Does the “distance” in distance education really matter?

photo-4Many people are concerned with the “distance” in distance education. They are concerned that the distance is a barrier and a detriment to the learning process. Contrary to popular belief, studies have shown otherwise.

A study conducted by E.K. Orman and J.A. Whitaker compared an in person music lesson to that of one over video-conference.

Results of the study would show an overall advantage to the videoconference lesson over the lesson done in person.

  • 26% increase of focus in fingering during the distance lesson. Other factors, including increased eye contact and decrease in cancellations were in favor of the distance program.
  • Less than 3% of the time was spent on technological problems, a major concern for those engaging in distance learning.

Another concern is the lack of touching, pointing, and other physical interactions that come with a distance program. The study concluded that time spent engaging the student with such physical interaction was less than 1% while in person.

Read the full article here!

Orman, E. K. and Whitaker, J. A. (2010). Time usage during face-to-face and synchronous distance music lessons. American Journal of Distance Education, 24(2), 92-103.

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