Distance Education and the Myth of the New Pedagogy

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Distance education, broadly defined as instruction that is not bound by time or place, is bringing about fundamental changes in higher education. Writing in a recent online newsletter from the American Association for Higher Education, Ted Marchese describes the many "not-so-distant" distance competitors to traditional colleges and universities: the University of Phoenix, the for-profit university with some 50,000 students in 12 states; the Western Governors University, the competency-based consortium that was founded by 17 governors and is supported by 14 business partners, including Sun, IBM, AT&T, and Microsoft; and Britain’s venerable OpenUniversity, which has allied with several universities in the United States and will begin offering courses here this year.