...TDT is concerned more with
pedagogy thatn with distance
Michael G. Moore
Transactional Distance Theory
What is Transactional Distance Theory?
of Transactional Distance Theory (TDT) was developed by Michael G. Moore.
Prior to the development of this concept, definitions of distance education
revolved around the physical separation of the teacher and the learner.
Moore, however, postulates that TDT is concerned more with pedagogy
than with geography.
to Martindale (2002), "'transactional distance' requires a learner,
teacher, and a communication channel" (p.4). Teaching situations
involving different transactional distances require different or specialized
are three key variables to consider regarding transactional distance:
structure, dialogue, and learner autonomy. Structure is determined by
the actual design of the course, the organization of the instruction,
and the use of various media of communications. There are also different
forms of dialogue: two-way, real-time communication versus dialogue
internalized within the student. Finally, learner autonomy depends upon
the individual learner's sense of personal responsibility and self-directedness.
Depending on the individuals involved, the interaction of these elements
can be very different and vary greatly along the continuum. For example,
high levels of learner autonomy would neccessitate lower levels of teacher
control. An instructional situation is considered more distant if there
are lesser amounts of dialogue among the participants and less structure.
For less distant situations, the converse is true.
this theory deals with the cognitive process of idea transmission
including concepts of encoding, decoding, reception, perception, transmission
and noise.... Transactional distance is positively related to the
size of the learning group, familiarity of language and dialects,
the qualities of the medium through which the signal is transmitted.
These include issues of noise, speed, and lag. This theory includes
internal didactic conversations as proposed by Holmberg. In this case
the learning material becomes the stimulus for dialog that occurs
within the learner and this produces learning.... A textbook and study
guide with only internal dialogue would be considered to have a high
transactional distance. A synchronous discussion done through audio
conferencing would be lower.
(Martindale, 2002, p. 5)
such as TDT are "invaluable in guiding the complex practice of
a rational process such as teaching and learning at a distance"
(Garrison, 2000, p.3). For more information, refer to the resources
Yau-Jane,Willits, Fern K. (1998). "A Path Analysis of the Concepts
Moore's Theory of Transactional Distance in a Videoconferencing Learning
Environment." Journal of Distance Education. 13 (2) pp.51-65, 1998.
P. S., and Chang, Y. (1995). "The multidimensional audioconferencing
classification system (MACS)." The American Journal of Distance
Randy. (2000). "Theoretical
Challenges for Distance Education in the
21st Century: A Shift from Structural to Transactional Issues."
Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning. 1 (1) June, 2000.
Yolanda. (1999). Exploring the quality of the educational design of
international virtual graduate programs: a new model of evaluation.
Pennsylvania State University.
Desmond, Ed.(1993). "Theoretical Principles of Distance Education."
Routledge, New York.
Neil. (2002). The Cycle of Oppression and Distance Education.
Athabasca University. February, 2002.
M & Kearsly, G. (1996). Distance education a system view. Belmont:
Chris. (1997). "Transactional
Distance." The Ultimate Instant Online
O. (1998). Learning and teaching in distance education: Analysis and
interpretation from an international perspective. London: Kogan Page.
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