Questions for reflection

Table of Contents:
  • 1. What was the theoretically defining feature of distance education in the early period of disciplinary growth?
  • 2. What were the significant pedagogic considerations in distance education in the 1990s?
  • 3. What was the significant technological development that precipitated the paradigm shift in distance education at the beginning of the twenty-first century?
  • 4. How would you describe the place of distance education in the broader field of education today?
  • 5. How do you suggest online distance education design reconcile the need for independent lifelong earning with the benefits and need for collaborative thinking and learning?

Significant contributor

Meg Benke, Ph.D., is Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs at SUNY Empire State College. Dr. Benke has had an extensive administrative career at Empire State College, serving as dean of the Center for Distance Learning, vice provost, provost and acting president. In 2013, Dr. Benke was inducted into the International Adult and Continuing Education Hall of Fame for her contributions to adult and online learning.

Dr. Benke was recognized for the Most Outstanding Achievement in Online Learning by an Individual, by Sloan-C, a national consortium for distance learning providers in 2007. In October 2010, Dr. Benke was honored by the board of directors of the Online Learning Consortium, by being named to its inaugural class of Fellows, for her extraordinary qualifications, significant experience, distinguished service and leadership in the field of online learning. She served as president of the board ofdirectors of OLC for six years. Dr. Benke also serves as a commissioner for the Middle States Association for Higher Education, and participated as a commissioner for the National Commission on Inter-state Regulation of Distance Education. She also serves as a member of New York State’s Regents Advisory Council.

Dr. Benke was a Fulbright Research Scholar at Waterford Institute of Technology' in Ireland in 2015.

Dr. Benkes presentations and publications focus on adult learning, online learning, prior learning assessment and progressive education. Recent book chapters include in an edited volume, “Leading Change in Distance Education,” “Optimizing Student Success,” “Leading Beyond the Institution,” “Visualizing and Actionable Future,” and “Game Changers: Education and Information Technology,” edited by Diane Oblinger. “SUNY Empire State College: A Game Changer in Open Learning,” Educause Digital Book.


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