The Pros And Cons Of Distance Education

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Distance education is formalized instructional learning where the time/geographic situation constrains learning by not affording in-person contact between students and teachers, that is, participants (King, Young, Drivere-Richmond, & Schrader, 2001; Keegan, 1980). Distance education can be grouped into two major categories: synchronous and asynchronous education (Phipps, & Merisotis, 1999; Hrastinski, 2008). Synchronous distance education is live where participants communicate in real time. Examples of media for synchronous distance education are videoconferencing, instant messaging, online chat, webinar. On the other hand, asynchronous distance education is not real time where participants communicate at different times. E-mail, discussion…show more content…
ActiveWorlds, Second Life) are a medium that can be used in distance education (Dickey, 2005b). Three-dimensional virtual worlds typically share three features: the illusion of 3D space, avatars, and an interactive chat tool (Dickey 2005a). These features can be utilized to enhance distance education (Hew, and Cheung, 2010). However, 3D virtual worlds are usually composed of artificial models, and they are not appropriate for handling 3D natural objects. Some fields of study needs 3D real and natural objects in learning.
For example, biological education, surgical education, and nature study need natural objects as well as artificial models. Moreover, there are lectures and meetings which need 3D objects and complex scenes with depth, such as plants and objects in natural environments and microscopic 3D objects. Lectures of biology with a demonstration of dissecting plants or small animals under a stereoscopic microscope, for example, require a stereoscopic view. A stereoscopic microscope has two eyepieces, and both of eyes are used at a time. This helps to make an object looked at more three-dimensional. A stereoscopic view enables fast and safe alignment of knife. It is difficult to manipulate a tool like a knife under a monoscopic microscope. The stereoscopic microscope is used in many fields, including health, medical research, biology, and
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Telepointers are cursors that track the location and movement of each person’s mouse pointer. They are small but allow a wider range of expression and communication. The telepointers have been widely used in groupware systems and each telepointer can be used to indicate a point and/or regions of interest in group collaboration. In interactive synchronous distance education, which is one form of group collaboration, telepointers are also important (Adams, Rogers, Hayne, Mark, Nash, & Leifer, 2005). However, conventional video conferencing systems do not support multiple telepointers but support only one or no telepointer. Support of multiple telepointers are required for effective communication through synchronous
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