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The casual academic in university distance education : from isolation to integration – a prescription for change
Contextual changes in Australian universities such as the growth of the Internet, a new student population, and an emphasis on re-education and lifelong learning are manifest in a repositioning of distance education from the margins to the centre of concern. In addition, recent reform imperatives have future implications for distance education as it is considered integral to delivering on Australian Government policy in terms of increased socially inclusive engagements in university education. However, there is scant policy conversation about the experiences of academics who deliver distance education programs. In addition to this, the delivery of distance education is often undertaken by academics employed in a casual capacity. The experiences of the teaching workforce in distance education need to be explored and issues addressed if the future of distance education in higher education is to be a sustainable one for meeting the needs of university education in the new millennium.