What will people think of Distance Learning in the Future?

During this class Teaching and Learning at a Distance I was reminded that distance learning has been around since the late 1800s (Simonson, M. et al, 2015). The commonality is the communication through which to promote and to attend the distance learning. As technology changes and opens the world to greater communication, the acceptance of distance learning is growing. We are seeing distance learning in both educational settings and corporate settings. The need to reach more people in geographically diverse locations is helping the acceptance of distance learning (Simonson, M. et al, 2015).

Acceptance for distance learning has been growing. The realization from many brick and mortar institutions offering distance learning to accommodate students has lent itself to this acceptance. Technology is also a great platform to garner acceptance, with more and more social learning and networking available to end-users. The acceptance of formal and informal learning has been growing as well. Current generation learners are familiar with social learning and find ease at learning through more social venues (Simonson, M. et al, 2015). While interview the perceptions of distance learning, I found people generally were more accepting of distance learning. With the availability of the Internet, telecommunications and advancing technology, I feel that distance learning will be gaining acceptance in the years to come. “Distance learning is at a place of critical mass, where it is widely accepted and must be nurtured” (Laureatte Education Production, nda). Instructional designers are tasked to help with the nurturing of Distance Learning.

As instructional designers it is important to design and deliver learning that is equivalent to the face-to-face education that is being delivered (Lapsley, R. et al 2008). It is also important to understand we cannot take a stand up course and simply place it in an on-line learning course. Our job will be to make sure we structure the learning such that the student will have prompt feedback, the instructor must communicate and set high expectations, encourage collaboration among the students, allow for active learning experience and respect diversity (Simonson, m. et al, 2015).

As an instructional designer, I hope to bring forward the concepts, and theories that I have learned through this curriculum to enhance the distance learning we offer the colleagues in my corporation. We are perfecting the design and delivery of learning to our diverse population of learners. One arena, I hope to also become an integral part of is learning for our patients. Distance learning is very important to our patient population as well, we need to reach our elderly patients who may not be able to drive, our patients in rural areas with no doctors close at hand and serve the population who is tech savvy and looks for information on their own. I find this a very exciting time to be an instructional designer.


Simonson, M., Smaldino, S., & Zvacek, S. (2015). Teaching and learning at a distance: Foundations of distance education

Lapsley, Ruth; Kulik, Brian; Moody, Rex; Arbaugh, J. B. Is Identical Really Identical? An Investigation of Equivalency Theory and Online Learning

Journal of Educators Online, v5 n1 Jan 2008

Laureate Education (Producer). (n.d.a). Distance education: The next generation, Dr. Simonson [Video file]. Retrieved from https://class.waldenu.edu.

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