Distance Learning…what is it?

What is distance learning?

The definition of distance learning according to Dictionary.com is a teaching system consisting of video, audio, and written material designed for a person to use in studying a subject at home or an educational system, often postgraduate, in which students have minimal or no residency at the institution itself; also called correspondence course.  In other words, a person is able to earn a degree from the comfort of their home.  The definition provided by Dictionary.com could possibly be outdated because there are many accredited schools who offer distance learning for everything from simple diplomas and certificates to doctoral degrees.  Two examples of this are the doctoral degree programs offered at Capella University and the career diplomas offered at Ashworth College.

Who can benefit from distance learning?

Anyone is able to enroll in a distance education as long as you meet the requirements for the school or university.  Distance learning targets several different groups of people.  Adult students, or nontraditional students, are a main focus of distance learning marketing.  This is because it is difficult to juggle a full time job, family, and school.  These students need the flexibility to be able to attend class after work and after their families have been taken care of for the day.  Another group of people distance learning is focused on are military students.  When they have down time on deployments or if they are stationed overseas they are able to earn degrees.  Students with physical disabilities may find it difficult to navigate around a busy campus or may miss class due to unforeseen circumstances.  These students are capable of benefitting from distance learning when it is covenant for them.

Is distance learning right for you?

Distance learning offers a flexible opportunity to earn an education.  When you are enrolled in a distance learning program you give yourself the ability to work within your own schedule.  This means you can work around your daily responsibilities and social/family life, it does not mean you can decide to do all your work for the entire course at one time.  Depending on the school you may decide to attend, you may be required to log in a certain amount of times per week, a certain amount of hours per week, or there may be no requirement at all.

Distance learning is not the best option for everyone.  It requires self-discipline and dedication.  You do not have an instructor sitting with you in class for an allotted amount of time.  Assignments, tests, and discussion boards are due weekly and on time.  There are many teaching preferences distance learning courses and online courses offer like chat room discussions and video chat sessions.  There is a wide variety of substantial teaching materials distance and online programs are using to make sure you learn the concepts and required information needed to successfully pass the course and retain the information you learn.  Video lectures, power point presentations, and discussions boards are a few avenues of ensuring the materials, ideas, and concepts of the class of presented.

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