Avoiding the Industrialization of Research Universities: Big and Little Distance Education
Garrison, D. Randy
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The pressure to increase access to higher education while reducing costs raises serious questions with regard to the purpose and goals of the traditional research-intensive university. Moreover, there is considerable rhetoric about reinventing universities based on adoption of communications and learning technologies without clearly defining or articulating educational goals. In contrast to the big industrial model of distance education, an approach to distance education is described that is consistent with the traditional goals and values of creating knowledge through a critical community of learners. This approach, or model, is labeled "little distance education," and its characteristics are defined. Meeting the needs of a new market for continuing professional education available at a distance is also discussed.