Pedagogy of Distance Education Annotated Bibliography

Distance education has expanded greatly over the last decade.  The number of students participating in online education has grown significantly through the growth of technology, and some educators are still unsure of its success or how to be successful with it.  This bibliography is compiled of all the articles from Technical Communication Quarterly written in the last ten years concerning online education.  These articles can help readers understand the significance of online education, why it works, the most effective methods to being an online educator, why online education training is important, how education online has grown, and why and how it will continue to grow.

Cook, K. C. (2002). Layered literacies: A theoretical frame for technical communication pedagogy. Technical Communication Quarterly, 11(1), 5-29. 

In this article Cargile Cook advocates a theoretical framework for technical communication pedagogy applied through six fluid layers of literacy that include basic, rhetorical, social, technological, ethical, and critical literacies.  Cook argues that without these six layers students cannot be deemed properly prepared and details why each is an imperative skill towards making students better employees.

Cook states that the internet and online education broadens the area networks and provides further opportunities for students to develop technological literacies. She uses a wide range of sources to explain why this literacies framework is important for teachers as well as students to understand and how it can be applied to assessing materials on pedagogy.  Cook also provides suggestions for these layers to be applied when developing course curriculum and creating teaching objectives.

Cook, K. C. (2007). Immersion in a digital pool: Training prospective online instructors in online environments. Technical Communication Quarterly, 16(1), 55-82.

Cook provides examples as to why online educational training must take place online.  The article makes the argument that as one learns how to teach online, one will begin to think in the same terms as their students will in the future and explains that teachers should be trained in the environment in which they will soon teach.

Cook discusses how online classes create an archival type of presence that exists online possibly forever.  Through this archive Cook creates a teaching model that can be followed and explains the importance of it in terms of further education for teachers as well as students who wish to one day be online educators.

Duin, A. H., & Gurak, L. J. (2004). The impact of the Internet and digital technologies on teaching and research in technical communication. Technical Communication Quarterly, 13(2), 187-198.

In this article Gurak and Duin discuss the growing trend of digital technologies and the Internet and their effect on students and teachers.  Duin and Gurak discuss the importance for teachers in the classroom to keep up to date and ahead of what is happening in industry so that they may continue to be relevant to their students.

They also argue that teachers must fully engage the Internet and digital technologies through the online and traditional classrooms in their teaching as well as research both for themselves and their students. They provide information about resources for students in the technical communication field and suggest ways to stay ahead of the curb in the job market.

Meloncon, L. (2007). Exploring electronic landscapes: Technical communication, online learning, and instructor preparedness. Technical Communication Quarterly, 16(1), 31-53.

This article defines education as an online landscape one has to become familiar with and be willing to adapt to as it changes.  Meloncon discusses how online educators must see themselves as students again, learning the landscape of their online environment so that they can better teach it.  She breaks this landscape down into five areas: personal, pedagogical, managerial, technical, and institutional.

This article explores the changing environment of online education compared to face-to-face interaction in the classroom and highlights questions each educator should look into before agreeing to teach an online course.

Pickering, K. W. (2009). Student ethos in the online technical communication classroom: Diverse voices. Technical Communication Quarterly, 18(2), 166-187.

This article discusses the role of ethos in the online classroom within the realm of activity theory. Pickering argues that debate over whether or not distance education is effective is moot and that the real question should be how to get the most out of it.  In her opinion the answer is examining student’s online personas.

Student ethos online is not only individual, but as a course progresses, a group ethos among the students begins to exist.  Pickering provides examples from her case study showing how online personas can and should affect teacher’s methods.

St. Amant, K. (2007). Online education in an age of globalization: Foundational perspectives and practices for technical communication instructors and trainers. Technical Communication Quarterly, 16(1), 13-30.

St. Amant argues that the market for online education is growing and will continue to do so along with a global interest in technical communication. He believes that online educators and instructors should begin expanding online education now to help shape the international face of technical communication.

This article provides a general overview for the global market of online education and offers ideas on how to develop online courses for international use as well as strategies for creating a global online classroom environment.