a l u a t i o n form due t o a l a c k of time and perhaps a general l a c k of i n t e r e s t . Only DTU had student feedback about how i n s t r u c t o r s were teaching. This could be shared w i t h others but the questions on the e v a l u a t i o n r e f l e c t e d DTU issues and p r i o r i t i e s . DTU was a l s o aware of i n s t r u c t o r performance from t h e i r student support s t a f f . This was whom students turned t o when they had concerns about a d m i n i s t r a t i v e and, at times, academic issues during the course of the course. DTU acted as a l i a i s o n between students and i n s t r u c t o r s where appropriate, s i m i l a r to the process i n d i c a t e d by P o t t e r (see p.16 above). E v a l u a t i o n and student feedback v i a DTU s t a f f made i n s t r u c t o r s f e e l more academically accountable to DTU than FOE. Edu 555 i n s t r u c t o r s were a d m i n i s t r a t i v e l y accountable to DTU, who p a i d them. I n s t r u c t o r s were p a i d according to the number of students i n the course and those who completed. There are d i f f e r e n t c o ntract arrangements at DTU and f o r Edu 555, i n s t r u c t o r s were given 40% of t h e i r payment at the beginning of the course. The payment i s based on the student enrollment numbers and a p r o j e c t e d f o r e c a s t of those who would complete. The r e s t of the payment, 6 0%, was given when the course was completed and f i n a l grades submitted. So Edu 555 i n s t r u c t o r s were i n s t i t u t i o n a l l y accountable t o both the F a c u l t y and DTU. I n s t r u c t o r s had more contact and demands put on them by DTU than FOE. I n s t r u c t o r s knew before the course about these parameters but not n e c e s s a r i l y how these might a f f e c t teaching. For example, f o r most u n i v e r s i t y courses there i s u s u a l l y l i t t l e connection between student performance and i n s t r u c t o r pay. But wi t h Edu 555, i t was i n the f i n a n c i a l i n t e r e s t of i n s t r u c t o r s to have as many students as p o s s i b l e complete the course. The o r g a n i z a t i o n a l method of c r e a t i n g and d e l i v e r i n g courses encouraged i n s t r u c t o r s to act i n c e r t a i n ways. I t i s d i f f i c u l t to know though, how t h i s payment s t r u c t u r e e f f e c t e d the behaviour and teaching of Edu 555 i n s t r u c t o r s (or other DE i n s t r u c t o r s at DMI). I t i s u n l i k e l y that i n s t r u c t o r s could or would speak to t h i s c o n t r o v e r s i a l t o p i c . Class s i z e and i n s t r u c t o r a c c o u n t a b i l i t y were decided before Edu 555 opened and were c o n d i t i o n s of teaching o n l i n e at DTU. Curricul ar Factors C u r r i c u l a r f a c t o r s d efine what i s t o be taught, t o p i c s , i n s t r u c t i o n a l m a t e r i a l s and books (Nesbit, 1995). Designing course content before i n s t r u c t o r s are i n v o l v e d creates f a c t o r s that frame teaching: assessment, set course content, and recommended ways of teaching and l e a r n i n g o n l i n e . Assessment DTU o f f e r s non-credit and c r e d i t courses. But DMI's i n s t i t u t i o n a l r a t i o n a l e f o r o f f e r i n g Edu 555 was to a c c r e d i t students w i t h a diploma or degree i n the emerging of f i e l d e- l e a r n i n g . As Edu 555 i s a c r e d i t course, DMI re q u i r e s a l l students be assessed. DMI has no set p o l i c y about how assessment should take place, but there are g u i d e l i n e s and conventions w i t h i n the f a c u l t i e s . There i s a f a i r amount of independence i n most adu l t and higher education s e t t i n g s about which a c t i v i t i e s can be used to assess students. For Edu 555 the course design team decided students should be assessed i n the f o l l o w i n g way: • 5% - p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n o n l i n e d i s c u s s i o n • 35% -making a p r e s e n t a t i o n o n l i n e and moderating a d i s c u s s i o n • 25% - w r i t i n g an a r t i c l e review using t h e o r i e s from the course • 35% - w r i t i n g a paper on a major issue i d e n t i f i e d i n the course Assessment i s important as i t can p l a y s e v e r a l f u n c t i o n s i n education. O s t e n s i b l y i t i s used t o measure l e a r n e r ' s knowledge of a subject (or perhaps more a c c u r a t e l y , l e a r n e r performance based on that knowledge). Assessment a l s o provides m o t i v a t i o n to l e a r n as i t makes educational a c t i v i t i e s purposive and accountable. For example, a study by Wilson (1998) found i t was not adequate to j u s t provide o n l i n e students w i t h a d i s c u s s i o n space. They needed to be given a purpose f o r using t h i s space. This could i n c l u d e r e q u i r e d o n l i n e p a r t i c i p a t i o n f o r marks or group assignments r e q u i r i n g o n l i n e communication. Assessment motivates a c t i v i t y . Assessment i s a c r u c i a l mechanism of i n s t i t u t i o n a l a c c o u n t a b i l i t y . Assessment i s a s t r u c t u r a l property (and c o n s t r a i n t ) of higher education as i t a r t i c u l a t e s an i n d i v i d u a l course to the i n s t i t u t i o n and l a r g e r s o c i a l s t r u c t u r e s . Assessment, i n the form of a grade, i s necessary to make a course " f o r c r e d i t " , and part of a l a r g e r program, degree and, i n the case of Edu 555, c e r t i f i c a t e . Assessment i s the measurable output of education. Many educators teach t o the assessment (Postman, 1995), and students o f t e n come to expect to l e a r n f o r what they w i l l be assessed on ( M i l l a r , 1989). Assessment surrounds teaching and i t i s a non-negotiable requirement f o r i n s t r u c t o r s working w i t h i n a formal educational s e t t i n g l i k e DMI. Assessment creates an important frame f o r any teaching as of t e n , i t connects a s p e c i f i c course and i t s content w i t h the l a r g e r f u n c t i o n and process of education. The i n s t i t u t i o n r e q u i r e s t h i s frame but DTU defines i t . The Edu 555 course design team makes assessment choices before i n s t r u c t o r s are i n v o l v e d . An i n s t r u c t o r may know s p e c i f i c e x e r c i s e s or a c t i v i t i e s that could a l l o w students to l e a r n a subject i n more depth, but these a c t i v i t i e s cannot be used f o r assessment or at a l l . Set Content Each i n s t r u c t o r i s given a copy of the books and course package f o r Edu 555. These were non-negotiable. The pedagogical premise of the course i s that using e - l e a r n i n g r a i s e s b a s i c questions about educational goals and processes. Students were encouraged t o c r i t i c a l l y examine the s o c i a l , c u l t u r a l and economic impact of e - l e a r n i n g i n educational s e t t i n g s . At the outset, students and i n s t r u c t o r s are t o l d the o b j e c t i v e s , what they should get from the course by the time i t i s completed. In p a r t i c u l a r , students were expected have a deeper understanding of key s o c i a l i s sues about e - l e a r n i n g , i n c l u d i n g : i t s i m p l i c a t i o n s f o r teaching and l e a r n i n g ; access to technology; co m m e r c i a l i z a t i o n of education; the uses and abuses of technology; issues r e l a t e d to gender and technology. To achieve these goals, the course was s t r u c t u r e d i n the f o l l o w i n g way: Week 1: Course i n t r o d u c t i o n Week 2-3: T h e o r e t i c a l p e r s p e c t i v e s Week 4-5: S e l e c t i n g from and brainstorming on v a r i o u s s o c i a l i s s ues Weeks 6-12: An a l y z i n g three s o c i a l issues Week 13 : Summary and Synthesis A f t e r an i n t r o d u c t i o n to the t o p i c of e - l e a r n i n g , students were exposed to t h e o r e t i c a l p e r s p e c t i v e s by which to analyze technology use g e n e r a l l y , and i n education s p e c i f i c a l l y . Next students began i n i t i a l research on e - l e a r n i n g i s s u e s , p a r t l y by . brainstorming given t o p i c s and reading key a r t i c l e s . Then during the bulk of the course, students read about and discussed each key s o c i a l i s s u e . The course had s p e c i f i c goals, readings and assignments and a t i m e l i n e f o r completing d i f f e r e n t t o p i c s and readings. There was l i m i t e d f l e x i b i l i t y about what could be taught as r e q u i r e d readings and assignments were p r e - s e l e c t e d . Teaching Online Teaching o n l i n e i s new f o r most people, so DTU provides a "Tutor Handbook" to help i n s t r u c t o r s teach i n t h i s u n f a m i l i a r approach. Courses are designed so i n s t r u c t o r s had s e v e r a l teaching options. There are recommended ways of teaching o n l i n e that are approved by the design team. The handbook suggests that an o n l i n e i n s t r u c t o r can act as 1) monitors, 2) f a c i l i t a t o r s or 3) a c t i v e p a r t i c i p a n t s i n the course d i s c u s s i o n s . As monitors, i n s t r u c t o r s r a r e l y made comments, and o f t e n seem to be i n v i s i b l e to students, as students g e n e r a l l y r e g u l a t e and f a c i l i t a t e t h e i r own d i s c u s s i o n . As f a c i l i t a t o r s , i n s t r u c t o r s would comment at l e a s t once during each v i s i t to the d i s c u s s i o n forum. They would p l a y a more a c t i v e r o l e i n acknowledging postings and comments from students, and encourage those who posted l e s s , by addressing t h e i r postings d i r e c t l y . As a c t i v e p a r t i c i p a n t s , i n s t r u c t o r s were hands on, p o s t i n g r e g u l a r l y , o f t e n i n i t i a t i n g each d i s c u s s i o n t o p i c , e s p e c i a l l y i f the students were having d i f f i c u l t y w i t h the m a t e r i a l or l a c k i n g confidence about the o n l i n e course format. For Edu 555, DTU encouraged i n s t r u c t o r s to be f a c i l i t a t o r s . However, a p e r u s a l of d i s c u s s i o n forums i n d i c a t e s t h i s was not the case. The course began during the l a s t week of August and f i n i s h e d during the f i r s t week of December. Most messages, 79%, were posted i n September and October (see Figure 4). Once the course was underway, by mid-September, the i n s t r u c t o r s became ne a r l y i n v i s i b l e p o s t i n g only four messages i n three months, or 16% of a l l t h e i r p o s t i n g s . Table 6 i n d i c a t e s i n s t r u c t o r s posted s i x messages i n August (12.7% of the months postings) and 15 messages i n September (3.2% of postings) as a way of i n t r o d u c i n g the course and encouraging students to p a r t i c i p a t e i n the d i s c u s s i o n . Figure 4: Total postings by instructors and students by month December 0% \ August Table 6: Monthly Postings by Instructors in Discussion Forums Month I n s t r u c t o r s ' To t a l I n s t r u c t o r s Postings Postings by Postings as I n s t r u c t o r s Percentage and Students of T o t a l Postings August 6 47 12 . 7 September 15 462 3.2 October 2 597 0 . 3 November 1 228 0.4 December 1 2 50 TOTAL 25 1326 1 . 9 This was p a r t l y a f u n c t i o n of the course design. Students were asked to mediate d i s c u s s i o n t o p i c s i n the course. The i n s t r u c t o r decided to fade to the background during these d i s c u s s i o n s , which began i n mid-September. D i s c u s s i o n forums were only one space f o r i n s t r u c t o r involvement. There were dozens of personal emails and phone c a l l s among the i n s t r u c t o r s and students. But the forums were the only space where the i n s t r u c t o r monitored, f a c i l i t a t e d or a c t i v e l y p a r t i c i p a t e d w i t h a l l students. Course data i n d i c a t e s i n s t r u c t o r s acted as f a c i l i t a t o r s at the beginning of the course and monitors afterwards. Study Skills Edu 555 students were given a document to help them l e a r n e f f e c t i v e l y i n the course: Student Study Guide for Distance Learning. I t provided d e t a i l e d a d m i n i s t r a t i v e i n f o r m a t i o n (e.g. how to change courses, how to use the l i b r a r y ) , an i n t r o d u c t i o n to b a s i c concepts about the I n t e r n e t , and recommended study s k i l l s . Students were informed that the course would i n v o l v e a l o t of reading of a r t i c l e s and book chapters. They were encouraged t o skim and develop a rough mind-map of an a r t i c l e before reading more c a r e f u l l y . These and other study s k i l l s were u s e f u l but were d i f f i c u l t t o t r a n s f e r to reading postings on the monitor. For example, the study guide encouraged students to make notes i n the margins of readings. I t was not p o s s i b l e to make notes from d i s c u s s i o n forum postings i n the margins; notes that might have helped students organize the immense inf o r m a t i o n from the posti n g s . Summary Before an i n s t r u c t o r begins teaching an o n l i n e course at DMI the f o l l o w i n g d e c i s i o n s have already been made: the c l a s s s i z e , assignments, course readings and a c t i v i t i e s . Furthermore, the i n s t r u c t o r i s given recommended approaches to teaching and students are given recommended approaches to studying. I n s t r u c t o r s are accountable t o both the F a c u l t y and DTU and are p a i d p a r t l y according to the number of students who complete the course. The i n s t i t u t i o n creates many frames that c o n s t r a i n how an i n s t r u c t o r can teach. CHAPTER 5 TECHNOLOGICAL FRAME FACTORS The most i n t e r e s t i n g f i n d i n g s from the data were about f a c t o r s that are part of the t e c h n o l o g i c a l frame. Some t e c h n o l o g i c a l f a c t o r s are evident before the course begins. Others are manifest i n the ' p r a c t i c e ' of the course. These inclu d e d : place-independent access; asynchronous communication; group viewing; text-based communication; and the amount of time r e q u i r e d to communicate. Technical Requirements Edu 555 was designed and d e l i v e r e d on a WebCT pla t f o r m . Any student who took the course had to have access to a computer wit h a 28.8 kpbs modem and could run at l e a s t Netscape Navigator 3.1. Internet E x p l o r e r could not be used t o access the course. Students were r e q u i r e d to p a r t i c i p a t e s u b s t a n t i a l l y i n o n l i n e d i s c u s s i o n s , make a p r e s e n t a t i o n o n l i n e and do group- assignments. This meant every student had to have an email account (free accounts were f i n e ) i n order to take t h i s course. Place-independent Access I f students could access the technology they could be l o c a t e d anywhere i n the world. This was an advantage and reason f o r having Edu 555 o n l i n e v i a the I n t e r n e t , i n s t e a d of o n l i n e v i a computer-conferencing. Five p o s t i n g s , of 50 randomly sampled d i s c u s s i o n forum messages, were from students who t a l k e d about t h e i r c u l t u r a l or geographical p e r s p e c t i v e on a given i s s u e . These students were from Hong Kong, C h i l e , USA, B r i t a i n and Mongolia. Edu 555 enrollment documents i n d i c a t e that students t a k i n g the course were l o c a t e d i n ten d i f f e r e n t c o u n t r i e s , w i t h the m a j o r i t y being from Canada and C h i l e . The Internet made p o s s i b l e the c o l l a b o r a t i v e development and d e l i v e r y of the course by DMI and a L a t i n American U n i v e r s i t y . The technology defined who could be a p o t e n t i a l student much more broadly than was p o s s i b l e by any other two-way media used f o r distance education. The Internet allowed f o r more c u l t u r a l l y d i v e r s e students, and t h i s broadened the p e r s p e c t i v e s brought to the d i s c u s s i o n . At the s t a r t , during t h e i r i n t r o d u c t i o n s , a l l students made a p o i n t i d e n t i f y i n g where they were l o c a t e d . Several students commented on how t h e i r p h y s i c a l l o c a t i o n and c u l t u r a l background a f f e c t e d t h e i r p a r t i c i p a t i o n , e s p e c i a l l y those from outside the Euro- E n g l i s h speaking world. For example, Baldwin introduced himself s t a t i n g : Hi Everybody, My name i s Baldwin Chan and I'm from Hong Kong. This i s my t h i r d course with DMI o n l i n e and look forward working with you a l l through the course. As f o r myself, I run my small company back i n Hong Kong p r o v i d i n g s o l u t i o n s to a s s i s t both the i n s t i t u t i o n s and corporations to put t h e i r coursewares o n l i n e . Well...here I'm and ready to take on the challenge with a l l of you. (Posting No. 3557) For other students, t h e i r place-independent study meant some course issues and t o p i c s were u n i n t e l l i g i b l e or even i r r e l e v a n t . One course t o p i c was corporate involvement i n education v i a e- l e a r n i n g , to which C r i s t i n a i n Warsaw responded: In Poland, p a r t n e r s h i p s of corporations and educational i n s t i t u t i o n s are s t i l l almost n o n - e x i s t i n g and so not considered a problem. Thanks to tough economic s i t u a t i o n , most of l o c a l i n d u s t r i e s are concerned mainly by current problems of t h e i r own s u r v i v a l and g e n e r a l l y they are not t r y i n g to i n v e s t i n t o , or t r y i n g to s t a r t business w i t h i n e - l e a r n i n g (Posting No. 4017, s i c ) . 7 Note that posting numbers did not correspond with the number of postings i n the course. Being able to access the Internet from any place i s one of i t s most appealing a t t r i b u t e s . Communicating from anywhere allowed f o r a broad range of students i n Edu 555. However, t h i s presented challenges to the i n s t r u c t o r s . Students not only brought d i v e r s e knowledge, which i s common i n many courses. They a l s o brought c u l t u r a l l y d i v e r s e communication s t y l e s . This has become a common issue w i t h Internet-based courses and recent research i s emerging about how to teach and moderate i n a g l o b a l o n l i n e classroom (see Mason, i n p r e s s ) . Asynchronous Communication Many technologies used t o d e l i v e r DE can give students f l e x i b i l i t y i n t h e i r time and l o c a t i o n of l e a r n i n g . The advantage of o n l i n e l e a r n i n g i s that there i s evidence of when students were i n v o l v e d i n , at l e a s t p a r t of, the course; when they logged on the course website and posted to d i s c u s s i o n forums. Other a c t i v i t i e s i n v o l v e d i n t a k i n g the course are not documented, such as when students are reading course m a t e r i a l s , w r i t i n g t h e i r assignments, or e m a i l i n g each other p r i v a t e l y . These are not done mainly on the course website. Figure 5 shows the days when students posted messages to the d i s c u s s i o n forum. I t i n d i c a t e s messages were posted throughout the week. Figure 5: Day of posting to discussion forum Saturday Sunday 8% 10% I t i s noteworthy j u s t how many students submitted p o s t i n g s on the weekend. 18 percent, or n e a r l y 250 messages were posted on Saturday and Sunday (see Table 7). Table 7: Day of Postings DAY NUMBER OF POSTINGS PERCENTAGE Sunday 135 10 Monday 213 16 Tuesday 320 24 Wednesday 201 15 Thursday 216 16 Fr i d a y 147 11 Saturday 109 8 TOTAL 1341 100 I t i s unclear why students posted more on Tuesday than other days. A perusal of course assignments i n d i c a t e s they were due on v a r i o u s days of the week, and not e s p e c i a l l y on Tuesday or Wednesday. This was a l s o the case w i t h course brainstorming assignments and an assignment to present and moderate an o n l i n e d i s c u s s i o n , both of which r e q u i r e d p o s t i n g messages. The course l a s t e d a . t o t a l of 14 weeks. This meant there were about 96 postings per week to the d i s c u s s i o n forum or j u s t under 14 postings per day. Given that t h i s d i s c u s s i o n forum had 20 students, the average p o s t i n g per student was 4.8 messages per week. The bulk of these were posted i n September and October, from Monday to Thursday. The Internet allows p o s t i n g anytime, any day. An aggregation of what time students posted i s i n d i c a t e d i n Table 8. I t should be noted that postings were recorded at P a c i f i c Standard Time according to when the server at DMI r e c e i v e d the message. However, not a l l of the students were l i v i n g i n that time zone. Students posted comments at a l l times of the day w i t h the bulk during midday to e a r l y evening. By 7:00am, students s t a r t e d Table 8: Time of Postings TIME OF DAY NUMBER OF POSTINGS PERCENTAGE 00 : 00-01: 00 23 2 01: 00-02 : 00 16 1 02 : 00-03 : 00 10 1 03 : 00-04 : 00 8 1 04 : 00-05 : 00 17 1 05 : 00-06 : 00 27 2 06 : 00-07 : 00 31 2 07 : 00-08 : 00 56 . 4 08 : 00-09 : 00 71 5 09 : 00-10 : 00 86 6 10 : 00-11 : 00 68 5 11: 00-12 : 00 95 7 12 : 00-13 : 00 83 6 13 : 00-14 : 00 76 6 14 : 00-15 : 00 79 6 15 : 00-16 : 00 85 6 16 : 00-17 : 00 87 6 17 : 00-18 : 00 80 6 18 : 00-19 : 00 84 6 19 : 00-20 : 00 67 5 20 : 00-21: 00 32 2 21: 00-22 : 00 76 6 22 : 00-23 : 00 47 4 23 : 00-00 : 00 35 3 TOTAL 1341 99 p o s t i n g i n gre a t e r numbers (see Figure 6), and d i d not r e a l l y slow down u n t i l a f t e r midnight. The exception was a d i p i n postings from 8:00pm to 9:00pm. Nearly h a l f the students (48%) posted messages during the conventional workday of 9:00am to 5:00pm ( P a c i f i c Time). This may i n d i c a t e that many students, Figure 6: Time of Postings 01:00-02:00 03:00-04:00 05:00-06:00 07:00-08:00 >, 09:00-10:00 as Q «w 11:00-12:00 O V 6 13:00-14:00 15:00-16:00 17:00-18:00 19:00-20:00 21:00-22:00 23:00-00:00 1 0 ZZI 20 30 40 50 60 Number of Postings 70 80 90 100 a l l of whom were adu l t l e a r n e r s , posted messages during the workday, perhaps from the o f f i c e . I n t e r e s t i n g l y , b u s i e s t time was between 11:00am and noon. This i s the same hour most businesses s t a t e i s t h e i r b u s i e s t time f o r orders, phone c a l l s , and i n q u i r i e s . I t i s a l s o important to note that over h a l f the students d i d not post during the conventional workday. And many post i n g s , over 10% took place a f t e r 10:00pm, before many people would go t o sleep. But i t i s d i f f i c u l t to determine the relevance of t h i s f i n d i n g as s e v e r a l students were p o s t i n g from other time zones. An accurate assessment would r e q u i r e r e o r g a n i z i n g data to the l o c a l times from which students sent p o s t i n g s . An i n s t i t u t i o n a l requirement of DTU i s to provide courses i n a f l e x i b l e format. Edu 555 as a whole d i d have set s t a r t and end times, p a r t i c u l a r 'Blocks' and assignments. S t i l l , w i t h i n these frame f a c t o r s , there was a l o t of f l e x i b i l i t y f o r students and i n s t r u c t o r s to communicate w i t h each other. This was made p o s s i b l e by the asynchronous c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of the In t e r n e t . The choice of technology was beyond the c o n t r o l of i n s t r u c t o r s , but i t framed the i n s t r u c t i o n by removing a l e v e l of time c o n s t r a i n t s . I n s t r u c t o r s and students had more f l e x i b i l i t y , than i n a classroom-based course at the u n i v e r s i t y , about when they are i n v o l v e d with the course. They c l e a r l y took advantage of t h i s . Text-based Communication I t i s s t r i k i n g how important w r i t t e n t e x t was to course i n s t r u c t i o n and communication. I n s t r u c t o r s and students spent n e a r l y a l l t h e i r course time e i t h e r reading a r t i c l e s or reading and w r i t i n g i n f r o n t of a monitor. In Edu 555, the w r i t t e n word was the foundation of Internet-based teaching. This logos c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of Internet-use shaped how the course was experienced and people communicated. Random and s t r a t i f i e d samplings brought out s e v e r a l themes r e l a t e d to text-based communication. These i n c l u d e : the importance of w r i t i n g s t y l e , grammar and vocabulary; l u r k i n g ; students i n c o r p o r a t i n g i n t h e i r messages quotes from previous postings by other students, weblinks, and other references; and the t h o u g h t f u l , r e f l e c t i v e q u a l i t y of posti n g s . Each of these w i l l be addressed i n d i v i d u a l l y . Writing Styles Reading through the messages, i n s t r u c t o r s and student postings were conspicuous f o r how much t h e i r w r i t i n g s k i l l s v a r i e d . W r i t i n g s t y l e s were s t a r k i n p a r t , due to the presence of students who had experience w i t h E n g l i s h , e s p e c i a l l y not n a t i v e E n g l i s h language speakers. For example, i n responding to a p o s t i n g by Bruno, J o s e f i n a from C h i l e s t a t e d : My experiences i s concerning with the b u i l d i n g of so e x o t i c v i r t u a l classroom at some m i l i t a r y schools, expending hundred of thousand of d o l l a r s and no one know what to do with them! I mean i n terms of teaching, design and g e t t i n g the maximun of them to b e n e f i t students' l e a r n i n g . As Bruno says "human s t r a t e g y " to show power and p o s s i b i l t y to adquire fancy resources. But, what can we teachers do, i f those expensive equipment are not accesable f o r us? We are more d i s a b l e than those mentionet by Maddalena Lattuca, I t h i n k t h i s happens because t h i s " i n f r a e s t r u c t u r e " belongs to the government (read armed forces) and they b e l i e v e t h i s i s not b u b l i c property. Probably t h i s aswers a l i t t l e Maria's question t r y i n g to i d d e n t i f y who the government body i s . An t h i s worries too much me s p e c i a l l y when t h i s kind of government i s becoming so strong l i t t l e by l i t t l e . (Posting No. 5113 s i c ) A l l students and i n s t r u c t o r s made s p e l l i n g , grammatical and at times vocabulary mistakes i n t h e i r p o s t i n g s . However, these e r r o r s were more frequent and pronounced from some ESL speakers. The p o i n t i s not to d i s c r i m i n a t e against ESL students. I t i s to i n d i c a t e that grammar and vocabulary were more notable because there were no v i s u a l or audio options f o r students to communicate to the c l a s s , only the w r i t t e n word. Edu 555 was a pri n t - b a s e d Internet course, so reading postings made one very aware of students' w r i t i n g s t y l e s . W r i t i n g has more r u l e s and i s a more s t r u c t u r e d and d i f f i c u l t form of communication than o r a l speech. W r i t i n g a l s o creates an enduring record which o r a l communication, u s u a l l y ephemeral, does not. W r i t i n g has more a c c o u n t a b i l i t y b u i l t - i n to the medium than o r a l speech because the communication standards are gre a t e r and i t i s e a s i e r t o review. Students can p a s s i v e l y l i s t e n to an i n s t r u c t o r or other students i n a classroom, but reading messages r e q u i r e d more conc e n t r a t i o n f o r everyone. Generally, then, w r i t i n g s t y l e s are n o t i c e a b l e because the expectations are higher and messages can be and are re-read by students, i n s t r u c t o r s (and myself as a rese a r c h e r ) . Lurkers Several students t a l k e d about l u r k e r s , students who may be reading p o s t i n g s , but not sending messages and p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n d i s c u s s i o n s . Some had concerns about i t , but those who l u r k e d defended t h e i r p r a c t i c e of ' a c t i v e l i s t e n i n g ' . One student s t a t e d she would read messages but not post any because she d i d not t h i n k she had much to c o n t r i b u t e on the t o p i c . She i n d i c a t e d that t h i s should not be taken as a la c k of i n t e r e s t i n the t o p i c . Huang s t a t e d : I f someone has accessed a course some 50 times but has made no posts ( i s t h i s the same as l u r k i n g ? ) does t h i s n e c e s s a r i l y mean they aren't i n t e r e s t e d ? Perhaps there i s a deeper problem. I had t h i s kind of experience myself when I s t a r t e d to l e a r n o n l i n e . For 19 days, I logged on a l o t of times, but d i d not say a word. There was a "deeper problem". I analysed myself. F i r s t i s the c u l t u r e shock. I am from China, students here [ i n Edu 555] are used to such kind of d i s c u s s i o n s , f o r me i t i s a new experience. (Posting No. 1917) . Lurking i s about p r i v a c y and access and an a t t r i b u t e of the Int e r n e t . The course s i t e was password p r o t e c t e d so only students, i n s t r u c t o r s and the DTU web team had access. Among t h i s cohort, i t was not p o s s i b l e f o r students to know who was o n l i n e v i s i t i n g the course at a given time, or who had read post i n g s . Some programs f o r the Internet (e.g. ICQ, MSN Messenger, Yahoo Messenger) a l l o w users t o know who w i t h i n a group i s o n l i n e at a given time, p o t e n t i a l l y a v a i l a b l e f o r r e a l - time i n t e r a c t i o n . This was not p o s s i b l e w i t h WebCT v e r s i o n 1.3 used f o r Edu 555. DTU web programmers and, wi t h some e f f o r t , i n s t r u c t o r s could f i n d out when students accessed the course's WebCT s i t e and d i s c u s s i o n forums, but students could not. Lurking i n Edu 555 was a m a n i f e s t a t i o n of the technology; the Internet i s both a p u b l i c and p r i v a t e medium. L i s t e n i n g and speaking i n a classroom are both p u b l i c a c t i v i t i e s ; others i n the room can know who i s , at l e a s t p h y s i c a l l y , present and thus a p o s s i b l e r e c i p i e n t of in f o r m a t i o n . In Edu 555 i n s t r u c t o r s and students spent most of t h e i r course time p h y s i c a l l y alone. At the same time they had a common d i g i t a l space t o read and w r i t e messages, accessed v i s u a l l y on monitors. Online w r i t i n g was done p r i v a t e l y and posted p u b l i c l y . Reading, however, was p r i v a t e and d i d not have any p u b l i c m a n i f e s t a t i o n that other students could see. The technology allows people to p a r t i c i p a t e i n group space v i a w r i t i n g , or alone v i a reading. Quotes and References Students r e g u l a r l y c i t e d each other or the i n s t r u c t o r i n group d i s c u s s i o n s . Consider the f o l l o w i n g response by Cheryl to Susan's p o s t i n g about the t o p i c "education and s o c i a l i z a t i o n " : > F i r s t , how are we d e f i n i n g the term s o c i a l i z a t i o n , > s p e c i f i c a l l y f o r t h i s forum? I too question what t h i s means i n terms of the forum. I w i l l assume that i t approximates what i s o u t l i n e d i n the a r t i c l e by Wegerif - "understood as s o c i a l l y s i t u a t e d , l e a r n i n g can be described, f o l l o w i n g Lave and Wenger as a process of becoming part of a community of p r a c t i c e " ... Wegerif claims that forming a sense of community, where people f e e l they are t r e a t e d s y m p a t h e t i c a l l y i s a necessary f i r s t step f o r c o l l a b o r a t i v e l e a r n i n g . >Doesn't i t depend on the lea r n e r s ? Their ages, i f they >are s e l f - d i r e c t e d l e a r n e r s , how educated and experienced >they are, e t c . >Personally, I don't f e e l at t h i s point i n my l i f e and >taking the type of t r a i n i n g I'm t a k i n g , that anyone e l s e >should be responxible f o r my s o c i a l i z a t i o n (very >UnADEDish). I tend to agree ... l a r g e l y due to the way e a r l y s o c i a l i z a t i o n has shaped me ... however, I'm open to p o s s i b i l i t i e s . (Posting No. 4194, s i c ) Susan's o r i g i n a l p o s t i n g i s i n d i c a t e d by the symbol >, now prevalent i n most emails. I t was common f o r students t o respond point-by-point t o a previous p o s t i n g i n the course. This was fo s t e r e d by the course assessment s t r u c t u r e , which r e q u i r e d group p a r t i c i p a t i o n . However, i t was made p o s s i b l e by an important a t t r i b u t e of the Inter n e t , and more g e n e r a l l y of computers; r e p r o d u c i b i l i t y of t e x t . WebCT, l i k e email, allows students to respond w i t h quoted t e x t e a s i l y i n t h e i r messages. This meant students could and o f t e n would respond p o i n t - b y - p o i n t to a previous p o s t i n g . The i n t e r a c t i o n could p o t e n t i a l l y a l l o w f o r deeper l e v e l communication because the technology made i t e a s i e r to stay 'on t o p i c ' . The course was based on e l e c t r o n i c t e x t , and t h i s "allows f o r s u b s t a n t i a l l y g r eater f l e x i b i l i t y of feedbacks, i n t e r a c t i o n and r e c o n f i g u r a t i o n of text... thus a l t e r i n g the process of communication" ( C a s t e l l s , 1996, p. 31, S t u d e n t s would o f t e n i n c l u d e quotes from r e a d i n g s (as C h e r y l d o e s ) , make r e f e r e n c e t o books o r i n c l u d e l i n k s t o o t h e r w e b s i t e s . At t i m e s t h e s e were used t o s hare i n f o r m a t i o n and p e r s p e c t i v e s . At o t h e r t i m e s r e f e r e n c e s and l i n k s were used t o b u t t r e s s o r c l a r i f y a s t u d e n t s ' p o s i t i o n on a g i v e n t o p i c , as G e o f f d i d t o Mary: Mary: F i r s t , my comment was based on a r e c o l l e c t i o n o f "something i n t h e paper" but you d i d prompt me t o examine my case a l i t t l e more t h o r o u g h l y . Whjat I t h i n k . i s g o i n g on i s t h a t w h i l e enrolment may be t h e same or i n c r e a s i n g , i t i s not i n c r e a s i n g a t t h e same r a t e as o t h e r f a c u l t i e s . The p r e s i d e n t of C a r l e t o n U here i n Ottawa s t a t e s i n h t t p : / / w w w . c a r l e t o n . c a / c u / a b o u t u s / p r e s i d e n t / g f b 2 0 0 0 / " F i g u r e 2 [ i n the P r e s i d e n t s r e p o r t ] (undergraduate enrolment by programs) demonstrates the r a p i d growth of e n g i n e e r i n g and h i g h t e c h n o l o g y s t u d e n t s as a p r o p o r t i o n o f our s t u d e n t body..." ( P o s t i n g No. 3854. s i c ) I t was qu i t e common to embed such l i n k s and references i n messages. 108 l i n k s to websites were included throughout the 1346 messages i n d i s c u s s i o n forum. Even though many postings would have more than one l i n k w i t h i n i t , a conservative c a l c u l a t i o n i s that over f i v e percent of a l l postings i n c l u d e d a l i n k . I n c l u d i n g l i n k s allows students to r e i n f o r c e t h e i r p e r s p e c t i v e and a l s o broaden the conversation. This was p o s s i b l e because the Internet e a s i l y l i n k s from one s i t e to another. The Internet has been c a l l e d " s p i n e l e s s t e x t " , meaning the content i s unbounded, and can go on to i n f i n i t y . 8 Students and i n s t r u c t o r s used t h i s feature of the technology r e g u l a r l y as a part of t h e i r communication. Thoughtful Communication Some students could be q u i t e casual i n t h e i r communication, but f o r the most part i t appears they spent a f a i r amount of time c r a f t i n g t h e i r messages. Most postings were on t o p i c w i t h the general subject-matter of a given block and previous p o s t i n g s . 8 Amusingly there are now several s i t e s c a l l e d "The End of the Internet". They pretend to be l a s t page of the Internet, and b a s i c a l l y t r y to bound t h i s i n f i n i t e medium. One fe e l s a sense of r e l i e f upon seeing such a website. See for example <www.shibumi.org/eoti.htm> For example, on t h e t o p i c of a c c e s s t o e - l e a r n i n g , Stephen wrote : L y d i a i n t r o d u c e s us t o CRIMP; a l i s t of reasons why s o c i a l a c c e s s i s uneven and i s thus an o b s t a c l e t o p a r t i c i p a t o r y democracy; i n d e e d ! A l t h o u g h A n c i e n t Athens democracy was open o n l y t o male c i t i z e n s , we hope t o do b e t t e r . John i s r i g h t : s o c i a l a c c e s s and p a r t i c i p a t o r y democracy a r e l i n k e d . I found out t h a t i n F l o r i d a , 1/3 of b l a c k males a r e not a l l o w e d t o v o t e (because they have a c r i m i n a l r e c o r d , are not r e g i s t e r e d o r w h a t e v e r ) , p o o r l y educated v o t e r s had a h a r d time f i g u r i n g out some of the b a l l o t s , and when th e y knew t h e y had made a m i s t a k e , many d i d not have s u f f i c i e n t s e l f - c o n f i d e n c e t o b r i n g t h a t up r i g h t away w i t h t h e a u t h o r i t i e s but w a i t e d u n t i l a movement was formed. ( P o s t i n g No. 5216) He p o s t s a c o n s i d e r e d message, r e s p o n d i n g t o a n o t h e r s t u d e n t s comment on the t o p i c , and broadens the d i s c u s s i o n by i n c l u d i n g h i s t o r i c a l and contemporary r e f e r e n c e s . The f o l l o w i n g comment was p o s t e d by Greg about U r s u l a F r a n k l i n ' s book, Real World of Technology: I thought F r a n k l i n ' s book was e s s e n t i a l l y a commentary on contemporary p o l i t i c a l economy, and t e c h n o l o g y was t h e p a r t i c u l a r s p e c t r e or p u r v i e w f o r her a n a l y s i s . I l i k e her d e f i n i t i o n o f t e c h n o l o g y as p r a c t i c e . To me i t keeps th e concept o f t e c h n o l o g y c l o s e l y i n t e g r a t e d w i t h the humans who c r e a t e i t . I t h i n k , however, t h a t she tends t o g r a d u a l l y s e p a r a t e t h e two as she becomes more and more d i s p l e a s e d w i t h the s t a t e of human a f f a i r s . . . t o t h e p o i n t where she i s b l a m i n g t e c h n o l o g y i n s t e a d o f p e o p l e . A m e d i e v a l mercenary c o u l d be seen as a f a i r l y h o l i s t i c t e c h n o l o g y . Maybe t h e y make t h e i r own swords and a c t u a l l y do a l l the k i l l i n g , but they can s t i l l be employed to do bad t h i n g s . . . l i k e allow someone to monopolize resources. (Posting No. 1319) This was a t h o u g h t f u l review of a course reading. These examples were two of s e v e r a l such messages from randomly sampled p o s t i n g s . An in-depth a n a l y s i s of a l l postings f o r the course i n d i c a t e d such r e f l e c t i v e messages were q u i t e common. S t r u c t u r a l reasons made such r i c h communication p o s s i b l e . F i r s t , the asynchronous character of WebCT allows i n s t r u c t o r s and students wait-time to r e f l e c t on and compose t h e i r p o s t i n g s . Immediate responses were not expected. General p r o t o c o l f o r Edu 555 was that the i n s t r u c t o r would respond w i t h i n 4 8 hours of a question or request during the weekdays. There were no set norms about when students should respond. The w r i t t e n word has more a c c o u n t a b i l i t y than o r a l communication. People r e f e r r e d back to p r e c i s e l y what was s a i d . Students may have been more considered i n t h e i r postings because of t h i s . They may a l s o have been h e s i t a n t to get i n v o l v e d i n d i s c u s s i o n s because many postings were th o u g h t f u l and w e l l - c r a f t e d . Workload Some students commented about how much time the course took. Students were t o l d at the beginning of Edu 555 that they would need about 15 hours a week f o r course readings, d i s c u s s i o n s and assignments. Yet se v e r a l . o f them expressed, i n the d i s c u s s i o n forum, that they ended up spending more time on the course than they expected. A l a i n s t a t e d , I f e e l a pressure to log on every n i g h t . I f I don't keep up with the postings, I f e e l the d i s c u s s i o n gets ahead of me. I t takes a l o t of time to read a l l of the postings. (Posting No. I l l ) Ron captured the sentiment of s e v e r a l students who f e l t overwhelmed by the volume of postings when he s a i d : I ' l l j o i n i n the "overwhelming" echo... I'm t a k i n g two on l i n e courses t h i s term as w e l l . I thought my email at work was daunting! (Posting No. 121) I t was not p o s s i b l e to access l o g - i n data to examine the amount or d u r a t i o n of time students spent o n l i n e . Q u a n t i t a t i v e l y , students may have spent the same or s l i g h t l y more time as they would i n a fac e - t o - f a c e course. Online reading and w r i t i n g i s however, q u a l i t a t i v e l y demanding. I t can take more work to w r i t e than speak, and even more work i f one i s i n c l u d i n g references and l i n k s . The bigger issue w i t h workload was reading; i t appears that students and i n s t r u c t o r s spent a l o t of time reading a l l or even many pos t i n g s . The sense of increased workload i s p a r t l y a f u n c t i o n of course design but a l s o technology. Reading i s g e n e r a l l y t i m e - i n t e n s i v e compared to l i s t e n i n g , but more so on a monitor. H i s t o r i c a l l y , i t took decades of designing t e x t and graphics to recognize margins were important i n w r i t t e n p u b l i c a t i o n s ; the human eye p r e f e r s to have space t o r e s t before and a f t e r each l i n e . The monitor f a c i l i t a t e s a d i f f e r e n t reading process because i t makes d i f f e r e n t demands on peoples' eyes. Reading on a monitor can be t a x i n g f a i r l y q u i c k l y because of i t s a t t r i b u t e s l i k e : the l i g h t behind the monitor g l a s s ; the need t o s c r o l l ; the v a r i e d layout of p o s t i n g s . The layout and design of t e x t i n the d i s c u s s i o n forums i s r e l a t i v e l y p r i m i t i v e . I t s t i l l r e q u i r e s a l o t of time to p a r t i c i p a t e i n t h i s v i s u a l space. Summary Before Edu 555 s t a r t e d , many t e c h n o l o g i c a l frame f a c t o r s e x i s t e d that l a t e r became c o n s t r a i n t s and p o s s i b i l i t i e s during the course. These f a c t o r s i n c l u d e d : being able t o access the Internet anywhere and anytime; basing the course on e l e c t r o n i c , w r i t t e n t e x t ; using asynchronous communication; and the p u b l i c and p r i v a t e q u a l i t y of the Int e r n e t . The Internet allowed f o r anywhere, anytime access to course content and d i s c u s s i o n s , f o r those who could a f f o r d (access to) the technology. This made i t p o s s i b l e f o r students from ten cou n t r i e s to p a r t i c i p a t e i n the course and f o r DMI to c o l l a b o r a t e w i t h a L a t i n American U n i v e r s i t y i n designing and d e l i v e r i n g the course. Students posted messages throughout the week, i n c l u d i n g a s u b s t a n t i a l number on weekends. I t a l s o made i t p o s s i b l e f o r i n s t r u c t o r s and students to be i n v o l v e d w i t h group d i s c u s s i o n s anytime. They p a r t i c i p a t e d i n c l a s s throughout the day, p o s t i n g messages mainly from 7:00am t o midnight. I t was not p o s s i b l e to gauge when students read messages. The WebCT d i s c u s s i o n forum was based on the w r i t t e n word. This meant people's communication s t y l e , i . e . t h e i r w r i t i n g s k i l l s , was n o t i c e a b l e . This was p a r t l y a t r a i t of w r i t i n g , which has b u i l t - i n t o i t more r u l e s f o r communicating than does spoken work and produces an enduring record. The course was not j u s t text-based communication but e l e c t r o n i c , which meant te x t could be e a s i l y reproduced. This allowed f o r po i n t - b y - p o i n t , on- t o p i c , i n t e r a c t i o n as students reproduced each other's t e x t i n t h e i r p o s t i n g s . Reproduction of t e x t a l s o allowed students to post quotes from readings and l i n k s to other websites. But the course was a l s o q u a l i t a t i v e l y more work p a r t l y because i t was based on e l e c t r o n i c , w r i t t e n t e x t ; reading on a monitor g e n e r a l l y takes more e f f o r t than reading on paper or l i s t e n i n g do. F i n a l l y , communication was asynchronous and t h i s allowed f o r more wait-time to r e f l e c t and post t h o u g h t f u l messages. Asynchroncity a l s o makes the Internet both a p r i v a t e and p u b l i c medium. People can read and compose alone, but a l s o 'show themselves' t o the group by p o s t i n g messages. These t r a i t s of the technology f o s t e r e d t h o u g h t f u l i n t e r a c t i o n . These were a l l t e c h n o l o g i c a l f a c t o r s that framed the course. CHAPTER 6 ANALYTICAL FRAMEWORK AND CONCLUSION In t h i s f i n a l chapter I b r i e f l y consider the other two frames: the experience of students and i n s t r u c t o r s ; and worldviews about education. Then I discuss the a n a l y t i c a l framework that emerges from a frame f a c t o r a n a l y s i s , and end wit h the c o n c l u s i o n . Students and Instructors Experience and Worldviews Both i n s t r u c t o r s were s p e c i a l i s t s i n the f i e l d of e - l e a r n i n g and had taught Internet-based courses before. They f e l t comfortable teaching i n t h i s medium, and chose to take a f a i r l y hands-off approach. As the data i n d i c a t e s , t h e i r presence i n the d i s c u s s i o n forum was modest. They l e t the course m a t e r i a l s and students do most of the teaching. They saw themselves as p l a y i n g a supportive r o l e f o r e s s e n t i a l l y s e l f - d i r e c t e d l e a r n e r s . For the most p a r t , they communicated w i t h students one-on-one, v i a emails, phone conversations and i n comments and marks about assignments. A l l students i n the course had at l e a s t an undergraduate degree, as t h i s was a p r e r e q u i s i t e . T h e i r knowledge l e v e l about education v a r i e d immensely. For some i t was t h e i r f i r s t education course, and at the other end of the spectrum two students had a doctorate i n education. Most students were e i t h e r doing t h e i r Masters of Education at DMI or l o o k i n g f o r a c e r t i f i c a t e to help them enter the f i e l d of e - l e a r n i n g . Some people who took the course were i n t e r e s t e d not p r i m a r i l y i n education but technology. Many students who d i d not have experience l e a r n i n g o n l i n e expressed concern and but a l s o excitement about using the technology. Cheryl i n i t i a t e d one conversation on the t o p i c , i n s t i g a t i n g a d i s c u s s i o n about l e a r n i n g o n l i n e : I am a graduate student i n the School of Nursing at UofA . With the shortage of nurses at t h i s time, i t i s very- d i f f i c u l t f o r students to get time from work to attend c l a s s e s . I am e x c i t e d about t h i s course, though a. b i t apprehensive. (Posting No. 109) I agree with Cheryl...the overwhelming f e e l i n g s of the medium can be too much to handle at f i r s t . . . . i t i s s t i l l new. (Posting No. 114) The worldview about education a l s o framed the course. Education i s a f i e l d where everyone has an o p i n i o n . And the i n s t r u c t o r s never presented themselves as experts. This was p a r t l y because of t h e i r teaching s t y l e and because the f i e l d of e - l e a r n i n g i s adequately novel that few could c l a i m any long-term e x p e r t i s e . So even though course content was f i x e d , there was no sense throughout the course that only one pe r s p e c t i v e was r i g h t f o r l e a r n i n g about education g e n e r a l l y and e- l e a r n i n g s p e c i f i c a l l y . The subject matter does not e a s i l y lend i t s e l f to such an o b j e c t i v i s t approach to knowledge. And indeed many of the postings were q u i t e anecdotal, i f s t i l l t h o u g h t f u l . On the t o p i c of gender and technology, Scott t o l d t h i s s t o r y : H e l l o There. I have some comments/observations on gender and t e c h n o l o g y . B e i n g i n v o l v e d i n t e a c h i n g computer apps t o j u n i o r and s e n i o r s t u d e n t s i n mid Waterton I s l a n d has caused me t o r e f l e c t on t h e s e i s s u e s . I have found t h a t young women engage and run w i t h g r a f i c s based s o f t w a r e and a c t i v i t i e s l i k e Adobe Pagemaker e c t . But are h e s i t a n t t o engage web composes and programs l i k e Dreamweaver and communicator. While t h e young men seem t o do w e l l w i t h a uto-cadd and d r i f t toward c r e a t i n g g r a p h i c s i n t h e Web-browsers, t h e y as a group shy away from i n t u i t i v e s o f t w a r e . ( P o s t i n g No. 3659. s i c ) On the same t o p i c , Linda shared t h i s anecdote: I l i v e i n a large apartment complex i n Kingston Ont. where there are many s e n i o r s . I am f i n d i n g that i t i s the ol d e r women rather than the older men who are a c t i v e with email and are l e a r n i n g computer technology because they enjoy the a b i l i t y to strengthen r e l a t i o n s h i p s with f r i e n d s and f a m i l y through t h i s medium. The r e t i r e d men on the other hand are l a r g e l y " i n d e n i a l " regarding computers and seem not to want to r i s k being considered incompetent with t h i s technology and perhaps lose face, so, many of them do not bother to l e a r n about computers. I t takes time to t h i n k w i t h i n the new technology and i t a l s o r e q u i r e s knowing the language of computer speak. As fo r myself - I can now make d e c i s i o n s on equipment, ask f o r help by p i n - p o i n t i n g to a s p e c i f i c problem and no longer blabber i n c o h e r e n t l y when I have a t e c h n i c a l problem. I t r e a l l y took a f a i r amount of d e d i c a t i o n to l e a r n to speak the t e c h n i c a l language as w e l l . Some i n s i g h t on computers and gender - from K-town.. (Posting No. 3383) I t was seen as appropriate, e n r i c h i n g and normal to share personal s t o r i e s to d i s c u s s i o n s about most educational t o p i c s . I t i s normative to the worldview that views education as a s u b j e c t i v e f i e l d of study. A n a l y t i c a l Framework Several c o n s t r a i n t s and p o s s i b i l i t i e s i n one o n l i n e course have been i d e n t i f i e d . As much as p o s s i b l e , I have t r i e d to focus on f a c t o r s that r e l a t e t o the frames of the course and not to de c i s i o n s made by i n s t r u c t o r s and students. The focus has been on s t r u c t u r e , not agency. I n s t r u c t o r s can teach c r e a t i v e l y and e f f e c t i v e l y i n Internet-based courses but they do so i n co n d i t i o n s not of t h e i r choosing. A study of Edu 555 i n d i c a t e s many frame f a c t o r s d i r e c t l y and i n d i r e c t l y l i m i t what k i n d of teaching was p o s s i b l e . U s e f u l research e x i s t s on how f a c t o r s frame adult education i n classroom s e t t i n g s . The new featu r e of t h i s study was to look at frames f o r Internet-based teaching. The biggest d i f f e r e n c e s from classroom s e t t i n g s and I n t e r n e t - based s e t t i n g s are how the i n s t i t u t i o n organizes and supports courses, and the impact of technology on teaching. These were the focus of t h i s study and i t s output, an a n a l y t i c a l framework. Many u s e f u l themes emerging from t h i s research may be r e l a t a b l e to other Internet-based teaching s i t u a t i o n s , and not s p e c i f i c a l l y to a graduate course i n education. The Internet i s a dynamic medium. Adult education on the Internet i s and w i l l be a complex and e v o l v i n g f i e l d . In t h i s context the f o l l o w i n g a n a l y t i c a l framework i s a t o o l to guide d e c i s i o n s by i n s t r u c t o r s and planners. The framework c o n s i s t s of four questions, a t e t r a d , about f a c t o r s that frame teaching before i n s t r u c t o r s or students begin an o n l i n e course. 1. What teaching d e c i s i o n s does the o r g a n i z a t i o n make before you begin the c l a s s ? In most o r g a n i z a t i o n s issues l i k e c l a s s s i z e and the need f o r assessment are made before an i n s t r u c t o r i s i n v o l v e d . With Internet-based DE, t h i s i n c l u d e s d e c i s i o n s about what w i l l be taught ( i . e . the c u r r i c u l u m ) , s p e c i f i c assignments to be assessed, choice of technology, and recommended approaches to teaching. How might t h i s shape your teaching? The r e s t of the a n a l y t i c a l framework addresses how the choice of technology can e f f e c t how i n s t r u c t o r s and students communicate. 2. How w i l l the technology a f f e c t people's p a r t i c i p a t i o n l e v e l and t h e i r q u a l i t y of i n t e r a c t i o n ? Is the technology a p u b l i c medium, p r i v a t e medium or a combination of p u b l i c and p r i v a t e ? Most one-way media (see p. 39 above) are p r i v a t e , meaning a user can or does experience i t alone. Most two-way media are synchronous and p u b l i c , meaning one i s aware of who i s p a r t i c i p a t i n g and there i s no wait-time between communications. The Internet i s a combination of the two. Internet use i n other courses may vary from t h i s one, where the WebCT p l a t f o r m was asynchronous. The software used can a f f e c t people's p a r t i c i p a t i o n l e v e l and t h e i r q u a l i t y of i n t e r a c t i o n . Does the communication software have wait-time between i n t e r a c t i o n or i s i t immediate? How much time do you and students have to respond? This a f f e c t s when and where you and students can communicate. How might t h i s e f f e c t group dynamics? 3. How much a c c o u n t a b i l i t y i s ' b u i l t - i n ' to the communication? Is the communication predominantly ephemeral or enduring? Many media are ephemeral while others leave an enduring record. Furthermore, d i g i t a l media a l l o w f o r easy and commonly used r e p r o d u c i b i l i t y of t e x t (and now audio and video f i l e s w i t h s p e c i a l equipment). This can create a c c o u n t a b i l i t y ' b u i l t - i n ' to a l l communication. How w i l l people i n the course r e c e i v e i n f o r m a t i o n ( l i s t e n i n g , reading or both) and send i n f o r m a t i o n ( i . e . t a l k i n g , w r i t i n g or both)? 4. How l a b o u r - i n t e n s i v e i s the medium? Some technologies take more time than others. Media that r e q u i r e w r i t i n g w i l l take more concen t r a t i o n (also c a l l e d time-on-task i n DE l i t e r a t u r e ) . What w i l l i t mean f o r i n s t r u c t o r s ' and students' workload to communicate i n t h i s medium? Conclusion Good technology l i k e good o r g a n i z a t i o n i s i n v i s i b l e . I f working e f f e c t i v e l y , we do not n o t i c e i t . I f , however, email goes down or pay cheques do not appear at designated times, we are aware of the existence of IT support and the finance o f f i c e r e s p e c t i v e l y . Internet-based teaching i s adequately novel that f o r t u n a t e l y we do n o t i c e both the o r g a n i z a t i o n and technology; we are aware of s t r u c t u r e as w e l l as agency. I t appears as i f t h i s approach to teaching w i l l continue to grow, at l e a s t i n the middle-term and c e r t a i n l y i n distance education. 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