Teacher and student qualities for distance education

 The task of the excellent teacher is to stimulate "apparently ordinary" people to unusual effort.  The tough problem is not in identifying winners:  it is in making winners out of ordinary people. 

-K. Patricia Cross



Introduction and Concepts in Distance learning

What is distance learning

Explanation of Various Terms.

Glossary of Web Based learning


Practical self experience with Distance Learning?

Difference between Distance Education and Correspondence Courses

 Can skill oriented courses be covered by DE?

Technologies used in distant education

Instructional Qualities for Web Based Learning

Challenges of Web-based Learning

DE in providing medical education to non traditional students

Teacher and student qualities for distance education

Assignment - Preparation of Distance Learning Module

Evaluation of Distance Learning

Advantages and Disadvantages of e-Learning

Famous quotes

Discussion end- Compliments from Sir & Friends

Summary - Distance Learning


Teacher & student qualities for distance education?

1 attachment(s) 
 Teacher q...pptx (38.2 KB) 
Along with videoconferencing let us move ahead with distance learning.
What teacher qualities are required for successful distance education?

I am herewith attaching a ppt file made from refrences on web.
1 attachment(s) 
 Qualities...pdf (132.6 KB)

Some qualities of a student in DE can be:

Six Qualities of Highly Successful Online Students

 1. You’re Good At Time Management
Online learners have more freedom in terms of where and when they study than students at a traditional school.  But with that freedom comes added responsibility.  Nobody’s telling you when to study, so you’ll have to make that time on your own.

Some students create their own structure by scheduling a certain amount of time for studying every day. You must be disciplined enough to stick to your studies, even without a set class time.

2. You’re An Independent Learner 
Some students need comrades-in-arms: study partners, a group of friends in class, and a teacher looking over their shoulder. If you want to be a successful online student, you need to keep focused and motivated on your own.  There will be nobody pushing or inspiring you.

That doesn’t mean you’ll have no human contact in a distance education program.  Online students communicate with their teachers and other students via email, instant message, and bulletin board.  But you won’t get face-to-face contact, and you may miss the social aspect.

Successful online students are good at finding answers and motivation on their own, and looking in non-traditional places for support.  Websites like Meetup, Yahoo! Groups, or even Craigslist can hook you up with other distance learners in your area.

3. You Have Excellent Reading and Writing Skills
You’ll need to read materials and write papers in an online class, just as you would at traditional colleges.  But you’ll also communicate with your peers and teachers through writing.  There’s no question that distance education relies much more on written communication than traditional schools do.

Even if you’re studying math or engineering, your reading and writing abilities need to be decent if you want to do well. Writing is especially important.  While traditional teachers and professors meet you face to face, online teachers get to know you through the things you write in instant messages, email, and bulletin-board discussions.  If your grammar and spelling are bad, it could give them the wrong impression of you.

4. You Aren’t Afraid of Technology
You don’t have to be a technology expert to succeed in distance education.  But you do need to know the basics: word processing, online communication, Internet research, and the fundamentals of Excel and PowerPoint.  If you don’t know these things, you must be willing to learn.

5. You’re Good at Setting Goals
As an online student, you won’t be surrounded by people with similar goals.  It can be easy to lose your motivation. 

Strong online students keep their goals firmly in mind.  Tape them up by your computer, on your fridge, on your bathroom mirror—anywhere you’ll see them every day.  It’s important to continually remind yourself why you’re taking this course, so you can stay excited and focused.

Setting goals is also important from a time-management standpoint.  Successful online students plan out when they want certain assignments done as soon as they can.  Mark due-dates on your calendar.  Set intermediate goals as well: when you want your research done, when you’ll finish the rough draft of that paper, and so on.  This will keep you on track and prevent you from leaving everything until the last minute [http://www.worldwidelearn.com/education-articles/distance-learning-success.htm].

6. You Have Your Own Space
Traditional colleges usually have big, beautiful libraries full of peaceful little nooks where you can hide from the world.  In an online program, you might have access to the entire library online—but not the quiet place to study.

It can be difficult to study at home.  There are distractions everywhere, from television to dirty dishes to family members.  Successful online students learn to carve out their own peaceful place to study, whether it’s at home or at a local coffee shop or library. 

As much as you love your family, it’s also crucial to be able to get away when you’re studying.  You should either work around them by studying when your kids or spouse are at school or work, or make sure they know to leave you alone during study time.

Distance education can be a challenge, but it can also be extremely rewarding.  Online education doesn’t just teach you about your degree subject: it also teaches you to be self-motivated, independent, and resourceful.  These qualities will serve you well, no matter where your career takes you.
Ref: http://www.distance-education.org/Articles/Are-You-Cut-Out-For-Distance-Education--27.html
I am also enclosing some more qualities of a DE teacher.

Dr. Tejinder Singh
The most important quality for a DE student is to be motivated as the locus of control for learning is with the student and not teacher. Just an example- when I joined the PG Diploma in Higher Education at IGNOU, 4 other faculty members from my college also joined; however, none of them progressed beyond 1st assignment. If the student is motivated to learn, DE can work wonders.

Barathi Subramaniam
The Top Ten Best Qualities Required of a Distance Education Teacher

I have grouped the qualities that would seem to me to be requisite for a distance educator into two categories and are not organized according to any particular pattern within a category. These are only generalities of the many qualities that any teacher must possess and may well serve for the classroom educator as well as the distance educator.
Personality Characteristics 
1) Empathy and patience: Possession of the ability to extend ones awareness to the spirit or feelings of another individual and
tolerance for the time required by another person to process and
2) Flexibility and Openness to Change: Although teaching may seem repetitive, within the framework of a class meeting and whether at a distance or in the classroom, conditions are constantly changing with respect to mood, how and what information is being shared.
3) Good Presentation Skills: Presenting information systematically and communication at the required level of the audience are requisite skills.
4) Subject Area Knowledge: Understanding at some level of depth the material that will be taught.
5) Collegiality: Willingness to participate in the system of
co-organizers that are going to be required in order to present a
distance education course.
Organizational Awareness
6) Hierarchy of Distance Education Systems: Awareness of all of the facets that must be considered in order to develop and present a distance education course.
7) Learning Modalities: This item suggests that an instructor be fully aware of the theories of how students learn and how to apply them.
8) Issues governing Distance Education: Awareness of guidelines,
policies and limitations of distance education.
9) Theory of Transactional Distance: Knowledge of how to maintain a balance between the medium of language and the structure of the system involved in distance education.
10) Technical Developments: Awareness of those technologies that may improve delivery of information and/or improve cost effectiveness are important considerations.
Reference: http://classroom.sdmesa.net

Anshu :
From what I have seen (more specific perhaps to online teaching), is that a teacher needs to hold back what (s)knows. Far too often, teachers or facilitators tell the students all they know-- without letting them discover it for themselves. It is a difficult art to learn-- but it is worth it. To stimulate your student to find something for yourself, without serving the whole meal yourself.

But on second thoughts this is perhaps true for all teaching experiences.

Praveen :
This is probably the thing which is being done at our FAIMER also.
Sir will stimulate us to find out but will not give us whole prepared meal. That only will tickle our own creativity and increase learning aptitude.
Really Anshu its difficult to do, we usually are used to tell students all that we know which may be sometimes hindering expansion of their own potential.

Teacher’s qualities for distance education:
1. Motivating: The teacher should have high motivational skills to ensure that the learner stays on, as distance education requires constant motivation for the learner.
2. Impressive: The teacher should have an impressive presence to give the learner a feeling of being under supervision. 
3. Inspiring: The teacher should inspire the learner to take initiatives and strive independently also for the fulfillment of various learning objectives.
4.  The teacher must be able to generate a handsome rapport with the students so that a feeling of distance and gap does not creep in.
5. The teacher should respond properly to queries of the learners and provide immediate guidance and help to them.
6. The teacher should be accessible to learners so that there is not a scope of disconnection and communication gap.
7. The teacher should respond to the students problems with empathy and initiative and maintain a friendly relationship despite being away from the learner.
Here is a summary of qualities of a teacher in Distant education, from an interesting article:

Six Qualities of Highly Successful Online Students

1. You’re Good At Time Management
2. You’re An Independent Learner 
3. You Have Excellent Reading and Writing Skills
4. You Aren’t Afraid of Technology
5. You’re Good at Setting Goals
6. You Have Your Own Space

www.distance-education.org/Articles/Are-You-Cut-Out-For-Distance-Education--27.html - 30k -

Navneet :I think of these, the two most important qualities are that teacher should be able to respond promptly and be able to develop a rapport so that feeling of distnce and gap does not occur
And Tejinder Sir sir makes a perfect example of an ideal teacher


Suman p
 I think for a successful distance education program quality of the teacher as well as the students is no doubt important but simultaneously the whole program has to full fill some quality assurance guidelines like

•  Establish reliable and valid performance measurements for distance learning;
•  Require providers to substantiate evidence of contact between faculty and students;
•  Require evidence of effective instructional techniques;
•  Promote systematic efforts for selecting and training faculty;
•  Assure the availability of learning resources;
•  Promote ongoing monitoring and enhancement of the technology infrastructure of institutions;
•  Focus attention on the development of courseware and the availability of information

Sitalakshmi Subramanian :Although many points have been discussed already, I found this quite complete and useful:
To avoid failure and inefficacious pedagogy in Web-based environments, potential students should respond formally to a set of criteria. the survey may include such questions as:

1. Are you able to work independently?
2. Will you sacrifice personal time to complete assignments and readings?
3. Can you write clearly and articulate your thoughts coherently?
4. Are you a self-starter?
5. Are you able to manage time?
6. Do you have strong study skills?
7. Do you need direct lecture to understand materials?
8. Are you comfortable asserting yourself in a group?
9. Will you divulge personal information and be comfortable hearing others' information?
10. Are you computer literate?

Furthermore, instructors should complete a self-assessment survey before teaching in the Web environment. They absolutely must not learn how to teach online as they proceed, but they should be trained and confident before they enter the online classroom. The instructor’s role in a Web-based environment demands newfound skills and pedagogical philosophies. Monological and instructive strategies fail in the Web environment, and educators must be confident enough to relinquish their authoritarian role. The role of the educator in the guided conversation must be understood as a fluid role, and one in which conversation is multi-directional and cacophonous.

Questions for assessing instructors may include:

1. What is your teaching philosophy?
2. As an instructor, do you view yourself as: Faciliatory, Constructivist, Didactic?
3. Are you comfortable listening to your students' perspectives and opinions?
4. How do you feel when a student disagrees with or posits a position different from your own?
5. What is the most important part of your pedagogy?
6. How do you foster a sense of community in your classrooms?
7. Are you comfortable working online?
8. Are you able to condense multiple perspectives into a coherent discussion?
9. Are you willing to devote more time to an online class than an onsite class?
10. How well do you feel you know the subject matter of the course in question?
11. Will your materials be prepared before the beginning of the first class meeting?

One should  recognize that Web-based learning is not appropriate for everyone, despite increasing efforts to offer every type of course or program as distance learning course

Praveen :
True, that distance learning is not everybody's cup of tea.
Most important of all is motivation on either side, for student it is motivation to undergo learning and for instructors its motivation to impart learning and now a days along with technology.

Dr Tejinder Singh :
The term 'distance' in this concept is a notional concept and does not refer to actual distance between the teacher and the student. Moore (1973) defines distance as a function of dialouge (two way academic interaction) and individualization (or lack of structure). On this basis, you can divide the programs as follows-

 Highly distant        D-S+           e.g. a lecture
                               D-S-            e.g. a demonstration
                               D+S+          e.g. a tutorial
Least distant          D+S-           e.g. online learning

As you will notice, lecture is classified as most distant despite the teacher and student sitting face to face. In DE, the effort of the teacher should be to promote academic two way dialogue and decrease structure (or make the program more individualized)