Editorial You have no doubt heard that there is a shortage of students entering our PhD programs in audiology. During ASHA’s annual convention this Fall, a Researcher-Academic Town Meeting was held. Several invited speakers gave brief presentations on innovative PhD programs. Some program proposals seemed to focus on flexibility, so that ... Editorial
Editorial  |   December 01, 2004
Editorial
 
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Editorial
Editorial   |   December 01, 2004
Editorial
American Journal of Audiology, December 2004, Vol. 13, 98. doi:10.1044/1059-0889(2004/012)
 
American Journal of Audiology, December 2004, Vol. 13, 98. doi:10.1044/1059-0889(2004/012)
You have no doubt heard that there is a shortage of students entering our PhD programs in audiology. During ASHA’s annual convention this Fall, a Researcher-Academic Town Meeting was held. Several invited speakers gave brief presentations on innovative PhD programs. Some program proposals seemed to focus on flexibility, so that nontraditional students could make it through a doctoral program. It was argued that if we can incorporate distance learning into the program, and perhaps allow PhD students to attend part-time, then those who have other major life commitments, such as families and jobs, could complete a degree. I would, first off, like to say that I am in favor of innovation and am especially in favor of adding to the diversity of the future faculty in audiology. However, I cannot help but wonder if such measures will, in the long run, be good for the profession of audiology. Distance learning, perhaps in the form of teleconferencing, makes it possible for the speaker and the audience to be in physically separate locations. Although this form of lecture often ends up being a unidirectional exchange of information, as technology improves it will become closer to the interactive nature of a face-to-face, professor-to-student exchange. Such interaction is necessary for effective teaching: it allows the participants to challenge each other. It also allows the instructor to use nonvocal cues, such as students’ body language, to determine whether the teaching effort is succeeding. Distance learning has its place, but it cannot and must not replace traditional classroom experiences.
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