Models of Distance Education for Composition:
The Role of Interactive Video Conferencing

Paper presented at the 1998 Computers and Writing Conference in Gainesville, Florida

Dawn Rodrigues
The University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College



Preliminary Comments

After noting the preference for asynchronous and synchronous text-based distance education courses, I argue that interactive video (also called compressed digital video)  is worthy of exploration as an alternate delivery mode for distance education English courses. 

Pedagogical Choices 
Teachers have choices, in spite of the seeming limitations of a given technology. In this section I describe my approach to technology integration: juggling context, curriculum, and technology, I arrived at a viable pegagogy for my interactive video course. I call this pedagogy "mirror instruction."  I explain this approach in a
streaming video discussion

Moving On: Integrating Video Conferencing and Web Design 
Technology continues to change, and so does the teaching context. Teachers need to continually redesign their approaches to instruction.  In my situation, since students at the remote site had access to the Internet, I was able to move away from exclusive use of interactive video and toward an integration of web and video delivery of the courses courses I am designing for Fall 98. 

Conclusion: Toward An Ecological Model of Distance Education  
I conclude by arguing for the importance of balance in teaching with technology. As campuses begin offering more distance education courses, they need to recognize that different students may benefit from different kinds of distance learning environments.  Perhaps distance education degree programs should include a requirement that students take a mix of courses:  text-based, asynchronous or synchronous courses;  independent, learner-controlled courses;  and, quite possibly, courses with an  interactive audio and video component. 

Preliminary Comments | Pedagogical Choices | Moving On | Conclusion | Bibliography