CEC Faculty Proceedings, Presentations, Speeches and Lectures


Defining a distant environment for teacher education

Event Location / Date(s)

San Diego, CA. March 10, 2000

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Presentation Date


Conference Name / Publication Title

Proceedings of SITE 2000, Eleventh International Conference of the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education



First Page


Last Page



The explosion of the World Wide Web has changed the way we live, work, shop and learn. Increasingly, colleges and universities are offering graduate and undergraduate courses that are delivered fully or partially over the Internet. One category of computer-based tools that is increasingly being used as a classroom in cyberspace is the forum or electronic bulletin board. An interactive forum presents a unique opportunity for everyone with a web browser and permission to access the site to be part of on-going dialogues on a variety of pertinent topics. At the School of Computer and Information Sciences at Nova Southeastern University, we conduct fully online and partially online classes using a variety of electronic technologies in the learning process. These include e-mail (for group and private messages), the Electronic Student Electronic Teacher (for uploading, downloading, and responding to homework assignments), and a custom-modified Allaire Forum that serves as an anytime/anyplace forum. Essentially, electronic tools are programs whose uses need to be mastered. Functionally, the uses of the three tools named above have very short learning curves for people who are computer and reading literate. Devising procedures for best practices to meet cognitive and emotional needs of remote learners is a much greater challenge. This session will focus on the forum as the meeting place of the class in cyberspace. Since it is asynchronous, it does not matter where a participant happens to be or what time it is in any given place. The people on the panel are all experienced educators with many years of face-to-face teaching that preceded the distance learning experience. We will begin with a short demonstration of different forums (pending Y2K availability) so that the audience clearly understands the subject under discussion. The precise content of the panel and greater group discussion will target the interests of the audience. Discussion will focus on, but not be limited to, questions to which answers have been prepared in advance by members of the panel. Again, the objective of this session is to share best practices taking into account the wants and needs of faculty and students. We have determined to limit discussion to post-secondary learning environments and, whenever possible, to focus attention upon professional development for teachers.