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Who’s the student?

July 9, 2011

“The student in distance education is the abstracted individual of traditional education imagined in distant locales. The student, in this schema, is a mental abstraction, just as the traditional student is a real abstraction. The student is the phantom of distance education, a creation of the discourse of instructional design. Because distance education focuses on ‘how’, rather than ‘why’ or ‘what’, course design assumes that since all students have the same thought processes we can speak of ‘the student’.”

This words of Marsden (1996, p. 227) are interesting as a starting point for discussion of the approaches to use in distance education. Mainly, there is the tendency to do it “one size fits all” that is traditional in face to face and the knowledge about the differences that must be taken into account. In fact, it all comes to who’s first: teacher, institution or student.

Something to keep in mind for the work in hands.

RMarsden (1996). Time, space and distance education. Distance Education 17(2): 222-246

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