Association for Educational Communications and Technology, 1800 N. Stonelake Dr., Suite 2, Bloomington, IN 47408. Tel: 877-677-2328 (Toll Free); Tel: 812-335-7675; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://www.aect.org/Publications/index.asp.
Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Higher education has experienced a tremendous growth in interest in distance education (DE) on the part of the administration, faculty and student populations throughout recent years as changes in technology have allowed easier, faster and less costly access to the Internet. The ability of each institution as well as the individual instructor to provide students studying at a distance with the highest quality course experience is strongly dependent upon understanding each facet of the institution's needs, as well as how to integrate institutional needs with the demands and needs of others involved in the process of program development. In traditional learning environments, instructors are primarily responsible for the organization, delivery and assessment of content acquisition by students in their courses. However, in the online world of distance education, instructors are often handed the additional roles of instructional designer, technology specialist and administrative advisor. Depending upon the model of either individual or group support adopted by the institution, to be explored further in this article, different levels of emphasis on training and support for online instructors as independent entities or in cooperation with information technology (IT) professionals and other professionals may be necessary.