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Rob Kling, professor of information systems and information science at Indiana University at Bloomington School of Library and Information Science's Center for Social Informatics, studies the social aspect of computerization. Kling and Noriko Hara (doctoral candidate, Indiana University Bloomington School of Education) have published a case study of the problems that arose in a distance-education course. In "Students' Distress with a Web-based Distance Education Course" Hara and Kling describe two areas that caused frustrations for the students: technological problems, compounded by no access to technical support; and the course content and the instructor's practices in managing her communications with her students. "Unfortunately, a large percentage of the popular and practitioner articles about computer-mediated distance education emphasize the potentials of new technology, and understate the extent to which instructors may need to develop new pedagogies as well as different approaches to communication practices in their on-line courses." The authors believe that educators "have much to learn about the conditions that create the good, the bad, and the ugly in Internet-enabled text-based distance education," and they offer some suggestions for how new pedagogies and practices can be implemented to improve these conditions.

"Students' Distress with a Web-based Distance Education Course" at

An interview with Rob Kling
February 21, 2000) is available at

Related article: "As Distance Education Comes of Age, the Challenge Is Keeping the Students," by Sarah Carr, THE CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION, February 11, 2000, p. A39. Online at

From CIT Inforbits February 2000

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