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A Bridge for Distance Education: Planning for the Information-Age Student

Bob Fulkerth, Golden Gate University, USA 

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Distance Education is reaching critical mass. Delivery technologies are available that are both sophisticated and easy to use. Distance Education has a history, and its credibility is improving. Distance Education is poised for . . . what? If we want to develop distance programs that will enjoy long-term success and that will find a lasting fit in our institutional cultures, we'll have to take a new look at our core constituents-students. 

Distance Education (DE) represents a major change in how students participate in the educational process. People adjusting to changes behave in somewhat established ways. In his 1991 book, Crossing the Chasm, Geoffrey Moore presents a change model called the Technology Adoption Life Cycle, which expands traditional innovation /adoption models such as those presented by Everett Rogers (1983). Moore's Life Cycle model says there is a "chasm" barring the transition from early, limited use of an innovation to long-term acceptance and use by the larger population. This article discuss the factors in building bridge to allow students across the bridge to DE programs.

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