Distance Education – Are You Ready to Hit the Digital Books?

Distance learning is broadly defined as the provision and process of learning when the learner and the information source are separated by distance, time, or both. If any of this learning content takes place on-site for any reason (including taking exams), the learning is referred to as “blended” or “hybrid” learning.

The internet has made distance learning faster and easier for traders and students. In recent years, the education sector has seen a remarkable increase in the importance and impact of the “virtual university”.

Approximately 1 in 5 undergraduate students in North America is enrolled in at least one online learning and continuing education class, and 1 in 20 is now enrolled in an online educational degree program. Courses range from the most elementary education to masters and doctoral programs.

The accreditation levels are very different. Some of the online educational “institutions” are nothing more than fraudulent “degree factories” that receive no oversight. But in the United States, an institution may not use the term “university” without state accreditation.

Technologies used in distance learning fall into two groups:

1) synchronous learning technologies

2) asynchronous learning technologies

Synchronous learning technology is similar to traditional face-to-face classes in that all participants are “present” at the same time and there is a set schedule. Technologies used for synchronous learning include Internet technologies such as VoIP, live streaming and video conferencing, and transmission technologies such as television and radio (traditional and satellite).

Asynchronous learning technology allows students to access “evergreen” coursework and exams over the Internet on their own schedule. This of course allows for more flexibility, but also allows for procrastination.

Synchronous and asynchronous distance learning are often combined. The internet can blur the distinction between these two distance learning methods.

The development of distance learning technologies includes computer games, three-dimensional (3D) immersive environments and virtual worlds,

which can be streamed and/or downloaded in real time and accessed via a local hard drive.

A pure online course via distance learning / Distance learning allows even a busy professional to complete their education on the go. If they fall behind, the entire program is easily accessible via the web to help them get back on track. Online education students have access to on-campus student lectures within hours, even if they are on the other side of the world! Ready to meet the demands of location- and time-bound students? Are you ready to use the digital books?

Thanks to Karen Rickert

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