Transactional Distance and Flexible learning

Bostock, John (2015) Transactional Distance and Flexible learning. SOLSTICE Conference 2015, 5th June 2015, Edge Hill University.

Item not available from this archive.

Abstract

In flexible models of education, students and lecturers experience a sense of separation that is caused by more than physical distance between students and lecturers. Transactional distance is “a psychological and communications gap, a space of potential misunderstanding between the inputs of lecturer and those of the learner” created in part by the physical distance inherent to online learning (Moore 1991, "Transactional Distance,"). A large transactional distance—such as that between geographically dispersed learners and lecturers in an asynchronous, text-based, online learning environment—may contribute to students’ feelings of isolation and disconnectedness, which can lead to reduced levels of motivation and engagement and, consequently, attrition. When designing e-learning experiences, lecturers must consider two variables that affect transactional distance: structure and dialogue. Structure refers to the flexibility or rigidity of the pedagogical methods and strategies used in an e-learning experience. Dialogue refers to the interaction between the lecturer and learner during an e-learning experience. Moore does not suggest that either structure or dialogue are inherently good things. Each may be appropriate in different circumstances and a typical educational event such as a conventional lecture will, at a micro-level, move constantly between the two. However, the reciprocal relationship between them at any given point is immutable. Another dimension of the theory suggests that more autonomous learners, being self-directed, are better able to cope with more structure while less autonomous learners benefit more from greater dialogue. This presentation and discussion explores a proposed model of flexible learning which attempts to inform practitioners of the fluid, reciprocal and connected relationships between students, resources, contexts and lecturers.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
Divisions: Education
Date Deposited: 18 Jun 2015 10:57
URI: http://repository.edgehill.ac.uk/id/eprint/6453

Archive staff only

Item control page Item control page