Conference Tutorial


"Converting a Regular Learning Course into
Distance Course"

By Peter L. Stanchev, Kettering University, USA and Institute of Mathematics and Computer Science, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Bulgaria



The beginnings of distance education date back over one hundred years ago to the age of correspondence education when Frederick Turner ran the correspondence history program at the University of Wisconsin. Resent research clearly shows that students who learn at a distance do not learn any better or any worse than the traditional students.

Web 2.0 and social software tools have tremendous potential to remove the barriers of distance education. The social dimension of Web 2.0 tools has already begun to change the traditional paradigm of distance education. The challenges that social software addresses (meeting, building community, providing mentoring and personal learning assistance, working collaboratively on projects or problems, reducing communication errors, and supporting complex group functions) have application to educational use.

In the tutorial, we identify the milestones of techniques that were developed to meet the needs of a new type of learning that beneficially exploits the domain of distance-learning courses. A methodology for converting a regular course into a distance course is presented. For the conversion process we use the ADDIE technology. The ADDIE (Analysis, Design, Development, Implement, and Evaluate) model is the generic process traditionally used by instructional designers and training developers. The five phases represent a dynamic and flexible guideline for building effective training and performance support tools. Topics such as: develop instructional strategy, develop and select instructional materials; design and conduct formative evaluation, revise instruction; design and conduct summative evaluations are also presented. Some of the education theories such as: theories of independence and autonomy, theories of industrialization of teaching, theories of interaction and communication are discussed. The conversion process, the technique issues, requirements and conversion steps are outlined. Different distance learning technologies are given.

The conversion of the regular course “Web technology” into distance course is presented. “Web technology” is a regular course that was converted into a distances course, which we designed and implement in the frame of the “Master of Science in Information Technology program” in the Kettering University. The course is based on video, textbooks, “Blackboard” system based information and e-mail communications. The course is accompanied by a list of books, which are required to be used by the learner to prepare for each session as well as a list of recommended books and papers, which discuss various issues and elaborate on the topics.

As is the case in writing a textbook, the development of a good distance education course is a long-term process of trials and errors.


[1]     Stanchev P.: Converting a Regular Learning Course into Distance Course, e-Learning conference, 25-26 august, Bucharest, Romania (2011)
[2]     Moore M., Kearsley G., Distance Education: A Systems View of Online Learning,3rd Edition, 2012


Peter Stanchev is currently professor at Kettering University, Flint, Michigan, USA and professor and chair at the Institute of Mathematics and Informatics, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Sofia, Bulgaria. He publish 4 books, more than 250 chapters in monographs, journal and conference peer-reviewed papers, more than 250 conference papers and seminars, and have more than 1100 citations. His research interests are in the field of multimedia systems, database systems, multimedia semantics, medical systems and education. Serving also on many database and multimedia conference program committees, he is currently on the editorial boards of several journals and Editor-in-Chief of two international journals.





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