6 Great Distance Education Books for Teachers and Educators

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As the current pandemic continues to ravage the world  disrupting the flow of our social, economic, and cultural life, the virtual world becomes our go-to place for conducting business, socializing, and teaching/learning. In fact, online education and remote teaching have become our 'new normal' and as more and more teachers and educators make the rapid transition to online instructional mode, the pedagogical need to develop and enhance our knowledge of distance education has become even more persistent. The question is not only about which technology to use for effective distance education but more importantly whether our digital practices as implementers of this technology in education are theoretically grounded within sound pedagogical foundations.

To help you become knowledgable online educators, inform your remote teaching practices and optimize your distant instructional experience, we have this collection of excellent reads to share with you. These are educational guides that will introduce you to the intricacies of distance education from both an empirical and theoretical perspective. More specifically, you will get to learn what distance education is all about, how to design and teach online courses, what kind of technologies to use in your online instruction, how to engage students in online learning activities, how to effectively assess students online learning, and many more. All along the way you will be introduced to various theoretical and pedagogical concepts to ground your remote teaching.  We invite you to check them out and share with us if you have other suggestions to add to the list.

Please note, the links below are Amazon affiliate links enabling me to earn from your purchases.

"Drawing on nearly a decade of teaching online, and many years working as a technical adviser and faculty developer in higher education, author Aaron Johnson will walk you through sixteen distinct characteristics of excellent online teaching.What you'll learn:- Strategies for connecting with your students- Effective ways to save time in grading- Ways to give your students meaningful feedback- How to communicate effectively in the online environment- How to begin and end your course with excellence- How to effectively facilitate online discussion"

2- The Online Teaching Survival Guide: Simple and Practical Pedagogical Tips, by Judith V. Boettcher  (Author), Rita-Marie Conrad  
"The Online Teaching Survival Guide provides a robust overview of theory-based techniques for teaching online or technology-enhanced courses. Covering all aspects of online teaching, this book reviews the latest research in cognitive processing and related learning outcomes while retaining a focus on the practical. A simple framework of instructional strategies mapped across a four-phase timeline provides a concrete starting point for both new online teachers and experienced teachers designing or revamping an online course. Essential technologies are explored in their basic and expanded forms, and traditional pedagogy serves as the foundation  for tips and practices customized for online learning. The tips cover course management, social presence, community building, integration of new technologies, discussion and questioning techniques, assessment, and debriefing, along with new coverage of intensive or accelerated courses, customizing learning strategies, developing expertise, advanced course design, and assessment techniques exclusive to this new second edition"

"A practical, hands-on guide, this resource is filled with illustrative case studies, vignettes, and examples from a wide variety of successful online courses. The authors offer proven strategies for handling challenges that include:
  • Engaging students in the formation of an online learning community.
  • Establishing a sense of presence online.
  • Maximizing participation.
  • Developing effective courses that include collaboration and reflection.
  • Assessing student performance."
4- Distance Education: A Systems View of Online Learning, by Michael G. Moore  (Author), Greg Kearsley (Author)
"The authors apply their broad experience and expertise as they explain how to design and teach courses online--including the latest technologies employed, characteristics of learners, organizational structures, and current policy and global perspectives"

5- Teaching and Learning at a Distance: Foundations of Distance Education, by Michael Simonson (Author), Susan M. Zvacek (Author), Sharon Smaldino (author)
"Teaching and Learning at a Distance is written for introductory distance education courses for preservice or in- service teachers, and for training programs that discuss teaching distant learners or managing distance education systems. This text provides readers with the basic information needed to be knowledgeable distance educators and leaders of distance education programs. The teacher or trainer who uses this book will be able to distinguish between appropriate uses of distance education."

6- Handbook of Distance Education, by Michael Grahame Moore (Editor)
"The Handbook of Distance Education, 4th Edition is a comprehensive compendium of research in the field of distance education. The volume is divided into four sections covering the historical and theoretical foundations of distance education, attributes of teaching and learning using technology, management and administration, and different audiences and providers. Throughout, leading scholars address future research needs and directions based on current research, established practices, and recent changes to implementation, pedagogy, and policy."