Re: [Videolib] The meaning of "distance education"

Ciara Healy (
Wed, 27 Jun 2007 09:58:16 -0400

For the film distributors among us rather than the people who work at

Please note the difference between synchronous and asynchronous
distance education. In asynchronous education students never come to the
campus and may take the class from any where (geographically speaking)
but there is no specified class meeting time where they would all watch
parts of a movie together via their respective computers. So an
asynchronous class via, say, Blackboard does not have the option to use
downloaded media according to the TEACH act on this interpretation
because the class is not meeting in real time? Some downloaded visual or
audio materials would not be supplemental like reserve items. They would
be part of the curriculum for an asynchronous distance education class.
It is also the case that those kinds of classes delivered via
Blackboard, might want to put things on reserve as well that are
supplemental to the current module or discussion. They too would not
have the right to make media available for download on this
interpretation, according to Dr.Crews. That pretty much knocks out the
instructor at my college who teaches music appreciation and wants his
class to be fully hybrid but is asking me to help him deliver music and
parts of Ken Burns' Jazz series to his students via Blackboard. (He is
BFF with the Distance Education Lady.) It knocks them all out in fact
because we all only use Blackboard here. Asynchronously.

If the TEACH act was formulated with the definition of distance
education as a synchronous teaching/learning during a certain class
meeting via computer, then that happens less than you might think.

A lot more classes are these asynchronous things where it is more like
a correspondence course or a self-paced class that you take on you own
with all of the course materials found on the Blackboard (or Web CT or
whatever) site at once or put up successively each week. Contact with
the instructor is via e-mail (asynchronous) or sometimes live chat
(synchronous) or you could call them on the phone (synchronous) but
usually it is just via the discussion boards (asynchronous) on the
Blackboard site. (Blackboard is password protected and available to only
the students enrolled in that class. Print material can be downloaded or
persistent links to articles are provided to supplement the textbook.)
VIDEOLIB is intended to encourage the broad and lively discussion of issues relating to the selection, evaluation, acquisition,bibliographic control, preservation, and use of current and evolving video formats in libraries and related institutions. It is hoped that the list will serve as an effective working tool for video librarians, as well as a channel of communication between libraries,educational institutions, and video producers and distributors.