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Module 1:
What is a Distance Education Coordinator? What behaviors/skills are needed to work successfully and effectively within the college or district?






Topic A : Liason to Chancellor's Office, campus staff, administrators and community







In this module, you will begin to define the duties of a Distance Education Coordinator and what behaviors and skills are necessary to develop a successful DE Program, in relation to the State Chancellor's Office.


Issue: Challenging Landscape for Distance Education Coordinators








Higher education has been undergoing great changes for several years as a result of numerous forces influencing the methods which instructors use to teach and the ways in which academic instruction and training is delivered to students. Increasing availability and technological advancement, coupled with the declining cost of technology, have enabled colleges and universities throughout the country to utilize computer technologies for innovations in teaching (Montague & Knirk, 1993), such as distance education. Distance education, defined in Title 5 Regulations of the State of California Education Code as "instruction in which the instructor and student are separated by distance and interact through the assistance of communication technology" (Article 2, Section 55370), includes technologies ranging from audiographic and televised instruction to computer delivery over the Internet of entire courses.

Some of the compelling reasons that various forms of distance education have been implemented include (a) the increase in the adult population seeking higher education, many while continuing employment; (b) workforce demands for updating skills and for lifelong learning; (c) the need to serve various types of part-time students who are juggling family and work responsibilities, from welfare recipients and industry workers to "reverse transfer" students with bachelor's degrees (Lui, 1997, p. 14+); (d) a paradigm shift within many colleges regarding their educational missions; and (e) the increasing high costs of constructing brick and mortar buildings needed to absorb the influx of college students (Lui, 1997).

The use of technology in teaching to support higher education problem-solving efforts is clearly described by an Annenberg/CPB Project (1992):

Tidal waves of economic, demographic, educational, and technological changes demand that colleges reconsider what they will teach, how they will teach, whom they will they teach, and the degree to which the classroom of today will look and feel anything like the classroom of yesterday. (p. 10)

Growth in higher education student populations in California was predicted to hit hard with the advent of "Tidal Wave II," a term coined by demographers for the children of the Baby Boomer generation (Tidal Wave I) who are reaching college age in increasing numbers (Lui, 1997; McCargar, 1997). The huge number of students expected to graduate from high school in the coming decade is anticipated to peak at 2.21 million students who are projected to enter California colleges and universities by the year 2005 (Lui; McCargar).

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