Distance Learning: Education Outside the Traditional Classroom – Infographic

This is an infographic we made about distance learning (education outside the traditional classroom). It shows how distance learning is rapidly growing and has a lot of advantages over traditional campus-based classes in terms of energy consumption, time savings, flexibility, convenience, and more.


Distance Learning: Education Outside the Traditional Classroom


Distance Learning – Education Outside the Traditional Classroom

I. Online learning statistics

1. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, about 4.3 million undergraduate students or 20% of all undergraduates took at least one distance education course in the 2007-2008 school year
2. About 0.08 million or 4% of all undergraduates took their entire learning program through distance education
3. The percentage of undergraduates who took distance education courses rose from 16% in 2003-04 to 20% in 2007-08 over the same period
4. About 0.8 million or 22% of all post baccalaureate students took distance education courses in 2007-08 Source
5. A recent study found that the popularity of online college is growing exponentially in relation to standard brick and mortar institutions at a ratio of more than 10 to 1
6. Distance learning is used in all areas of education …

II. Different types of distance learning

1. Open schedule …
2. Blended learning …
3. Computer-based learning …
4. Fixed-time E-learning …

III. Advantages of distance learning

1. Convenience – attend classes at home, in the airport or while slouched in a chair at Starbucks
• You can study at your own convenience
• Pros and cons: Source
2. Flexible – course materials are readily available online with the freedom to interact with them at any point
• Participating in threaded discussions helped 52.6% benefit more from interaction with their classmates
• Reading responses helped 15.8%
• 21% found emailing outside of the course platform a useful way to interact with others.
• Other students (36.8%) commented that weekly assignments from instructors kept them on a regular schedule in the course
• Others took advantages of opportunities to work with other online students using the encouragement and feedback they received to stay motivated (15.8%)
• How students develop online learning skills: Source

3. Extended access – for those living in the rural areas, this is a big plus
• Online colleges offer access to a wealth of information to supplement degrees at smaller colleges
• Easier access: Source

IV. Disadvantages of distance learning

1. Technical requirements …
2. Scheduling …
3. Expectations …

V. Is distance learning more cost effective than classroom education?

1. Dow Chemical reduced average spending of $95/learner/per course on classroom training to only $11 per learner/per course with electronic delivery giving rise to an annual saving of $34 million (Sheperd, 2002)
2. Ernst and Young who cut training costs 35% while improving consistency and scalability. They condensed about 2,900 hours of classroom training into 700 hours of web based learning, 200 hours of distance learning and 500 hours of classroom instruction, a cut of 50% (Hall, 2000)
3. Rosenberg (2001) argues that e-learning can take anywhere from 25 to 60% less time to convey the same amount of instruction or information as in a classroom.
4. British Telecom delivered e-business training to 23,000 employees in 3 months at a cost of £5.9 million compared to £17.8 million and a five-year time span for classroom training (Taylor, 2002)
5. The production and provision of distance learning courses consumed nearly 90% less energy and produced 85% fewer carbon dioxide emissions per student than conventional campus-based university courses.
6. The main energy savings are due to:
• Reduction in the amount of student travel
• Economies of scale in the use of the campus site
• Elimination of much of the energy consumption of student housing

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