In their book entitled Distance Education: A Systems View, Michael Moore and Greg Kearsley provide an informative summary of their view of what determines the success of distance teaching.
What determines the success of distance teaching is the extent to which the institution and the individual instructor are able to provide the appropriate structure in design of learning materials, and the appropriate quantity and quality of dialogue between teacher and learner(s), taking into account the extent of the learners’ autonomy.Translation as it relates to OpenPD:
The more highly autonomous the learners, the greater is the distance they can be comfortable with (i.e. the less the dialogue and the less the structure). For others, the goal must be to reduce distance by increasing dialogue (ranging from online asynchronous interaction, perhaps using the telephone, or at the most extreme, face-to-face contact), while providing the security of sufficient structure. (p. 234)
- Moore, M. G. & Kearsley, G. (2005). Distance Education: A Systems View. Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth.