Theoretical perspectives of distance and virtual education

Lorenzo García Aretio


The phenomenon of distance education has led in recent decades to a good amount of scientific literature. These contributions, largely empirical, have enabled the development of theoretical propositions. Theories are required to guide best practice, which in turn nurture theoretical reflections. In this paper we propose a theoretical contribution intended to be comprehensive and inclusive of previous ones. The proposal is to consider distance education as a mediated dialogue between the teacher (institution) and the student who, located in a different space, learns independently and also collaboratively. Dialogue as a basis for quality distance education is analyzed from different dichotomies, dialogues: real-simulated, synchronous-asynchronous, vertical- horizontal, unidirectional-multidirectional, structured-flexible.

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