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Monthly Archives: June 2016

More Information about Distance Learning

Distance learning is not a present day marvel. It really goes back similarly as 1728 when Caleb Phillips, an instructor in Boston, Massachusetts, offered short land lessons to understudies through week after week sent lessons. In the mid 1840s, much sooner than the coming of the Internet, Isaac Pitman, a British instructor, additionally showed shorthand through correspondence courses. Distance learning and instruction have a long history, however its ubiquity expanded a hundred fold as more propelled innovation and correspondence mediums got to be accessible in the late twentieth century.

Distance instruction first grabbed hold in the 1930s, with more than 25 state sheets of training, 200 schools frameworks and a few schools and colleges offering instructive projects communicate over open radio. Not with standing it wasn’t until the approach of the Internet in the mid 2000s that the accessibility and ubiquity of distance learning programs soar. PCs and the web made distance adapting quicker, less demanding and a great deal more advantageous. By 2008, electronic, online training projects were accessible in many states in the US at the k12 level.

Today, enrollment in distance education programs at every educational level is common place. Private, public, non-profit, and for-profit secondary, post-secondary and higher education institutions, including high schools, colleges and universities, now offers distance education programs in just about every field of study imaginable. From basic literacy to doctoral programs, distance education courses at available at every level of instruction.

The Internet

While distance education programs are offered via a large variety of communication mediums, online distance learning, via the Internet, is now the norm. In 1996, Jones International University was the first higher education institution to launch a fully online accredited degree program. In the following years, most major colleges and universities quickly followed suit. Reputable higher education institutions such as Harvard University and Stanford now offers distance learning programs for their students entirely online. By 2011, about a third of all college students had at some point taken an online course.

Even though for-profit universities have been the quickest to adopt and exploit Internet technology to offer online degrees to the masses, the majority of public colleges now offer their academic programs completely online as well. Common fields of study pursued online include, but are not limited to, programs in business, psychology, criminal justice, health sciences, computer science, design and liberal arts.

Distance learning has quickly been adopted as the training and education method of choice among busy working professionals. Online distance learning programs offer the most affordable and convenient means of earning a degree, improving skills and pursuing a higher education.

Technologies

There are two modes of delivery for distance education technologies: synchronous learning and asynchronous learning.

In synchronous learning, all learners participate in the education experience at the same time. A traditional classroom is an example a synchronous learning experience, where students participate jointing in learning and class lectures. With respect to distance education, synchronous learning methods includes videoconferencing, web conferencing, educational television, internet radio, direct-broadcast satellite (DBS), live streaming video, web-based VoIP, and even telephone. Many modern software programs, such as Adobe Connect, facilitate synchronous distance learning.

Asynchronous distance learning is much more flexible than synchronous learning. Students are able to access course materials whenever they want, from wherever they want – and are not required to be with other students during the learning process. The oldest form of asynchronous distance learning technology is mail correspondence, which has been employed for over a century. Today e-mail, video and audio recordings, message boards, print materials, fax and stream video over the Internet facilitate asynchronous distance learning. Asynchronous distance education is the mode of choice for most online colleges and universities seeking to provide their students the most flexible and convenient distance learning experience possible. However, many higher education institutions blend asynchronous learning with synchronous learning.

Signs of Good Online Course

Not every single online class are made equivalent. Shockingly, there’s an entire stack of terribly delivered, bore-you-to-detaches classes there that, at last, simply don’t give quality training. Then again, there are some genuinely propelled, drawing in, and instructive classes that truly experience the capability of separation learning. Here are a couple key components that have all the effect to the nature of online courses:

# Proper Pacing
It’s a fine balance to strike, but the best online courses are the ones which are properly paced. Proper pacing means the student is neither bored nor overwhelmed; they have plenty of time–and notice–to complete large projects, but also are kept engaged by small assignments in the interim. These small assignments should never stack up and bury the student in stress and anxiety, nor should they be pointless, tedious busy work.

# Multimedia Integration
The really exciting part of online classes is the fact that they can present content in ways that books and lectures can’t. Great online courses take advantage of this fact, and incorporate various multimedia elements into the presentation, such as videos, podcasts, interactive activities, and more. This is certainly more engaging than reading a long text document, and the information is much more likely to be retained. It’s not enough, however, to simply add in multimedia for multimedia’s sake. The content must be done well, and with a clear purpose. A forty-minute video of the professor mumbling into his webcam does not qualify as good use of multimedia.

# Quality Content
When a course’s content is of high quality, you find yourself engaged and curious, and as a result you learn much more naturally. This is in stark contrast to those courses which only use dismal, bland textbooks and regurgitative, fill-in-the-blank quizzes. Low quality content feels like a chore, and the information is seldom retained. High quality content can be of any modality: videos, websites, audio presentations, etc. What’s important is this: does it lend itself to natural learning? Would an expert in the field recommend it to anyone curious about the subject, regardless of the online class? This is the sort of content used by the best online courses.

# Self-Directed Learning
The best online classes recognize that their students are adults who have the ability to make up their own mind and take responsibility for their own education. When the course is too micromanaged, when the assignments are dictated to the smallest detail, students become frustrated or, at best, don’t make any meaningful discoveries on their own. Good online courses give students the freedom to design their own projects and explore the aspects of the subject which are most interesting to them.

# Multiple Learning Modalities
Everyone learns differently. Some students are very visually oriented; others need to hear information out loud to retain it. The best online courses integrate as many learning modalities as possible–visual, auditory, kinesthetic, musical, and so on–into the presentation. This way, students are able to study in the way that works best for them.

# Community Connection
One of the biggest risks that online courses face is a sense of student isolation. Great online courses combat this risk by encouraging online interaction between students and faculty. For example, a class may have an off-topic discussion board, where students can feel free to chat about anything that interests them–the playoffs, for example, or a tasty new recipe. Or a class may require students to work on a group project together via an online forum. This fosters a sense of community, and gives students the support needed to ask questions or seek guidance.

# Creative Design
It’s a hard quality to define, but the best courses are designed to give students a varied and fresh learning experience week after week. All too often, online courses fall into a formula, and repeat that formula over and over for the entire duration of the class. This will be a very dull experience for the students, and the actual educational value of the course will suffer as well. The best courses are designed by people who put careful thought and focused effort towards creating a unique and engaging class experience, from start to finish.

# Intuitive Navigation
The layout of the course should be clear and easy to follow. Students should always know what to do next, and should always know how to access relevant information and resources. The best courses have been reviewed by third party organizations and are designed to be intuitive to navigate.

# Room for Additional Exploration
Great online courses provide curious students with resources which provide additional information and and a greater depth of detail. It’s another fine balance: having too many supplemental add-ons can be confusing or stressful, but it’s important to give students an opportunity to learn more if they wish to do so. The key is to clearly differentiate the core class requirements from the additional resources, so students know exactly what’s expected of them, and what options are available.

# Reliable Technology
Many courses, in an attempt to be flashy or stylish, utilize a host of technologies in their presentation, often requiring students to download a dozen new plug-ins or sign up for outside services. The problem with this is that it doesn’t always work, and everyone wastes a boatload of time and energy troubleshooting. The best courses use only technologies which are as reliable and as universally supported as possible. This makes the online learning experience much more pleasant for everyone involved.

Why not to Earn an Online Degree?

As yet attempting to choose online classes and classes at a conventional grounds? Web tutoring has some significant points of interest, no doubt, yet have you considered the burdens? It’s imperative to consider as well, before settling on an official choice with respect to your training. Here are a portion of the fundamental drawbacks of online training.

# Traditional Colleges Offer Many More Extracurricular Activities
Students studying at physical campuses can choose to play intramural sports, audition for a play, join a club, sing in an a cappella group–the list goes on. Students studying online, however, have a much more limited list of activities available, if any.

# A Risk of Isolation from Your Classmates
Physical campuses are very social places. They’re filled with students from all over the country and beyond, all learning together in the same place. Students of online courses, on the other hand, don’t need to be located even remotely close to each other, nor do they need to work on their schooling at the same time. The result: it can be very tricky to connect socially with your peers.

# Your Home May Not Be the Ideal Learning Environment
When students at traditional campuses need some quiet time to study and focus, they can walk to the campus library or student center. Online students don’t always have this option. Many online learners struggle with distractions at home, such as children, pets, neighbors, phone calls, and so on.

# You’re Responsible for Managing Your Own Schedule
For many students, a flexible schedule is an absolute blessing–indeed, it may be the only way higher education is possible for them. Other students, however, need clearly set expectations, deadlines, and schedules. Managing their own schedule may become overwhelming or stressful, especially if they weren’t particularly disciplined at the beginning of the semester.

# Students of Online Courses Need to Be Tech-Savvy
The environment of online schooling is entirely virtual. As such, students need to be able to use the technologies and tools required to navigate that virtual environment, such as video conferencing, file format conversions, chat rooms, and more. If you find technology totally baffling and want no part of it, you may want to consider a physical campus instead.

#  You Won’t Get the Full “College Experience”
If you dream of raucous house parties, dorm life, football games, and fraternities, you’ll probably want to find your way to a traditional physical campus. Online courses can provide great education, but they simply can’t replicate the experience of actually living on a college campus with other college students.

# You May Feel Disconnected from Your Instructor
Online students can connect with their instructor in a number of ways: email, discussion boards, phone calls, video chat, and more. And yet, despite all this, many students feel disconnected from their teacher. Nothing can really replace that old-fashioned, one-on-one, personal interaction.

# Online Schools Can’t Provide the Same Degree of Hands-On Learning
This is a bigger problem for some subjects than for others. At traditional colleges and universities, science classes involve a good deal of time spent in laboratories, working hands-on with materials under the guidance of a trained instructor. Many subjects which require extensive labs simply cannot be taught online. Other subjects require online learners to do lab work by themselves. The lack of supervision and guidance for this type of work can be quite frustrating.

# There Are No Work-Study Programs Available
Work-study programs are a crucial financial resource for many college students. In fact, a large number of students at traditional colleges and universities are only able to pay their tuition due to the money they receive from their on-campus job. These job opportunities typically don’t exist through online colleges.

# You May Not Have a Traditional Graduation Ceremony
Finally getting to wear your cap and gown can be a magical experience, but it’s typically only an option at physical campuses. Some online colleges hold graduation ceremonies, but many don’t.

Remember, this list is not meant to dissuade you from pursuing an online education. Rather, it is intended to help you make the most informed choice possible, so you can pursue the educational path which best fits your needs, your personality, and your lifestyle.