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Scalability in Distance Education: “Can We Have Our Cake and Eat it Too?

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Scalability in Distance Education: “Can We Have Our Cake and Eat it Too?

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The decision to increase distance education enrollment hinges on the factors of pedagogical effectiveness, interactivity, audience, faculty incentives, retention, program type, and profitability. A complex interplay exists among these scalability concerns (i.e., issues related to meeting the growing enrollment demand), and any program’s approach usually requires trade-offs. At Brigham Young University’s Department of Independent Study, administrators have recently evaluated the effectiveness of their highly automated distance education classes, determining that more interactivity requires a trade-off with the accompanying demands. This paper provides perspectives on these issues and then proposes four models that increase interactivity while allowing for some scalability.

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• How the Attitudes of Instructors, Students, Course Administrators, and Course Designers Affects the Quality of an Online Learning Environment • Administering a Web-Based Course on Database Technology • Blended Instruction: Adapting Conventional Instruction for Large Classes • Barriers to Implementing Large-Scale Online Staff Development Programs for Teachers • Time Will Tell on Issues Concerning Faculty and Distance Education • Lessons from Launching an Online MBA Program • Adult and Distance Education Management: An Application of the Metaphor Organizations as Organisms • Distance Learning Programs for Non-Traditional and Traditional Students in the Business Disciplines

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” R. Dwight Laws, PhD Director of Department of Independent Study and Adjunct Faculty, Instructional Psychology and Technology Brigham Young University Dwight_Laws@byu.edu Scott L. Howell, PhD Director of Center for Instructional Design and Adjunct Faculty, Instructional Psychology and Technology Brigham Young University Scott_Howell@byu.edu Nathan K. Lindsay Doctoral Student in Higher Education University of Michigan School of Education, nlindsay@umich.edu Abstract The decision to increase distance education enrollment hinges on the factors of pedagogical effectiveness, interactivity, audience, faculty incentives, retention, program type, and profitability. A complex interplay exists among these scalability concerns (i.e., issues related to meeting the growing enrollment demand), and any programs approach usually requires trade-offs. At Brigham Young Universitys Department of Independent Study, administrators have recently evaluated the effectiveness of their highly automated distance

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The decision to increase distance education enrollment hinges on the factors of pedagogical effectiveness, interactivity, audience, faculty incentives, retention, program type, and profitability. A complex interplay exists among these scalability concerns (i.e., issues related to meeting the growing enrollment demand), and any programs approach usually requires trade-offs. At Brigham Young Universitys Department of Independent Study, administrators have recently evaluated the effectiveness of their highly automated distance education classes, determining that more interactivity requires a trade-off with the accompanying demands. This article provides perspectives on these issues and then proposes four models that increase interactivity while allowing for some scalability.

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Download Download this case study to find out why distance learning pioneer ULiveandLearn selected Macromedia Breeze Live for its Web conferencing platform. The paper details how the virtual education company used…

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