Elements of Distance Education

Dr. George Siemens noted a growing acceptance of distance education (DE) in business and education (Laureate, 2008).  Collaboration has evolved over time because the delivery tools have changed.  DE may have started with postal mail between a professor and student, but it has evolved because of the Internet tools available.  Barnes and Lescault (2011) surveyed college students on their use of social media tools and noted that 98% of students have a Facebook account and 84% have a Twitter account, which are two of the well-known social media tools.  Twitter has already surpassed 500 million users (Pelzer, 2012), and Facebook had 900 million users by March 2012 (The Associated Press, 2012).  Allen and Seaman (2013) tracked student enrollment in online education for ten years and noted increases every year.  Technology use is increasing, and the avenue to collaborate are increasing.  The development of technology has aided in furthering the collaborative efforts in businesses, education and other fields.

Students and businesses have yet another tool to use for collaboration.  Wikis are used to edit and collaborate over documents that contain text, and Adobe has furthered that idea of collaboration by allowing people to share and collaborate over their video edits.  Adobe has a tool called Adobe Anywhere, and it allows people to collaborate over distance on video files based on Adobe Premiere Pro, Adobe After Effects, and Adobe Prelude (Miller, 2013).  This might not sound like a big deal, but this enables students and businesses to collaborate on their video edits regardless of distance.  Students can now work together on their video edits as a group homework.  They can receive feedback instantaneously through their collaborative efforts.  Gone are the days of group members who take turns while laboring in a school computer lab to complete a final video.  These students can now work simultaneously to edit one video file as they collaborate virtually from anywhere.

For more information about Adobe Anywhere, check their website: http://www.adobe.com/products/adobeanywhere.html


Allen, E., & Seaman, J., (2013). Changing course: Ten years of tracking online education in the United States. Babson Survey Research Group and Quahog Research Group, LLC. Retrieved from http://www.onlinelearningsurvey.com/reports/changingcourse.pdf

Barnes, N. G., & Lescault, A. (2011). Social media adoption soars as higher-ed experiments and reevaluates its use of new communications tools. University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. Retrieved from http://www.umassd.edu/cmr/studiesandresearch/socialmediaadoptionsoars/

Laureate Education, Inc. (Producer) (2008). The future of distance education [Video]. Baltimore, MD: Author.

Miller, R. (2013). Adobe announces new video production collaboration tool: Helps video production teams work together.

Pelzer, A. (2012). Twitter will break through the 500 million user mark on Wednesday. RAAK. Retrieved from http://wewillraakyou.com/2012/02/dynamic-chart-shows-twitters-exact-growth/

The Associated Press (2012). Number of active users at Facebook over the years. Yahoo Finance. Retrieved from http://finance.yahoo.com/news/number-active-users-facebook-over-230449748.html



left comments on similar blogs at

William http://williambellblog.wordpress.com/2013/06/27/elements-of-distance-education-diffusion



Jeanna http://jwagnerwalden.wordpress.com/2013/06/09/the-next-generation-of-distance-education


2 thoughts on “Elements of Distance Education

  1. Sanjay

    Yes collaboration has evolved over time especially in distance education. I remember several years ago when I was first introduced to online classes and the format was nothing like it is today. Blackboard was the online tool that I used and that program has really evolved. When I was first introduced to Blackboard the only thing I had to do was answer a lot of questions that the professor posted. We need used the discussion board or class cafe it was simply a tool to upload information and check grades. I was reintroduced to Blackboard for my Masters several years later and the program evolved even more. I still had to upload documents to the program but we then used the discussion board. After starting at Walden, the program has really advanced with the introduction of class cafe, turnitin and more in-depth discussion board.

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