In the next 5-10 years, I think distance learning will still be perceived in a somewhat negative light. However, in the next 10-20 years, I believe we will see a shift in online learning. It will gain more respect and notoriety over the years. Even now, those who have negative views about distance learning programs cannot deny the fact that technology has changed and improved many industries.
Education has been greatly affected by technology. As a result, many programs are now available to people who did not have access to education before. Online learning will only grow over the years as technology continues to improve. People with work and family obligations will still be able to continue their education as a result of online learning.
As an instructional designer, I can help improve the societal perceptions of distance learning by providing quality programs for students. These programs should be based on sound research and well organized. Over time this will help people understand that instructional design is necessary when planning online courses.
I believe I will be a positive force in the field of distance education by advocating for its value. No matter what I do in my current field I will always incorporate some form of online learning. I think this will help improve the perception about distance education. I will also continue to be active in the instructional design field. I think these actions will add to the improvement of distance education.