Workshop Introduction

"This first theme has shown me how very important teacher/ learner relationship is! I've changed my entire outlook about this course and feel I'm more ready to learn what this is about instead of what I wanted it to be!"
C.W., Michigan

"To me the most value I got out of this course is the role model that Joe demonstrated in each of his messages: encouraging, challenging, gently pushing, relativizing, etc. No text book would come even close in teaching what you have demonstrated to us throughout the course in terms of putting the student forward.
R.B., Costa Rica

" has been indeed a great learning experience. Being relatively inexperienced with informal ed, and having no previous experience with distance education, I really learned a lot! "
G.P., Michigan

"It was a great experience in learning. One had certain preconceived notions about d.e. not being a very effective medium. The workshop helped dispel these preconceived notions. "
V.D., India

"I can't wait to implement some or all the sound andragogic and practical ideas that I have learned from you and others in this online workshop. There was so much to absorb. "
F.G., Michigan

"I have been turned on to the world of online education. Now I have a huge amount of work to do!! Most importantly I see the value of online. I now have a clear vision of where education is (or should) be going."
F.C., Canada

Teaching At A Distance: From Concept to Practice


The April/May 2007 session was the final workshop to be offered. After a very successful 4 years of offering the Online Workshop, new priorities/projects are demanding more and more attention and it was time to move on to them. However, due to the many requests that I have received, the workshop materials (PowerPoint presentations, discussion questions, resource links, discussion board, etc., etc.) will be made available - for free - here on this website. This will allow educators, alone or in small groups, to participate in their own self-directed workshop on how to teach at a distance. If you would like to receive an announcement when Teaching At A Distance - Self-Directed is available, please enter your email address in the box below. Joe Levine
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Questions & Answers/Frequently Asked Questions

Must I check into the Online Workshop many times each day?

    That's up to you. Hopefully all participants will log into the Discussion Board at least once each day to post their comments, respond to the comments of others, and generally stay involved with the group. However, you may want to check in more than once daily. The time that you check in might be early in the morning, from the office, late at night - or whenever it is most convenient to you. The workshop is asynchronous - we won't, as a group, be online at the same time.

I noticed that weekends are included in the schedule of the workshop. What if I don't have access to the web during the weekend?

    Some online workshops move very quickly with a new topic each day. Ours is more in-depth with an entire week devoted to each theme. The choice of when you log into the workshop each week is up to you. If you don't have access on the weekends you still have plenty of time during the week. Of course, the more times you check in the more you will be able to contribute to the dialogue.

What if I'm away from my computer, don't check in during an entire week, and miss one of the themes?

    Perish the thought! Certainly we hope that won't occur. However, since you have all of the content materials available to view/read, it's not a total loss. The thing that you will miss will be the opportunity to join the dialogue on the Discussion Board. So, spend some time reading the comments that others posted for that theme and be prepared to jump right in to the next theme when you get back to your computer. Check out the discussion board postings from a recent workshop.

I have a distance education program I've been designing. Can I get individual help on my project during the workshop?

    Absolutely - the subtitle of our workshop is "From Concept to Practice". We look forward to participants who want to apply the very things we are learning. Workshop participants are encouraged to share their own projects with other participants during the program (there's a special Forum devoted to this kind of sharing on our Disucssion Board.) In addition, participants have full email access to the three workshop facilitators beginning 2 weeks prior to the workshop and continuing for a full month after the workshop.

I know nothing about distance education. Is this Online Workshop really suitable for me?

    I don't want to get into the position of trying to "sell" you on participating in this workshop. Often the reason why someone may be questioning their participation is a fear that the workshop will be heavily focused on technology. That is NOT the focus for this workshop. Our focus will be oriented toward the learner. Technology will be discussed only in general terms. And, primarily related to effectively using technology to support learners. You can get a good sense of the focus of the workshop by reading through the postings from the Discussion Board of a recent workshop. Please take some time to complete the Pre-Assessment (click on the Pre-Assessment button) to make sure the workshop fits your own needs and expectations.

Will we be focusing on the technical aspects of distance education?

    There will be some discussion of the technical part of distance education. However, the emphasis of the workshop will be on the learner and ways to design distance education programs that can best accomodate the learner. We will be examining ways in which it is possible in a distance education program to involve the learner, respond to individual learner needs, and to create an atmosphere of empowerment. Those technical aspects of distance education that can help/hinder learner involvement will certainly be part of our concern.

I was hoping to be able to focus on using two-way interactive television for distance education. However, isn't this workshop exclusively focused on how to teach online?

    No, our focus is on distance education. Since we're using an online medium for the workshop it's natural that many of our examples and ideas will come from that medium. Two-way interactive TV is another medium for distance education - and a very powerful one. There will be good opportunity to bring this medium into our discussion. Hopefully each participant in the workshop will make sure that his/her questions and concerns are dealt with during the workshop.

What if I post something and no one responds?

    Impossible! A major responsibilty of the three workshop facilitators is to make sure that each participant is able to effectively join in the dialogue. Receiving a response to what you post is an important way to be a part of the dialogue and to feel involved. We will make sure you and the others in the group receive responses to postings.

I'm not sure my computer and Internet connection are sufficient to receive the PowerPoint presentations. How will I know?

    Here's a simple way to find out. Click here and watch the PowerPoint introduction to the workshop Theme 1.

Have a question that isn't included above but you would like to have answered? Click here for a simple form to send your question to the lead instructor.

Copyright 2006-2007