Distance Doctor in Education Degrees: Past Experiences, Current Developments and Future Possibilities in Asia

| September 24, 2010
Title
Distance Doctor in Education Degrees: Past Experiences, Current Developments and Future Possibilities in Asia

Keywords: Distance education, distance learning, doctorate of education, EdD

Authors
David Litz
UAE University UGRU, United Arab Emirates

Bio Data
David Litz has received a B. A. in History/Political Science and an M. A. in Environmental Studies from Dalhousie University, a B. Ed. from the University of Toronto and an M. A. in TESL from the University of Birmingham. He is currently a lecturer at UAE University in the United Arab Emirates and has previously taught in South Korea and Canada. In addition, he is an IELTS speaking and writing examiner as well as a review editor for Asian EFL Journal and he is presently working on a doctorate in education from the University of Calgary. His professional interests include testing and assessment, educational administration, teacher training and development education.

Abstract
ELT practitioners used to be able to acquire a TESOL certificate, travel the world and earn a decent living, but growing professionalism in the field has led to calls for improved teacher training and standards of instruction, accreditation as well as credentialism in the field. One particular type of credential that is growing in popularity with TEF/SL professionals throughout Asia and the Middle East is the Doctor of Education (EdD) distance degree.

This paper explores the current academic thinking surrounding the emergence, evolution, trends, problems and future possibilities in modern distance learning, particularly with respect to EdD programs. It argues that the growth of distance EdD programs is closely aligned to the increased popularity, appeal and accessibility of distance or blended higher education programs. However, it points out that the emergence and growth of distance EdD programs have not been devoid of significant problems. These issues include the quality of instruction, course design and delivery as well as specific instructor and student related concerns. Problems with technology misuse and/or malfunctions and difficulties in finding employment for distance EdD graduates also exist. This paper concludes with several recommendations for future research and reminds readers that future distance/blended EdD programs need to continue to focus on developing comprehensive, inclusive and thoughtful distance learning models that facilitate true virtual teaching and learning communities (VTLCs). These types of academic communities utilize the latest forms of technology, are based on traditional models of doctoral programs and rely on the equitable participation of all of the students in a particular research community.

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See pages: 181-194

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Category: Quarterly Journal, Volume 12 Issue 3