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The promise of Online Distance Learning: Addressing academic and institutional concerns
Furnell SM, Evans MP, Bailey P
Quarterly Review of Distance Education, vol. 1, no. 4, pp281-291, 2001
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The increasing capabilities and availability of information and communication technologies now make it technically feasible for education to be pursued via Online Distance Learning (ODL). This is currently a new domain and is perceived by some to offer significant promise, whilst others regard it as a threat. This paper proceeds from the initial assertion that ODL is a beneficial concept, which will have a significant role in the future provision of learning and training. It then proceeds to highlight a number of problems (considered from academic and institutional viewpoints) that could potentially be faced if establishments do not devote sufficient thought to their realisation of the approach. The discussion is based upon observations from the authors? own experiences when attempting to introduce ODL facilities in practice, and the opinions received during consultation with academic staff. The authors are all believers in the ODL concept, but have been exposed to various negative viewpoints that must be addressed to ensure the successful and widescale adoption of the concept. A series of recommendations are presented to assist institutions considering an ODL approach.

Furnell SM, Evans MP, Bailey P