A green touch for the future of distance education


3rd International Conference on New Horizons in Education (INTE), Prague, Czech Republic, 5 - 07 June 2012, vol.55, pp.789-798 identifier

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Full Text
  • Volume: 55
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.sbspro.2012.09.565
  • City: Prague
  • Country: Czech Republic
  • Page Numbers: pp.789-798
  • Keywords: sustainable distance education, future of distance education
  • Anadolu University Affiliated: Yes


This paper aims to draw attention to the sustainability of distance learning in terms of the design process based on learner characteristics and technology usage. Distance learning has become a cyberized system owing its presence to developments in digital technologies. Technological developments solve some immediate problems but also have the risk of leading to even greater ones. To 'sustain' is not only about keeping up, supporting or maintaining continuity but also is about nourishing, cultivation and acknowledgement. 21st century incentives in all fields of human endeavour have replaced sustainability measures in their plans and actions as a necessity for meeting the needs of the present and future generations. Green engineering and design perspectives state the importance of carrying out an inventory of all the materials and energy used in the design process and assessing all the environmental discharges resulting from the product's manufacture, use, and disposal. Being cyberized or virtual does not leave distance education apart; still it is a product designed to serve actual human beings and alike every design, the process has inputs, outputs and unfortunately, produces waste. Unless managed properly, waste is harmful; to avoid possible harms and to be able to respond both to current and future demands and expectations, distance education has to include ecological and sustainable perspectives to its vision. This study outlines the historical background of sustainability, lists the green engineering and green design perspectives from literature and expresses a green touch for sustainable distance education within these perspectives. (C) 2012 Published by Elsevier Ltd. Selection and/or peer-review under responsibility of The Association of Science, Education and Technology