The Beginning of Distance Learning at ACC: First Instructional Television Course Approved

Using video as an instructional tool at ACC began almost from the time that the College opened its doors over five years previously. Chemistry instructor James Archer and Physics instructor John Cise used video tapes to illustrate key principles in their respective disciplines. Similarly, Charles (Chale) Nafus prepared and used a video program series called Espiritu de Aztlan. ACC’s first dean of instruction, George Wilkerson, and English instructor Lennis Polnac took a step further and produced and acted the parts of student and teacher in the video program titled “Ask Mr. English.” These programs served to illustrate grammar, the purposes and structures of written discourses in traditional in-class courses.

In the spring, 1978, semester, however, government instructor Ron Brey took the college a giant step into the future of higher education with ACC’s first distance-learning telecourse: United States Government 2613. Instead of reading everything about U. S. government in a book at home and then discussing it in class, an ancient and clearly effective methods of teaching, known as the Socratic method, the new telecourses employed professionally produced programs that visually and instantly transported students to the scenes of functioning government offices and the leaders of the nation’s three branches of government.

The programs were produced and licensed to ACC by the Dallas County Community College District.

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