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Lifelong Learning and Distance Education


Distance education programs often try to prove their legitimacy by using methods and materials as similar as possible to those used in traditional, classroom-based, lecture-oriented courses. Since off-campus students must exhibit a certain level of independence and self-guidance to succeed, it might be more reasonable to tailor educational experiences to exploit the possibilities of independent study, including the individual life situations in which students find themselves. This focus on independence and personal experience is also characteristic of Edgar Faure's concept of lifelong learning, which encourages learning from informal as well as formal sources, learning guided by learners, and concern with real-world experiences and problems. Some aspects of the lifelong learning model that are not typically included in distance education programs are: (1) using formative assessment of student progress, (2) tailoring learning strategies to individual situations, and (3) using real-world criteria in evaluations. It appears possible and desirable for distance education programs to incorporate sucessfully many more of the characteristics of lifelong learning than has typically been the case, but evidence from the field suggests that strong pressures exist in favor of using conventional educational approaches. (PGD)


Knapper, C. Lifelong Learning and Distance Education. Retrieved November 30, 2020 from .

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