Distance education has evolved from using correspondence, satellite, and fiber optics to communicate education at a distance. The future of distance education has expanded from the universities to government and business as training becomes necessary for employees to advance on their jobs or in the field as technology now is a very viable part of the workforce. Distance education, being somewhat futuristic in comparison to what was available five years ago, continues to grow as the perceptions of online learning increases globally.   Dr. George Siemens states, that the triple helix model of education is when university, government and business interact to provide and equip students for this online environment (Laureate Education (Producer). (n.d.).

Five years ago, the thought of having a video conferencing like Skype where a group of people using audio that would produce a quality of audio as good as the phone system, was unthinkable (Laureate Education (Producer). (n.d.). Today we are able to use new communication technologies to provide and introduce a new look into the future of distance education.

As we rehearse in our mind, the notion of distance education and what it will evolve into 10 to 20 years from now, we must consider how technology will impact the learning process in distance education. Virtual learning programs and other forms of videoconferencing tools are increasing in use via the internet. “The next big direction to be taken along the Internet pathways will be the development of virtual reality into a functional network tool. This has the potential to be an order of magnitude more effective than any mechanism previously developed”! (Spodick, E. F. (1995).

As an instructional designer it is important to introduce to your learners the new ways of learning as they arise. With technology being used in developing programs and online courses, the need for more new way of delivering information becomes important. Also, the learner should be made aware of the new tools that are being used and how to use them to develop their knowledge skills and invite new learning in order to be successful and to succeed.

In the field of education, it is constantly improving and evolving in learning and technology, staying connected to its many changes and challenges that follow, will allow for new ways to give instruction using new communication tools, as it is needed to increase learning in any environment not just online.


Laureate Education (Producer). (n.d.). The future of distance education [Video file]. Retrieved from

Spodick, E. F. (1995). The evolution of distance learning. In Proceedings 1st Asian Information Meeting, Hong Kong.


Converting to a Distance Learning Format


A trainer is having problems with his face-to-face course and is considering converting it to a blended learning course, one can begin the conversion process by evaluating the course negative and positive outcome to determine the next course of action. A formative evaluation will allow you to ask the question, “How can I make this better?” By examining the course to find out what works and what doesn’t, can help the instructor to identify a concerning problem with the course. “The instructor needs to consider the learning task, the instructional materials, and the teaching strategies, and also the role that the technology may have played in the instruction” (Simonson, M., Smaldino, S., & Zvacek, S., 2015).

Before converting a face-to-face course to a blended online course, there are a few things that need to be considered before starting this process. First, know your audience, what type of learner will you be teaching in a blended learning setting. Knowing your learners and their learning style will better prepare you for the type of training and learning materials to use in your course. Secondly, prepare your curriculum, decide which of your f2f materials will be used in the online portion of the course that will enhance the course and develop new learning. Because the trainer mentioned a concerning problem with the discussion porting of the course, here is where he may want to start modifying the course layout. Another way would be to providing a train the trainer workshop to help with the facilitating process of the blended learning course as stated by Dr. George Piskurich (Laureate Education (Producer). (n.d.).

In an online environment, the trainer will now become the facilitator where he will begin best practices used to monitor and engage the learner with course activities and material that will motivate the learners.  As a facilitator in an online course, the training process is different of that of an f2f course. The facilitator will need to make certain that the materials used will be ready and available for the learner of a synchronous or asynchronous course and accessible to the students (p. 139). Facilitators should also encourage online communication of the students, suggesting that they provide time for course work, participate in the discussions that will allow you to share ideas and learn from one another. The trainer can also provide a rubric of the course expectation for the trainees that can be used as a guideline for the course. Engaging activities and discussion post participation from the trainer can provide a successful line of communication in a distance learning environment.


Simonson, M., Smaldino, S., & Zvacek, S. (2015). Teaching and learning at a distance: Foundations of distance education (6th ed.) Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.

Laureate Education (Producer). (n.d.). Facilitating online learning [Video file]. Retrieved from

The Impact of Open Source

The impact of open source

I’ve recently visited a free open course site, which allow students to take a course, not for college credits, but for self-improvement or for professional development. The course is MITx-MIT’s new online learning initiative, retrieved from The MIT open course ware appear to be carefully pre-planned and designed for a distance learning environment. Because the course is web-based, it can be taken at anytime or place. Due to it not being a credit-based program, students are able to take the course at their own pace; college credits, receiving a certificate or a degree upon the completion of taken a course will not be awarded.

The visualization and resources

The online course clearly explains the purpose of the program and the facts of the course; that this is not a credit based program. The course does not allow interaction with the staff, MIT academia or its students. The purpose of the online course is to provide course materials that has been giving to registered students, and now provided, for free, to an open course via the web. Other key factures about the course is that it is a self-directed online course, going at your own pace is suggested; as you navigate through the course of your choice the information page makes it clear on several occasions that you will not receive a degree, certificate or credits due to taking this course.

The course choices are linked to a pop-up window that provides a brief description of the course and a deeper view of what the course entails before allowing the student to view the course. Even though the course has a nice design, the font size throughout appears to be too small to read without zooming in on the page. Lastly, the modules used provide the necessary resources and materials for students to use (Simonson, M., Smaldino, S., & Zvacek, S., 2015).

In this online course, there are activities that maximize active learning for students. The activities provided consist of audio/video and visualization tools. Quizzes are also provided along with RSS feeds for some courses. Keep in mind that this is a non-credit open online course, designed for informational resources to acquire knowledge only, so the activities may not be active.

Bakhtiar Mikhak. MAS.962 The Nature of Constructionist Learning, Spring 2003. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare), (Accessed 3 Oct, 2015). License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA

Simonson, M., Smaldino, S., & Zvacek, S. (2015). Teaching and learning at a distance: Foundations of distance education (6th ed.) Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing.  Chapter 5, “Instructional Design for Distance Education”.

Selecting Distance Learning Technologies

Selecting Distance Learning Technologies

Example 3:

A biodiesel manufacturing plant has a poor safety record. A series of safety training modules is needed to improve safety standards at the plant. The handling of hazardous materials will be explained once implemented into the training; along with, the OSHA guidelines regarding workplace safety and employers providing a healthful and safe environment for employees (U.S. Department of Labor). Diesel contains a mixture of gasses and very small particles in the exhaust of diesel engines that if not properly controlled can create a health hazard (U.S. Department of Labor).

As a novice instructional designer, preparing an online training course for a biodiesel manufacturing plant, there are the consideration that must be introduced when involving the use of media for delivering instruction.

The learning materials required for workers who handle Hazardous chemicals will be implemented in a 30-minute training course at the location where the workers are stationed. PowerPoint, Storyboard: digital storytelling, infographics, and a webinar, such as Meetingburner, are considered to be acceptable technological tools for this particular group of adult learners. It is important to match the medium used to the curriculum and contents ( McAlpine and Weston, 1994) of the course to provide for the needs of the learner.  The PowerPoint presentation will provide the introduction and guidelines for the safe handling of hazardous materials; also include will be infographics that will show the statistical data in the presentation.  “However, in a distance learning environment, the “ready-made” materials may need to be adapted or modified to accommodate the technologies involved in instructional delivery” (Simonson, M., Smaldino, S., & Zvacek, S., 2015, p. 135).


Simonson, M., Smaldino, S., & Zvacek, S. (2015). Teaching and learning at a distance: Foundations of distance education

U.S. Department of Labor, (January 2013). Diesel Exhaust/Diesel Particulate Matter – OHSA/MSHA Hazard Alert, [PDF] Retrieved from

Defining Distance Learning

Defining Distance Learning

Distance education has evolved over the years, from the 1800’s using mail correspondence to encourage women’s educational studies at home (Laureate Education (Producer). (n.d.), to Guglielmo Marconi’s “Black Box”, patent and the first wireless signal company which introduces telecommunication technology that gave other companies the opportunity to provide distance learning. Later during the 1900’s, distance learning transformed again with the uses of radio and television broadcast, offering college courses.

As new technology and new ways of teaching and learning evolves, so must the definition of distance learning change to adapt to the impact of its uses in education and industry. Distance learning a subtitle of distance education; among others such as, e-learning, online learning, and virtual learning; are associated with businesses/corporations, higher education and K-12 (Simonson, M., Smaldino, S., & Zvacek, S. (2015).  Corporations use eLearning for professional development training on materials that are available in various locations for training of their employees. Higher Education, online learning  has shown to be flexible in providing readily available course studies, but a budgetary surplus and loss to tuition driven institutions (Moller, L., Foshay, W., & Huett, J., 2008).   

Distance learning has always been a part of the online world to me, however,  I did not make the distinction between eLearning, online learning, or virtual learning. further studies in the definition of distance learning, help me to revise my initial thinking that distance learning was, learning that is taught by a “brick and mortar” teacher in an online setting. There is more to being taught by a teacher and the tools or medium used for teaching (online) which I later discovered during the course. As innovation in technology emerges into corporation, higher education and the school system (K-12), I believe that distance learning will, once again,  be redefined to meet the needs of those involved in the change process of learning and/or training with technology. As computers become involved in the delivery of education, a proposed definition identified the delivery of instructional materials, using both print and electronic media (Moore, 1990).

Years before my exposure to distance learning, I believed that distance learning consisted of learning that was facilitated at a global location, overseas or in another state on courses that were not available in the states. Time tells a different story of what distance learning is and what it provides to the learner with delivery of  instruction to a school system, corporation or higher education. Providing flexible teaching and learning at a distance to students in various locations online, as a revision to  my  definition for distance learning, addresses location, technology, the learner, teacher, and time.

As distance learning continues to evolve into bigger and better ways to deliver instruction, be it online, through correspondence, or “snail-mail” materials sent to rural areas, I believe that the way in which information is provided will increase in the area of technology; that more web 2.0 programs will be used in all industries and schools will began to merge, putting more students into a building and providing flex-time for teaching, making more “flipped-classrooms” and “blended learning” hoping it will be cost-efficient. Or, we can continue to do  things the same way and expect different results.

New definition and vision of distance learning.

New definition and vision of distance learning. (click to view image)


Moller, L., Foshay, W., & Huett, J. (2008). The evolution of distance education: Implications for instructional design on the potential of the web (Part 1: Training and development). TechTrends, 52(3), 70–75. Retrieve this article from the Academic Search Complete database in the Walden Library.

Moller, L., Foshay, W., & Huett, J. (2008). The evolution of distance education: Implications for instructional design on the potential of the web (Part 2: Higher education). TechTrends, 52(4), 66-70.
Retrieve this article from the Academic Search Complete database in the Walden Library.

Huett, J., Moller, L., Foshay, W., & Coleman, C. (2008). The evolution of distance education: Implications for instructional design on the potential of the web (Part 3: K12). TechTrends, 52(5), 63–67. Retrieve this article from the Academic Search Complete database in the Walden Library.

Simonson, M., Smaldino, S., & Zvacek, S. (2015). Teaching and learning at a distance: Foundations of distance education. Chapter 2, “Definitions, History, and Theories of Distance Education” (pp. 31-40 only)

 Laureate Education (Producer). (n.d.). Distance education: The next generation [Video file]. Retrieved from

“Distance Learning Timeline Continuum”
This multimedia, interactive timeline chronicles the evolution of distance learning from 1833–2009.

Moore, J. L., Dickson-Deane, C., & Galyen, K. (2011). e-Learning, online learning, and distance learning environments: Are they the same?. The Internet and Higher Education, 14(2), 129-135.



Learning Theories and Instruction introduced me to the world of learning from the inside-out. We began with the brain and its many functions and continued with the theories, behaviorism, cognitivism, constructivism, and social constructivism, Connectivism.  These theories are the basis to instruction design but not the only elements needed to understand the learning process. Adult learning (Andragogy), the learning strategies and learning styles gave me a deeper understand to how I learn and why I find some course material more interesting than others with motivation and technology assisting with the progression of learning experience.

As I furthered my knowledge about how people learned, Designing Effective Adult Learning Experiences directed me in a different direction towards the implementation of individual learning. Self-directed learning, “it is defined as the process in which individuals take on the responsibility for their own learning process by diagnosing their personal learning needs, setting goals, identifying resources, implementing strategies and evaluating the outcomes.” (Conlan, J., Grabowski, S., & Smith, K. (2003). Malcolm Knowles (1980) made four assumptions about adults as learners: (1) Adults tend to be more self-directed as a result of their maturity, (2) Adults possess personal histories which defines their identities and serve as a resource of experiential learning upon which new learning’s can be applied, (3) Motivation in adults is directed to more socially relevant learning, and (4) Adult learners have interest in immediate application for problem-solving. Knowles, andragogy is distinct from Pedagogy. (Knowles, 1980) My personal learning experiences have been deepened by several different topics throughout this course.

One in particular was in week 2. In understanding how the brain processes information, we discussed how the brain store information (encoding) and understanding the different parts of the forebrain, such as the Limbic system that is located inside and below the cortex, that identifies what may be occurring, “this part of the forebrain is essential to learning, memory, emotion, and motivation.” (Adolphs & Damasio, 2001; Cahill et al., 1996) I was fascinated by the findings.

     Recognizing Learning Style Differences, Elaboration, comprehension monitoring, and mnemonics effective learning strategies were “eye-opener” for me.  Dr. Ormrod explains their meaning; Elaboration, and it simply means that you take information—new information about whatever topic—and you do something with it mentally.”We aren’t good verbatim learners. We’re very good elaborators. And helping adult learners and child learners understand that can take them a long way.” (Ormrod, Laureate Education, Inc.), Comprehension monitoring, what we simply mean is that as learners, we stop periodically and check ourselves. “Did I understand that…?” (Ormrod, Laureate Education, Inc.), Mnemonics,  and the fact is, much as we would like to be able to make sense out of everything we learn, we can’t always. Certain things just don’t necessarily make sense.” (Ormrod, Laureate Education, Inc.) Another interesting topic during my learning progression, “As more and more people receive their information from films, television, DVD’s and online sources, the value placed on having a strong spatial intelligence may increase.” (Armstrong, p. 13) For Integrating Emerging Technologies into Instruction, I’ve learned that the NMC Horizon Report for Higher Ed., 2014, Quantified Self is used to collect technological data from mobile devices. “Quantified self technologies tap into this interest in the form of mobile apps, wearable devices, and cloud-based services that make the data collection process much easier.” (NMC Horizon Report, 2014) And finally, Motivational Factors in the Online Classroom. Where Motivational factors and its level of importance in learning were identified and how the implementation of Keller’s ARCS model is used to design an effective online class structure.

My learning in this course provided me with the ground work needed in the area of instructional design by focusing on the Learning Matrix used as a guideline of the learning process and the use of the Keller’s ARCS model when designing online programs.


The Learning Theories Matrix and the Keller’s ARCS model provided an overall view of the learning process that focuses on the theories, adult learning styles and strategies used to design an effective online program through technology. Having that knowledge will be beneficial so that a curriculum can be designed based on the learner’s way of processing information.


Ormrod, J., Schunk, D., & Gredler, M. (2009). Learning theories and instruction (Laureate custom edition). New York: Pearson.

Ertmer, P. A., & Newby, T. J. (1993). Behaviorism, cognitivism, constructivism: Comparing critical features from an instructional design perspective. Performance Improvement Quarterly

Video Program: Laureate Education (Producer). (n.d.). An introduction to learning [Video file]. Retrieved from Dr. Jeanne Ormrod

Kerr, Bill blog. “_isms as Filler Not Blinker. Retrieved from filter-not-blinker.html

Kapp, Karl blog, Out and About Discussion on Educational School of Thought. Retrieved from

Armstrong, T. (2009). Multiple intelligences in the classroom (3rd ed.). Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.Available in the Walden Library databases. Chapter 1, “The Foundations of the Theory of Multiple Intelligences” Chapter 2, “MI and Personal Development”

Gilbert, J., & Swanier, C. (2008). Learning styles: How do they fluctuate? Institute for Learning Styles Journal [Vol. l]. Retrieved from

Howard Gardner’s Web site: Retrieved from

NMC Horizon Report (2014) Higher Education Edition. Retrieved from

Tech to Learn: Blended Learning. Retrieved from

Teaching, Learning, Resources. ARCS Model, Motivational Design. Retrieved from

Edutopia. Retrieved from

Foley, G. (Ed.). (2004). Dimensions of adult learning: Adult education and training in a global era. McGraw-Hill Education. (Note: This title is available in the eBooks area of the Walden Library. Search ebrary for this title.)

Chapter 4, “Understanding Adult Learners” by Tara Fenwick and Mark Tennant

Chapter 11, “On-line Adult Learning” by Bruce Spencer

Conlan, J., Grabowski, S., & Smith, K. (2003). Adult learning. In M. Orey (Ed.), Emerging perspectives on learning, teaching, and technology. Retrieved from*

Fitting the Pieces Together

My view on how I learn has changed. As an adult learner I focus on how new information is processed. The different learning theories and styles gave me a scientific answer to learning. Malcolm Knowles, “Andragogy” (1980)  made four assumptions about adults as learners: (1) Adults tend to be more self-directed as a result of their maturity, (2) Adults possess personal histories which defines their identities and serve as a resource of experiential learning upon which new learnings can be applied, (3) Motivation in adults is directed to more socially relevant learning, and (4) Adult learners have interest in immediate application for problem-solving.

I began to reflex on the different learning theories of constructivism, “Constructivism is a theory that equates learning with creating meaning from experience.” (Bednar et al., 1991) and the learning styles that were introduced to me during my studies over the past weeks. Looking for the one style that identities my specific learning style. Am I a visual learner, kinesthetic learner or an auditory learner? I believe to have experienced all three learning styles. I realized that this changes depending on the course materials that I have a deeper interest in at the time.




My experience as an Andragogy learning who has experienced auditory, kinesthetic, and visual learning styles, as an online learning, know that technology plays an important and necessary role in my learning. Dr. George Siemens discuss connectivism learning theory that integrates technology. This information was presented in a class video where Siemens states, “Our knowledge literally is distributed across other networks of human beings, technological devices, and other ends.” (Laureate Education) The uses of technology to search for information is the fastest, but not necessarily the only way, to retrieve information for learning. Today there are a multitude of digital tools to assist the learner in this task. As for me, I prefer RSS feed readers, Youtube, and Google +, just to name a few. Because I interchange between a tablet and a desktop computer on a regular basis, I record and create information using Google Drive and other Google for education products. This web base product allows me to sync to all of my devices with an internet/wifi connection, (smartphone, tablet, work/home computer) at any given time.



Laureate Education (Producer). (n.d.). Connectivism [Video file]. Retrieved from

Ertmer, P. A., & Newby, T. J. (1993). Behaviorism, cognitivism, constructivism: Comparing critical features from an instructional design perspective. Performance Improvement Quarterly, 6(4),50-71.

Behaviorism, Cognitivism, Constructivism: Comparing Critical Features from an Instructional Design Perspective. Performance Improvement Quarterly, 6(4), by P. A. Ertmer & T. J. Newby. Copyright 1993 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Journals. Reprinted by permission John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Journals via the Copyright Clearance Center.

Bednar, A.K., Cunningham, D., Duffy, T. M., & Perry, J. D. (1991). Theory into practice: How do we link? In G. J. Anglin (Ed.), Instructional technology: Past, present, and future. Englewood, CO: Libraries Unlimited.