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From Distance Education to Distributed Learning Surviving and Thriving


Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration Volume 12, Number 4, ISSN 1556-3847


Higher education is currently undergoing what may be its most significant change since the advent of the printing press in the fifteenth century. A number of socioeconomic forces, primarily globalization, have increased student mobility and created a need for increased and more flexible access to education. At the same time, the recent vast expansion of electronic communication capability has presented us with the means to provide the desired increased access, using various types of distributed learning. Having this tool at hand has, in turn, created a demand for new levels of administrative flexibility on the part of educational institutions while at the same time increasing budgetary pressures on them (Clarke 2002). This paper shares the experiences of the University of Saskatchewan , a conventional, face-to-face, research-intensive university, in its efforts to meet the conflicting demands of this situation. We discuss this institution's development and implementation of distributed learning over a five year period. The University of Saskatchewan has a long history of providing distance education throughout the province of Saskatchewan and beyond. However, the province's new, multi-million dollar fund known as the Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) initiative pushed us into the uncharted waters of distributed learning. Moving quickly into new forms of distributed learning posed both challenges and opportunities. Many lessons were learned, some of them the hard way. We hope that this record and analysis of our experience will help other institutions in similar situations.


Matheos, K. & Archer, W. (2009). From Distance Education to Distributed Learning Surviving and Thriving. Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration, 12(4),. Retrieved May 16, 2022 from .

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