Definition of Distance Learning

Distance learning has been put in the spotlight recently because of the increased need for learners to learn independently and not in a classroom because of public health concerns. Before starting EDUC-6135, Distance Learning, I viewed distance learning more as “self-study”, while self-study can be a component of distance learning, that is not the whole premise. This week after learning more about distance learning, I have evolved my definition to include the important aspect of feedback from both learners and instructors. It is noted that students, especially younger students, can benefit from the independence that distance learning offers, but too much independence and lack of interaction can also have a negative impact (Huett et al, 2008).

My personal definition of distance learning involves both the instructor and the learners. Because distance education incorporates both teaching and learning (Laureate Education, n.d.). My definition of distance learning is learning and studying in a different location from other learners and the instructor. Distance learning should involve interaction, collaboration and use of technology to aide in learning. Students and instructors both have to work to keep the line of communication open between themselves so that cooperative learning can be achieved.

Distance learning has gone though major changes since it has been defined, and more so over the past few months even. The effectiveness of the learning strategies and technologies used in distance education need to be evaluated regularly to achieve optimal learning (Moller et al, 2008). Distance learning has evolved from pen, and paper, with a print textbook where students studied alone and then mailed in their assignments. Distance education and learning has many facets that all interact together to create a learning environment where students might be better off than traditional classroom learning.

Distance Learning should encourage active learning (Mahlangu, 2018). In classroom learning sometimes it is hard to give students ample opportunities for participation and active learning. Traditionally, classrooms are spatially ineffective, with only a few students near the front and many in the middle or the back of the classroom where participation Is hard. In distance learning, every student gets a close up and personal seat to the instructor and the instructor also gets a clear view of who is engaged. Through distance learning, instructors can influence collaboration by introducing technology that specialize in team work and collaboration among peers that are geographically separated.

The future of distance learning will involve continued research on effective learning strategies matched with technology to aide in learning (Mahlangu, 2018). Distance learning will continue to evolve with the evolving and changing needs of learners. Schools can benefit from the incorporation of distance learning strategies into their traditional classrooms to increase opportunities for student success. The more distance learning is utilized the more we can learn about the effectiveness of the concept.

I created a mind map of my personal definition of distance learning using Lucidchart, which is a free web based diagram and chart maker. Retrieved from


Mahlangu, V. P., (2018). The good, the bad, the ugly of distance learning in higher education. Trends in e-learning, 17-59. Retrieved from,47&sciodt=0,47

Moller, L., Foshay, W., & Huett, J. (2008). The evolution of distance education: Implications for instructional design on the potential of the web (Part 2: Higher education). TechTrends, 52(4), 66–70.

Huett, J., Moller, L., Foshay, W., & Coleman, C. (2008). The evolution of distance education: Implications for instructional design on the potential of the web (Part 3: K12). TechTrends, 52(5), 63-67.

Laureate Education (Producer). (n.d.). Distance education: The next generation [Video file]. Retrieved from


Introduction to Me and Distance Learning

This cute quote reads "Learning Together Even When We're Apart" with hands  forming a … | Teacher appreciation quotes, Learning quotes inspirational, Learning  quotes

Hello Everyone!

Id like to take the time to reintroduce myself. I have taken a hiatus for a few semesters, but I am ready and excited to get back on and post new content.

To start I will tell everyone a little about myself. I am Shayla Goodman and I am a student at Walden University in the Instructional Design and Technology Masters degree program. I have been working towards this degree for a few years on and off, and hope to finish up sometime in the next year. I have taken many courses so far in the field of education and instructional design, and I have learned so much. In the older posts on this blog, you can read some of my earlier thoughts on instructional design concepts.

I am revamping this blog to accommodate a new interest of mine, distance learning and how it relates to instructional design. I am currently enrolled in EDUC 6135- Distance Learning. Exploring the history behind distance learning is interesting to me because I have been benefiting from distance learning for years. Because I am currently an online student, distance learning is how I am able to pursue my degree while working full time and raising a family.

Distance learning is a concept that has gained tremendous traction and attention in the past few years. Distance learning has also obviously come to the forefront in recent months due to the pandemic that shuttered many in person learning opportunities in March 2020. It seems like now is the best time to really get to understand distance learning and the impact that it has on the field of education.

Picture retrieved from

Since learning more about different learning theories and learning strategies, I think I have stuck to how I previously thought I learn best, with a few new considerations and learning styles. I have always viewed myself as a visual learner with kinesthetic learning behaviors mixed in. I think since learning more about learning styles and learning theories, I think I have a better understanding of why I learn in those ways the best. I think most of my teaching and comprehension of learning is based on cognitive and connectivism learning styles. I understand that learning cognitively has a focus on acquisition and retention of knowledge. Connectivism has a focus on collaboration and social impacts of learning. I have I know that the easiest way for me to learn is through reading and reflection. I also like to collaborate with my peers in one way or another. I think that these learning theories have a big impact on how I learn because being a visual learner; you need a good mix of both theories to drive your learning.

Also though research I have also found that I learn differently because I am an adult learner. For me there should be two different categories of adult learners. The technology immigrants and the technology natives, for me however I am not sure which I am. I have always said that I grew up in early high school and late middle school when technology (other than computers), were just starting to make their appearancee in schools. I think of myself as not too bad with new technology when it is presented to me, but I am definitely far from someone that knows it all or feels like I grew up with it. Because of this learning is different for me that it would be for someone in high school now, or even in college undergrad. This is something that I will consider from now on when I think of my learning style.

Technology plays a large role in my life. Because the internet is more widely available than in previous generations, I think it plays a large role in everyone’s learning.  Technology makes it so, we are always learning and are lifelong learners. In other generations, lifelong learning required a lifelong membership and patronage at your local library, but that is not the case anymore. Now days you can learn a great deal of new information right on social media or while browsing trending topics while accessing your email. This influx of information makes it easier for us to learn and continue to learn, which in turn will make us more open to new ideas and better equipped to adapt to changing dynamics whether it be in work, family life, or school.



Network connections really help when learning. While doing a mind map of my network connections, I began to think, maybe I need more? Network connections build a basis for your learning. The more connections you have, the more you information you will learn and retain. The best and most accessible network connection that we all have is the internet. Websites like Google have always been a great help to me.

Based on information on education and learning it is crucial to have more than one learning avenue. Google can be an educator’s best friend because it is a starting point to a wealth of knowledge that can help expand minds. My mind map could exist just for resources you can find for free on Google. The internet has hundreds and more, learning game websites, informative websites, scholarly websites, video websites, and examples and definitions of anything that you can think of. I think Google has to be everyone’s favorite digital tool, just because of the amount of information you can get from it without having to have much previous knowledge.

I gain new knowledge from internet websites like google, but I also draw a lot of my new knowledge from reading. I love to read about things that relate to me. So recently I have used social media to direct my reading, if it is not a reading assignment required by school. Social media sites like Facebook, track the information that you find the most interesting and they can suggest more information like it. I have lost track of how many articles I have stumbled upon through Facebook while just scrolling alone. Facebook likes to keep you updated with latest news so when I read information about education on the site, it is usually up to date and accurate and I like that.

Connectivism is based on the idea that learning has to be continuous and open. Connectivism connects learning with everything we do because it relates past and present information together to build foundations for future learning. Connectivism theories focus on the fact that learning can multi-dimensional. My personal learning network supports the idea that learning comes from all angles. I have so many networks that I learn from currently, and then along with that I have networks that I have learned from previously also.  With personal network connections being my weakest area, I think it is time for me to open up my personal connections so that I can learn from them.



How the brain learns

Here is some resources that I found interesting on the topic of how the brain learns. This focuses on the learning of children.


Dr. Tanya Evans has a background in Neuroscience and now works in the field of education. I liked her insight into the way that children learn. There are several things that we could learn from this publication. One is that the educational neuroscience can be considered the study of how people learn best. She describes her role in neuroscience and education as a “interdisciplinary” approach to learning how to facilitate lasting knowledge. The importance of neuroscience in education is explored when she talks about how neuroscience adds a “physiological marker of learning,” this concrete measurement tools that can be used for assessment. She also talks about being able to see the incredible plasticity of the human brain in relation to learning, the fact that the brain, especially in kids, is such a sponge. Being able to see how the brain works is amazing and relating that knowledge to education is imperative.|A543352061&v=2.1&it=r&sid=ebsco


This video I found very interesting on the topic of how the brain learns. Dr. Lodge McCammon delivers the content in a visual way. He used his system he appropriately called The McCammon Method of learning. It details how to best unlock the brain potential of your learners. Ii found it really interesting that he mentioned “active learning” in many different ways. Active learning is the key to application of the knowledge. He suggests that engaging students in the learning process helps the brain to learn information. He goes step by step in order of how information should be presented to learners. He talks about methods that can also boost learning. One method he mentions is by simply allowing learners to be mobile while participating in the lesson. Movement he notes “increases memory, creativity, and attention” among other benefits. The video inst that long and worth a watch.


How the Brain Learns




This last resource was a easy read packed full with useful information. Donald J. Ford Ph.D. delivers a great article that uses plain language to convey the theory that the brain learns best though frequency. Basically the more that you are exposed to information, the better the neurons that help you remember the information work together. He also suggest that learning needs to be more emotional and interactive with all the senses not just the “logical” side of the brain. Research suggests that the brain works best together as a whole not individual parts. For this, Ford suggests group activities and games that allow students to work more than the traditional side of their brain when learning. I really, enjoyed reading this quick article. I gained alot of insight in such a little bit of time.


All these resources on the brain and learning lean to the thought that learning needs to be multidimensional. Learning no longer can be viewed in the traditional way and capture the large audience we are after. Learning needs to be new, it needs to be fun, it needs to be engaging for the brain to pick up on the important information it needs to remember.



I think I skipped out on the most important part of a new blog, the introduction!

Hi, I’m Shayla, I am a 26 year old daughter, sister, fiance, mom, employee, and college student. I am currently pursuing my Masters degree in Instructional Design. I have a background in Child and Family Psychology and the transition to education and learning has its challenges. I love science and research based techniques. I like to explore multi-disciplinary approaches to learning and learning design. Through this blog I first hope to gain a better understanding of Instructional Design and all the many parts of it.  Secondly, I hope to in some way contribute to ID community.

Instuctional Design Resources

Here are some instructional design resources I have found helpful.

100+ Learning, Design & Technology Resources to Help You Get Sh*t Done

This resource (note the expletive) helps you to get stuff done. I found this resource super helpful in the way that the blog is set up and how much useful material is presented in the article. The way that the material is broken down into categories is helpful, as you can just scroll down and find exactly what you need. This individual even has a place where educators can submit their email and then get helpful resources every week. This site (and the emails) will come in handy for new and fresh ideas.

Friday Finds: The Best of Learning, Design & Technology | January 11, 2018

The previous entry on the list was actually found on this wonderful blog dedicated to Design and Technology. I found so many resources helpful on this blog. This blog has a section meant for educators to come and have access to free learning resources, and a newsletter. The author has a bio that helps his readers to understand his passion for learning. This blog will  be great for new and fresh motivation, and learning materials. I can also use this site as a great example of a useful Instructional Design Blog.


The eLearning Coach

This is a resource site that has been known to be a really popular go to in the Instructional Design field. The creator of the site Connie Malamed, even has a free 12 session course that you can take that will help you to understand the Instructional Design field (a course that I surely will be taking). Besides the free course, the site offers many resources that educators can access for free. She has reviews, tutorials, and links. This site will be helpful for me because it is somewhat geared towards beginners in the Instructional Design field.