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Annotated Reference List

Distance Learning

Distance Learning (Distance Education) making use of telecommunications systems is growing very rapidly throughout the US and the rest of the world.

The references given below provide a broad-based introduction to Distance Learning, with a special emphasis on what is going on in Oregon. It is important to realize that Distance Learning is a worldwide phenomenon.

General References

Oregon Online Resources…A Sampling

General References

CarnevaLE, Dan (11/1/02) 12-Hour Rule Expires Today; Distance-Education Providers Had Long Sought Its Demise. Accessed 11/01/02: http://chronicle.com/free/2002/11/2002110101t.htm. Quoting from the article:

The U.S. Department of Education is issuing a final regulation in today's Federal Register to kill a once-obscure financial-aid restriction that had become a source of repeated complaints. Distance-education providers have been calling loudly for the rule's demise for several years, arguing that it prevented them from developing innovative online programs.

The regulation, which affected many distance programs, required higher-education programs that did not operate in a standard semester, trimester, or quarter system to offer a minimum of 12 hours of course work a week if their students were to be eligible for federal financial aid. The rule is being replaced with a regulation that says institutions must offer at least one day of instruction a week to qualify for aid.

CyberSchool [Online]. Accessed 11/8/00: http://www.cyberschool.k12.or.us/.

Oregon's CyberSchool is serving hundreds of secondary school students in Oregon and throughout the world. Our goal is to make it possible for your school to provide students a wide range of curriculum regardless of the school's size or location. The Eugene [OR] School District 4J field-tested its Internet-based CyberSchool during the 1995/1996 school year and now offers 40 CyberSchool classes to high school students throughout Oregon and around the world. OPEN has recently partnered with CyberSchool to help deliver and market its products.

Distance Education and Training Council [Online]. Accessed 3/28/01: http://www.detc.org/content/whatis.html. Quoting from the Website:

The Distance Education and Training Council (formerly the National Home Study Council) is a non profit educational association located in Washington, D.C. DETC serves as a clearinghouse of information about the distance study/correspondence field and sponsors a nationally recognized accrediting agency called the Accrediting Commission of the Distance Education and Training Council.

The DETC was founded in 1926 under the cooperative leadership of the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the National Better Business Bureau. The Council's goal is to promote sound educational standards and ethical business practices within the distance study field.

The independent seven member Accrediting Commission of the DETC was established in 1955; shortly thereafter it gained the approval of the U.S. Department of Education as the "nationally recognized accrediting agency" under the terms of Public Law. The Accrediting Commission is also recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA). The procedures and standards have been continuously refined and improved over the past half century. [Boldface added by Webmaster.]

Today, more than 2.5 million Americans are enrolled in DETC-accredited institutions. It is estimated that since 1890, some 130 million Americans have taken distance study/correspondence courses. Presently, more than 60 distance education institutions are accredited by the Accrediting Commission of DETC. Distance study institutions located outside the United States teaching in English are eligible to apply for accreditation. The opportunity to apply for accreditation is open to private and public distance education institutions, both at the degree (Associates through the Masters level) and non-degree levels. About one-third of the accredited distance study schools are public or nonprofit.

Distance Education Clearinghouse [Online]. Accessed 4/2/02: http://www.uwex.edu/disted/home.html. Quoting from the Website:

The Distance Education Clearinghouse is a comprehensive and widely recognized Web site bringing together distance education information from Wisconsin, national, and international sources. New information and resources are being added to the Distance Education Clearinghouse on a continual basis.

The Clearinghouse is managed and maintained by the University of Wisconsin-Extension, in cooperation with its partners and other University of Wisconsin institutions.

Education in Oregon [Online]. Accessed 11/13/00: http://www.ous.edu/one/index.htm.

A one-stop educational mall with "doorways" to Oregon's educational institutions, programs, and services at the K-12 and higher education levels.

Educational Resources Information Center (ERIC) [Online]. Accessed 3/21/01: http://www.accesseric.org/. See also the Ask ERIC page at http://www.askeric.org/Qa/.

ERIC consists of 16 centers and several contracted organizations. One of the centers is located in Eugene, Oregon. ERIC makes a huge amount of education research information available online. It provides an "Ask ERIC" system whereby one can submit questions and get help in locating appropriate resources. There is a component of Ask ERIC that is especially designed for K-12 students. Quoting from the ERIC Website:

The mission of the ERIC system is to improve American education by increasing and facilitating the use of educational research and information to improve practice in learning, teaching, educational decision making, and research, wherever and whenever these activities take place.

Eduprise Need-to-Know [Online, and email distribution list]. Accessed 8/6/01: http://www.eduprise.com. Quoting from the Website:

Eduprise keeps you informed of all the latest news on technology, education and training in today's learning organizations with this bi-weekly report, Need-to-Know.

Inclusion of articles in this newsletter does not warrant or imply endorsement by Eduprise or its employees. We have selected articles intended to stimulate ideas and conversation in the interest of creating more effective, efficient and accessible learning environments. We welcome your comments.

E-Defining Education ( May 9, 2002) Education Week: Fifth Annual Education Counts Issue [Online]. Accessed 5/10/02: http://www.edweek.com/sreports/tc02/
article.cfm?slug=35execsum.h21. Quoting from the website:

To appreciate how e-learning is changing the landscape of education, you need only look at the numbers. Already, 12 states have established online high school programs and five others are developing them, 25 states allow for the creation of so-called cyber charter schools, and 32 states have e-learning initiatives under way, according to a new Education Week survey of state technology coordinators ("E-Defining Education: A Survey of State Technology Coordinators"). Meanwhile, the survey shows, 10 states are piloting or planning to administer online testing. Oregon and South Dakota are already using Web-based assessments.

All those programs and policy changes are opening the doors of online education to tens of thousands more students. In fact, "Virtual Schools: Trends and Issues," a report commissioned by WestEd&emdash;a research, development, and educational services organization&emdash;estimates that 40,000 to 50,000 K-12 students will have enrolled in an online course by the end of the 2001-02 school year. As it is, most of those youngsters are high school students. But the report points out that momentum is building to make online courses available to elementary and middle school pupils, too.

eLearners.com [Online]. Accessed 6/15/01: http://www.elearners.com/gna/schools.asp.

Provides access to more than 1,600 providers of Distance Learning. Also provides answers to a number of FAQs.

English, baby! [Online]. Accessed 4/10/01: http://www.englishbaby.com.

This is a company located in Oregon and started by three University of Oregon graduates. The free site offers ESOL instruction with a major focus on American slang and pop culture.

Evergreen School District (Vancouver, Washington) Internet Academy [Online]. Accessed 6/15/01: http://egreen.wednet.edu/eia/newwebdata.nsf.Quoting from the  Website:

1. A Public School Program. The Evergreen Internet Academy is a public school program, operated by the Evergreen School District in Vancouver, Washington. For more information about the Evergreen School District, including information regarding the Evergreen School District residence boundaries, please visit the district's Website: www.egreen.wednet.edu.

2. Online Courses taught by Certified Teachers. The Evergreen Internet Academy provides courses taught online by Washington state certified teachers for students in grades six through twelve. Funding for the program comes from the state in the same formula as for all public schools through the basic education budget established by the legislature.

3. Looking to the Future: Complete High School Diploma Program. In September of 2001, the EIA will open with three full-time teachers and program coordinator. Courses are being offered for students in grades six through twelve in English, Social Studies/History, Mathematics, Science and a number of Electives. In the near future, the EIA will offer a complete high school diploma program that will allow students to take all of their courses through the EIA to earn a high school diploma.

4. Continuous Enrollment and Number of Allowable Credits in a Calendar Year. The EIA provides learning opportunities for students from any Internet location at anytime. To ensure quality learning, a student may take up to ten credits, or the equivalent of twenty courses, not to exceed four courses at any one time.

Hechinger, Lavinia (The Times Express 07/10/01) Cyberschool set to open 'virtual' doors to local students [Online]. Accessed 8/6/01: http://www.pennlive.com/news/expresstimes/index.ssf?/

The Charter School discussed in this newspaper report is for students at the K-2 level throughout Pennsylvania. The Charter School will provide instructional material over the Web both for the students and their parents. The article is interesting because it raises a number of the financial concerns of school administrators. Quoting from the article:
Pennsylvania Virtual Charter School officials explained how their school will operate when it opens its "virtual" doors to students in September.

"Our name is deceiving. Although we use the computer as a learning tool, we don't have our students spend all their time in front of the computer," assistant head of the school Darby Carr told parents.

The school will provide Internet access and a desktop to students so they can access the online lessons, but parents are the ones who will provide most of the instruction away from the monitor, Carr said.

"Only 20 percent of our kindergarten curriculum will be online, the rest will be traditional instruction. As the child progresses, they'll be spending more time on the computer," she said.

The school, approved by the Norristown School District, is the state's third cybercharter. The first two were the Western Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School and the SusQ-Cyber Charter School.

Last year, about 700 students from districts all over the state enrolled in these schools.

The popularity of cybercharters alarms school districts, which fear an unexpected drain of funds.

Charters are public schools, but their funds come from the school districts where the students who enroll in the charters live. The law dictates that districts must give 80 percent of their per-child revenue to the charter.

Because cybercharters can easily enroll students from any geographical area, school districts throughout the state have voiced their concerns.

Hoyle, Glenn. Distance Learning on the Net [Onlinie]. Accessed 4/2/02: http://www.hoyle.com/distance.htm. Quoting from the Website:

Distance Learning on the Net celebrates 8 years of bringing descriptions of distance education web sites, along with links to lead you to further Distance Learning and education resources.

Online College Degrees. Accessed 2/14/06: http://www.accredited-online-college-education.org/

Our site is an established site containing information and links relevant to online education.

Oregon Access Network: A Senate Bill 622 Project [Online]. Accessed 6/15/01: http://www.ode.state.or.us/orAccessNet/. Quoting from the Website:

Students and teachers throughout Oregon have begun to enjoy the benefits of having access to a statewide two-way video network and an interactive video unit in every high school and Education Service District (ESD). The Oregon Department of Education has made significant progress in an eighteen-month process of connecting Oregon's schools and ESDs to the new Oregon Access Network.

Net School [Online]. Accessed 11/16/00: http://netschool.hsd.k12.or.us/.

Net School is an approved alternative of the Hillsboro School District 1J for elementary and secondary students. The educational program of Net School uses the power of the Internet to deliver instruction and expand learning through on-going teacher/student interaction. Net School gives students with various learning styles opportunities to utilize interactive multimedia technology, interact with their teacher and other online students, and the ability to extend their learning beyond the classroom onto the World Wide Web.

No Significant Difference Phenomenon [Online] Accessed 6/8/01: http://teleeducation.nb.ca/nosignificantdifference/. Quoting from the Website:

This site provides selected entries from the book "The No Significant Difference Phenomenon" as reported in 355 research reports, summaries and papers - a comprehensive research bibliography on technology for distance education. This 1999 book was compiled by Thomas L. Russell, is fully indexed, and includes a foreword by Richard E. Clark.

The primary purpose of this site is to provide access to appropriate studies published/discovered after the release of the book.

Oregon Community Colleges Online: Resources for distance learning educators [Online]. Accessed 11/8/00: http://www.oregonVos.net/~cconline/.

Resources for distance learning educators.

Oregon's One-stop College/University Distance Education (ONE) [Online]. Accessed 6/8/01: http://oregonone.org/. Quoting from the Website:

The Oregon Network for Education (ONE) is a one-stop marketplace for college and university distance education courses, programs, and services. All courses and degree programs are offered by Oregon colleges and universities accredited by the Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges.

ONE enables current students to take distance education courses from member colleges while still receiving support services and maintaining their academic record at their designated home campus. ONE also enables new students to identify institutions that offer courses that are accessible in many different formats to better meet their needs, and to receive information which can help in making postsecondary education plans a reality.

Oregon Online Leaders Group (OOLG) [Online]. Accessed 3/10/01: http://skonline.salkeiz.k12.or.us/oolg/default.htm.

The following information about the May 5, 2001 OOLG conference provides a quick overview of the purpose of the group. This is quoted from their Website.
Multiple endeavors are under way in K-12 districts throughout Oregon and southwest Washington to design and deliver online instruction. If you are involved in these efforts, or considering the possibilities, you will be interested in this one-day gathering in Hillsboro, Oregon.

The purpose of this conference is to facilitate statewide or regional collaboration in the development of online instruction as a specific component of distance education. Teachers and administrators across the state are investigating possible avenues for delivery and organization of online instruction, and those already involved are growing together in their expertise in course design.

NACOL (n.d.). North American Coulcil for Online Learning. Accessed 2/14/06: http://www.nacol.org/about/.

The mission of the North American Council for Online Learning (NACOL) is to increase educational opportunities and enhance learning by providing collegial expertise and leadership in K-12 online teaching and learning.

Portland Public Schools: Off Campus/Alternative Learning [Online]. Accessed 11/30/00: http://www.pps.k12.or.us/district/depts/tag/

This site is a component of the Portland Public Schools Talented and Gifted (TAG) program. In compliance with the Oregon TAG Mandate for gifted education, Portland's program focuses on meeting the student's instructional level and rate of learning every day in the classroom across the curriculum. Classroom teachers assess a student's level and rate in all subject areas and modify the instruction to provide appropriate content challenge and instructional pacing.

Portland State University Independent Study Program for High School Students [Online]. Accessed 11/16/00: http://extended.pdx.edu/istudy/hscourse.htm.

The High School Independent Study program at Portland State University is the longest standing alternative, distance education opportunity for Oregon high school students. The program has approximately 40 fully accredited high school correspondence courses, each worth 1/2 unit (one 1/2-year semester). Courses are taught by certified Oregon high school teachers. Students may study at their own pace and take up to 18 months to complete a course. Course materials are delivered by regular mail. Assignments may be mailed, or in many cases, e-mailed to instructors. PSU also offers approximately 60 college-level independent study courses, some of which are Web-based. PSU is in the process of converting all of its independent study courses to the Web.

Russo, Alexander (October 2001). E-Learning Everywhere [Online]. American Association of School Administrators. Accessed 5/10/02: http://www.aasa.org/publications/sa/2001_10/russo.htm. Quoting from the Website:

The newest form of technology-based learning-increasingly called "e-learning"-is gaining a foothold in school districts across the country, some of whom like Charles County are devising their own approaches. A larger number of schools and districts are buying into online services offered by a handful of proprietary firms or statewide agencies, all of who tout this as a viable alternative to traditional classroom instruction and a superior method of learning for some students.

Despite its growing popularity and the companies' unbridled promotional claims, questions remain about the appropriateness of online learning for the majority of students in elementary and secondary schools, the lack of research data on its effectiveness and the high costs and complicated logistics of developing online programs.

Salem-Kaiser (SK) Online [Online]. Accessed 11/16/00: http://skonline.salkeiz.k12.or.us/.

An Internet curriculum-delivery program, SK Online is an alternative program of the Salem-Keizer School District 24-J for centrally delivering Web-based curriculum to students living in and around the Salem-Keizer Public School District. The program is targeted to any school-aged student who has a need for acceleration or remediation, is credit deficient, has scheduling conflicts in a traditional school setting, has limited English proficiency, or is home schooled. In addition, the online learning model accommodates students who are medically fragile, pregnant and parenting, expelled, or in diversion. Courses are geared to young people whose learning style is better matched to the individual, self-paced nature of online learning.

Significant Difference [Online]. Accessed 6/8/01: http://teleeducation.nb.ca/significantdifference/.

This is a "companion" site to the No Significant Difference Phenomenon Website. It contains references and brief annotations to studies in Distance Learning in which there was a significant difference.

Southern Oregon Online School (SOOS) [Online]. Accessed 11/23/00: http://www.jacksonesd.k12.or.us/soos/index.html. Quoting from the Website:

Southern Oregon Online School is currently a consortium of seven high schools in this region. Beginning in Fall 2000, SOOS will offer core curriculum courses built around skills and objectives outlined in Oregon's performance standards and delivered using a combination of Internet and video technologies. Our mission is to provide "anytime anywhere" learning opportunities to students in our region. Southern Oregon Online School provides online courses that integrate the power of the web with Oregon performance standards and quality facilitators to reach a wide variety of learning styles and schedules.

Our mission is to provide "anytime anywhere" learning opportunities to students in our region. Southern Oregon Online School provides online courses that integrate the power of the web with Oregon performance standards and quality facilitators to reach a wide variety of learning styles and schedules.

Teaching and Learning with Instructional Technology: Portland State University Certificate of Completion Program [Online]. Accessed 11/21/00: http://www.extended.pdx.edu/ceed/instech/. Quoting from the Website:

This series of courses focuses on ways integrate technology into your classroom curriculum and use instructional strategies to enhance student learning. Building upon basic computer skills, you will learn how to design technology-enhanced learning environments, and establish a vision for effective use of technology. As you increase your knowledge and comfort level, you will learn to adapt to new and evolving technologies and acquire the technical proficiency necessary to become an effective 21st century educator.

United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA) [Online]. Accessed 11/18/01: http://www.usdla.org/ Quoting from the Website:

The United States Distance Learning Association is a nonprofit organization formed in 1987. The association's purpose is to promote the development and application of distance learning for education and training. The constituents we serve include Pre-K through grade 12 education, higher education, home school education, continuing education, corporate training, military and government training, and telemedicine.

Toward this purpose the United States Distance Learning Association has convened National Policy Forums in 1991, 1997, and 1999 to develop and publish National Policy Recommendations that have been the basis of legislative and administrative proposals in education and telecommunications policy.

The association has become the leading source of information and recommendations for government agencies, Congress, industry and those entering into the development of distance learning programs.

USDLA began a process in 1993 of establishing state chapters in all fifty states. In addition, USDLA has expanded its global role with annual meetings with leaders of distance learning programs in Europe, the Pacific Rim, Asia, and Africa.

USDLA's mission is to support the development and application of distance learning.

Walker, Leslie. Corporations Embrace Online Learning. Accessed 4/27/03: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/

This news item from TechNews.com contains some interesting assertions (statistics?) about use of Computer-Assisted Learning by various corporations. Here are a few quotations:
"We think we cut the total time to deliver the instructional material in half, and we believe, based on testing, that we have doubled the retention," said Gary Jusela, vice president of learning at Home Depot.

"We have 27 courses online now through our Black & Decker University, ranging from basic electricity to selling skills and residential construction," said Matt DeFoe, the company's vice president in charge of recruitment, training and sales services. "We estimate each hour of e-learning is replacing three to four hours in the classroom."

"Our restaurant crew members are learning faster and retaining it better," said Mike Hendon, director of curriculum and e-learning for the [McDonalds] chain. He estimated that electronic training costs the company 15 to 25 percent less than the old method, which required more human coaching.

Each of the three companies mentioned above has become convinced that it is very cost effective to make use of Web-based CAL for employee training. Each has made relatively large investments in facilities. Each claims that its own data shows that employees learn faster and retain the learning better.

Web Based Learning Resources Library [Online]. Accessed 2/15/02: http://www.outreach.utk.edu/weblearning/.

This Website provides an extensive tutorial about many different aspects of Web-based distance learning. Quoting from the Website:
It focuses on web based learning for higher education, especially for at-distance, adult learners but has application for web based learning in general.

This web site attempts to informally catalog (and occasionally compare, contrast and editorialize on) the tools, topics and issues of interest to those developing for web-based learning initiative

Zucker, Andrew et al. (2003). The Virtual High School. Teaching Generation V. NY: Teachers College Press,

"This study provides a balanced perspective on the evolution of virtual high school courses and programs . . . invaluable for anyone seeking to develop virtual learning experiences at any developmental level, in any context."

&emdash;From the Foreword by Chris Dede

IThe book can be ordered online in paperback or cloth from http://store.tcpress.com/0807742864.shtml#723  

Top of Page

Oregon Online Resources…A Sampling

Oregon Department of Education



Education in Oregon



Oregon Public Education Network (OPEN)



Oregon Educational Service Districts



Department of Community Colleges and

Workforce Development (CCWD)



Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory

http://www.nwrel.org & http://www.netc.org


Oregon Access Network (OAN)



Oregon Access Network

Senate Bill 622 Information



Oregon University System (OUS)



Oregon Network for Education



Second Generation Distance Education Partnership Project (LAAP)



Department of Administrative Services (DAS) Network Communications