ADVANTAGES AND DRAWBACKS OF HIGHLY INDUSTRIALIZED SYSTEMS The Advantages and Drawbacks of Highly Industrialized Systems of Learning and Teaching
As societies become more industrialized, educators apply the practices of industry to the system of teaching and learning. By applying scientific and business principles to distance education, the development of new philosophies and theories occur. Educators like Moore and Peters use terms like mass production, division of labor, and efficiency to describe distance education practices. This paper describes and explores the advantages and drawbacks of highly industrialized systems of teaching and learning. Advantages of Industrialized Education By applying business concepts of industry to distance education, several advantages occur. One benefit involves the design phase of a course, where a group of people with specialized skills works on the same course. Peters (2004) describes this procedure as a division of labor. By dividing the responsibility of producing a course into several small tasks, universities and colleges find and employ instructors with the necessary skills. In the online environment, instructors can produce "learning objects" (Caplan & Graham, 2008, p.248) which provide re-usable units of highly specialized learning. For example, the same online tutorial benefits numerous teachers in multiple courses. The division of labor allows instructors to focus on their specialties (Peters, 2001). For example, by employing a web designer, a professor can concentrate on the core subject and not the technical aspects of a course. Another benefit in using the industrialized approach to education includes standardization of courses. According to Peters (2004) and Simonson, Schlosser, and Hanson (1999), standardization produces scientific control methods and formalization. Scientific controls allow
ADVANTAGES AND DRAWBACKS OF HIGHLY INDUSTRIALIZED SYSTEMS the examination of courses in an effort to improve...