As technology advances, obstacles such as time and distance become a thing of the past. Trades are transacted no matter where the sun shines. While the human sleeps, the computer keeps running with minimal intervention. Opportunities to further indulge in academic excellence are offered through distance learning programs. In line with the main slogan, one is able to keep a day job while studying at one’s own pace after work.
Much has been written about this form of study. However, it takes a certain type of educator to deliver effective distance learning. Unlike traditional methods where teachers and students face each other, this requires some customization of one’s methods. It is important to familiarize yourself with the features and functions of the technology. Basic forms of communication via email and instant messaging, coupled with the latest social networks, allow the educator to facilitate the exchange of information with their students and each other.
Teaching also takes a new turn as chalk and blackboard are replaced with the delivery of lectures and tutorials online. The lack of eye contact requires finding alternative ways to generate interest and enthusiasm for the subject being taught. To complement the physical library, electronic resources are becoming readily available for selection. Distance learning facilitators learn to use them well to create effective lesson plans and materials. Support from the administrative level is also crucial to provide complementary resources such as a tech-savvy team to support the development of courseware.
Despite the assumption that the nature of distance learning makes work easier, the truth is far from it. Instead of physical travel, the teachers have a larger group of students because of the borderless education. Of course, this means more time and effort for digital interaction as well as job evaluation and grading.
Thanks to Chris Cornell