The Foundation of Distance Education course is the first of seven core courses in the Master of Distance Education program and simultaneously serves in several Certificates in Distance Education. Students explore the critical concepts and issues identified in distance education literature and critically examine the history and theories of the field and apply these foundations in the analyses of selected institutions of distance education. The proceedings are based on five required textbooks from Holmberg, Moore & Kearsley, and Peters. Holmberg, Moore, and/or Peters join the various teaching teams in one course module each. This allows live interaction with distinguished experts in the field, whose works are critical for the foundations in distance education.
The goals of the course are to provide the student with a foundation of knowledge, skills, and attitudes that are required by a competent practitioner of distance education.
Students will learn to:
Moore, M. G., & Kearsley, G. (2005). Distance education: A systems view (2nd ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
In general, journal articles and papers referenced in this syllabus will be supplied online in class.
Holmberg, B. (1995). Theory and practice of
distance education. London/New York: Routledge.
(Will be supplied online in class).
Note: A number of these text books are required readings in other MDE courses as well.
This course is offered solely in the online mode. Students must be prepared to:
Three to four assignments are required. Each of the assignments contributes to the final grade.
According to the Graduate School’s grading policy, the following symbols are used:
A (90-100) = Excellent
B (80-89) = Good
C (70-79) = Below standards
F (69 or below) = Failure
FN = Failure for nonattendance
G = Grade pending
P = Passing
S = Satisfactory
U = Unsatisfactory
I = Incomplete
AU = Audit
W = Withdrew
The grade of “B” represents the benchmark for the Graduate School. It indicates that the student has demonstrated competency in the subject matter of the course, e.g., has fulfilled all course requirements on time, has a clear grasp of the full range of course materials and concepts, and is able to present and apply these materials and concepts in clear, well-reasoned, well-organized, and grammatically correct responses, whether written or oral.
Only students who fully meet this standard and, in addition, demonstrate exceptional comprehension and application of the course subject matter earn a grade of “A.”
Students who do not meet the benchmark standard of
competency fall within the “C” range or lower. They, in effect, have not met
graduate level standards. Where this failure is substantial, they can earn an
“F.” Students who maintain a 3.0 GPA may carry
one three-credit course with a grade of C on their records. Those that have a
second C grade, regardless of GPA, must repeat the course. Students are only
allowed one repeat.
Effective managers, leaders, and teachers are also effective communicators. Written communication is an important element of the total communication process. The Graduate School recognizes and expects exemplary writing to be the norm for course work. To this end, all papers, individual and group, must demonstrate graduate level writing and comply with the format requirements of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 5th Edition. Careful attention should be given to spelling, punctuation, source citations, references, and the presentation of tables and figures. It is expected that all course work will be presented on time and error free.
Academic integrity is central to the learning and teaching process. Students are expected to conduct themselves in a manner that will contribute to the maintenance of academic integrity by making all reasonable efforts to prevent the occurrence of academic dishonesty. Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, obtaining or giving aid on an examination, having unauthorized prior knowledge of an examination, doing work for another student, and plagiarism of all types.
Plagiarism is the intentional or unintentional presentation of another person’s idea or product as one’s own. Plagiarism includes, but is not limited to, the following: copying verbatim all or part of another’s written work; using phrases, charts, figures, illustrations, or mathematical or scientific solutions without citing the source; paraphrasing ideas, conclusions, or research without citing the source; and using all or part of a literary plot, poem, film, musical score, or other artistic product without attributing the work to its creator. Students can avoid unintentional plagiarism by following carefully accepted scholarly practices. Notes taken for papers and research projects should accurately record sources of material to be cited, quoted, paraphrased, or summarized, and papers should acknowledge these sources. The penalties for plagiarism include a zero or a grade of “F” on the work in question, a grade of “F” in the course, suspension with a file letter, suspension with a transcript notation, or expulsion.
Plagiarism detection software may be used by the
course instructor in the process of grading required assignments.
Students are not permitted to submit an assignment or paper that already has been submitted for another course at UMUC or any other institution, even if it is entirely their own work. This includes cutting and pasting portions of previous papers or other written assignments. The penalties will be the same as those listed above for plagiarism.
Students with disabilities who want to request and register for services should contact UMUC’s technical director for veteran and disabled student services at least four to six weeks in advance of registration each semester. Please email email@example.com or call 301-985-7930 or 301-985-7466 (TTY).
UMUC values its students’ feedback. You will be asked to complete a mandatory online evaluation toward the end of the semester. The primary purpose of this evaluation is to assess the effectiveness of classroom instruction. UMUC requires all students to complete this evaluation. Your individual responses are kept confidential.
The evaluation notice will appear on your class screen about 21 days before the end of the semester. You will have approximately one week to complete the evaluation. If, within this 21-day period, you do not open the file and either respond to the questions or click on "no response", you will be "locked out" of the class until you do complete the evaluation. This means that you will not be able to enter the classroom. Once you have completed the evaluation, you will regain access to the classroom. If you have any problem getting back in your classroom, you should immediately contact WebTycho support at 1.800.807.4862 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Graduate School takes students' evaluations seriously, and in order to provide the best learning experience possible, information provided is used to make continuous improvements to every class. Please take full advantage of this opportunity to provide constructive recommendations and comments about potential areas of improvement.
Understanding and navigating through WebTycho is critical to successfully completing this course. All students are encouraged to complete UMUC’s Orientation to Distance Education and WebTycho Tour at http://www.umuc.edu/distance/de_orien.
The online WebTycho Help Desk is accessible directly in the classroom. In addition, WebTycho Support is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at 1-800-807-4862 or email@example.com.
Each Masters student will work towards the
development of a personal portfolio. The goal of the portfolio is to demonstrate
your qualifications gained in the field and to provide evidence of your
competencies and skills in a variety of disciplines/roles. The portfolio
contains formal documents, such as appropriate assignments and other
contributions to the final grades in each course; and voluntary documents, which
may show any other kind of active participation while enrolled in the Masters
program. These voluntary contributions allow students to show their proficiency
and skills as a professional distance educator.
This portfolio is a requirement for successful completion of the final Distance Education Project course and each student is responsible for keeping a permanent copy of the various assignments and documents from each course. A tutorial on how to develop the portfolios and learning journals is provided and discussed in the course.
Module 1: Introduction
Holmberg, B. (1995). Theory and practice of distance education. London/New York: Routledge. [pp. 1-26]
Moore, M. G., & Kearsley, G. (2005). Distance education: A systems view (2nd ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. [pp. 1-23; 161-179]
Moore, M. G., & Kearsley, G. (2005). Distance education: A systems view (2nd ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. [pp. 323-331]
Module 2: History and Principles of Distance
(with visiting expert)
Holmberg, B. (1995). Theory and practice of distance education. London/New York: Routledge. [pp. 59-60]
Moore, M. G., & Kearsley, G. (2005).
Distance education: A systems view (2nd ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
[pp. 24-99; 140-145; 223-228]
Holmberg, B. (1995). Theory and practice of distance education. London/New York: Routledge. [pp. 45-132]
By the end of Module # 2 students must submit an two essays, which contribute 1/3 to the final grade.
Module 3: Pedagogy of Distance Education and
Theoretical Approaches to DE
(with visiting expert)
Moore, M. G., & Kearsley, G. (2005). Distance education: A systems view (2nd ed.). Belmont,CA: Wadsworth. [pp. 227-235]
Holmberg, B. (1995). Theory and practice of distance education. London/New York: Routledge. [pp. 156-182]
Moore, M. G., & Kearsley, G. (2005). Distance education: A systems view (2nd ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. [pp. 59-77; 100-122; 236-256]
By the end of Module # 3 students must submit an essay, which will contribute 1/3 to the final grade.
Module 4: Institutional Aspects of Distance Education
Moore, M. G., & Kearsley, G. (2005). Distance education: A systems view (2nd ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. [pp. 257-287]
Holmberg, B. (1995). Theory and practice of distance education. London, New York: Routledge. [pp. 133-155]
Moore, M. G., & Kearsley, G. (2005). Distance education: A systems view (2nd ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. [pp. 288-305; 307-322]
In Module # 4 students will first work collaboratively on a project (ungraded) and submit an individual essay. The grade for the essay will contribute 1/3 to the final grade.