Shin: Beyond Interaction: the relational construct of transactional presence
Autonomy (of Learner)
“Rather, what autonomy does mean is substantially related to the issue of control, that is, to what extent a student is able to exert his/her decision-making power over tasks related to their learning” (Shin, 2002, p. 127).
“Generally, distance educators’ respect for student autonomy has served as the rhetoric for legitimizing the practice of teaching at a distance as opposed to the established format of teaching in a classroom. This rhetoric is rooted in the belief that, if students are mature enough, reasonably motivated, and sufficiently guided by programmed instructions, then the mature adult students should be able to manage their learning tasks in spite of the distance from teachers and/or institutions” (p. 128).
“Research interest in peer interaction or collaboration seems to emerge along with technology developments in the area of communication media. It is essential therefore to have a contextual understanding of distance education in which peer influence has become an important concern to researchers and scholars in the field. For example, in a North American context in which computer and teleconferencing media technologies prevail among others, the practice of distance education tends to follow a traditional classroom model, as is testified to below:
At the root of distance education theory is the belief that distance education is fundamentally different from traditional face-to-face instruction. However, especially in the United States, technological advances and new philosophies of distance education have resulted in a new paradigm of distance education, its goal to offer to the distance student an experience as much like that of traditional, face-to-face instruction as possible (Schlosser & Anderson, 1993, p. 14 in McHenry & Bozik, 1997, p. 363) (as cited by Shin, 2002, p. 129).
(Shin, N. (2002). Beyond Interaction: the relational construct of ‘Transactional Presence’. Open Learning, 17(2), 121-137).Excellent article!