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Articles

  1. INTRODUCTION: Distance Education: What Works Well | Distance Education | Taylor & Francis Group
  2. Early history of distance learning
  3. Distance Education - M.S. in Mathematics
  4. Distance Education Modifications & Requests
  5. Courses Offered

In synchronous learning, all participants are "present" at the same time. In this regard, it resembles traditional classroom teaching methods despite the participants being located remotely. It requires a timetable to be organized. Web conferencing , videoconferencing , educational television , instructional television are examples of synchronous technology, as are direct-broadcast satellite DBS , internet radio , live streaming , telephone , and web-based VoIP.

These tools also support asynchronous participation by students being able to listen to recordings of synchronous sessions. Immersive environments notably SecondLife have also been used to enhance participant presence in distance education courses. Another form of synchronous learning that has been entering the classroom over the last couple of years is the use of robot proxies [34] including those that allow sick students to attend classes. Some universities have been starting to use robot proxies to enable more engaging synchronous hybrid classes where both remote and in person students can be present and interact using telerobotics devices such as the Kubi Telepresence robot stand that looks around and the Double Robot that roams around.

With these telepresence robots, the remote students have a seat at the table or desk instead of being on a screen on the wall. In asynchronous learning, participants access course materials flexibly on their own schedules.

Students are not required to be together at the same time. Mail correspondence, which is the oldest form of distance education, is an asynchronous delivery technology, as are message board forums, e-mail , video and audio recordings , print materials, voicemail , and fax. The two methods can be combined. Many courses offered by both open universities and an increasing number of campus based institutions use periodic sessions of residential or day teaching to supplement the sessions delivered at a distance.

Many open universities uses a blend of technologies and a blend of learning modalities face-to-face, distance, and hybrid all under the rubric of "distance learning". Distance learning can also use interactive radio instruction IRI , interactive audio instruction IAI , online virtual worlds , digital games, webinars, and webcasts, all of which are referred to as e-Learning.

The rapid spread of film in the s and radio in the s led to proposals to use it for distance education. Experts in given fields broadcast lessons for pupils within the many schoolrooms of the public school system, asking questions, suggesting readings, making assignments, and conducting tests. This mechanizes education and leaves the local teacher only the tasks of preparing for the broadcast and keeping order in the classroom.

The University was owned by the city, and local residents would pay the low tuition rates, receive their study materials in the mail, and listen by radio to live classroom discussions that were held on campus. Posin also was a pioneer in the field of distance education when he hosted a televised course through DePaul University. Charles Wedemeyer of the University of Wisconsin—Madison also promoted new methods.

INTRODUCTION: Distance Education: What Works Well | Distance Education | Taylor & Francis Group

From to , the Carnegie Foundation funded Wedemeyer's Articulated Instructional Media Project AIM which brought in a variety of communications technologies aimed at providing learning to an off-campus population. The radio courses faded away in the s. From to the Coordinating Commission for Higher Education in California funded Project Outreach to study the potential of telecourses.

The study included the University of California , California State University and the community colleges. This study led to coordinated instructional systems legislation allowing the use of public funds for non-classroom instruction and paved the way for the emergence of telecourses as the precursor to the online courses and programs of today. The widespread use of computers and the internet have made distance learning easier and faster, and today virtual schools and virtual universities deliver full curricula online.

Early history of distance learning

However, many of the techniques developed and lessons learned with earlier media are used in Internet delivery. The first new and fully online university was founded in as the Open University of Catalonia , headquartered in Barcelona, Spain. In Jones International University was launched as the first fully online university accredited by a regional accrediting association in the US. Between and , enrollment in distance education courses increased rapidly in almost every country in both developed and developing countries.

Levels of accreditation vary: widely respected universities such as Stanford University and Harvard now deliver online courses—but other online schools receive little outside oversight, and some are actually fraudulent, i. In the United States in , it was found that a third of all the students enrolled in postsecondary education had taken an accredited online course in a postsecondary institution. The majority of public and private colleges now offer full academic programs online. Distance education has a long history, but its popularity and use has grown exponentially as more advanced technology has become available.

By , online learning programs were available in the United States in 44 states at the K level. Internet forums , online discussion group and online learning community can contribute to an efficacious distance education experience. Research shows that socialization plays an important role in some forms of distance education. E-courses are also a viable option for distance learning. There are many available that cover a broad range of topics. Distance education can be delivered in a paced format similar to traditional campus based models in which learners commence and complete a course at the same time.

Paced delivery is currently the most common mode of distance education delivery. Alternatively, some institutions offer self-paced programs that allow for continuous enrollment and the length of time to complete the course is set by the learner's time, skill and commitment levels.

Paced courses may be offered in either synchronous mode, but self-paced courses are almost always offered asynchronously. Each delivery model offers both advantages and disadvantages for students, teachers and institutions.


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Paced models are a familiar mode as they are used almost exclusively in campus based schools. Institutes that offer both distance and campus programs usually use paced models as teacher workload, student semester planning, tuition deadlines, exam schedules and other administrative details can be synchronized with campus delivery.

Student familiarity and the pressure of deadlines encourages students to readily adapt to and usually succeed in paced models. However, student freedom is sacrificed as a common pace is often too fast for some students and too slow for others. In addition life events, professional or family responsibilities can interfere with a students capability to complete tasks to an external schedule.

Finally, paced models allows students to readily form communities of inquiry [63] and to engage in collaborative work.

Distance Education - M.S. in Mathematics

Self-paced courses maximize student freedom, as not only can students commence studies on any date, but they can complete a course in as little time as a few weeks or up to a year or longer. Students often enroll in self-paced study when they are under pressure to complete programs, have not been able to complete a scheduled course, need additional courses or have pressure which precludes regular study for any length of time.

The self-paced nature of the programming, though is an unfamiliar model for many students and can lead to excessive procrastination resulting in course incompletion. Assessment of learning can also be challenging as exams can be written on any day, making it possible for students to share examination questions with resulting loss of academic integrity. Finally, it is extremely challenging to organize collaborative work activities, though some schools [64] are developing cooperative models based upon networked and connectivist pedagogies, [65] for use in self-paced programs.

Distance learning can expand access to education and training for both general populace and businesses since its flexible scheduling structure lessens the effects of the many time-constraints imposed by personal responsibilities and commitments. Distance education can also provide a broader method of communication within the realm of education. The distance educational increase in communication, particularly communication amongst students and their classmates, is an improvement that has been made to provide distance education students with as many of the opportunities as possible as they would receive in in-person education.

The improvement being made in distance education is growing in tandem with the constant technological advancements. Present-day online communication allows students to associate with accredited schools and programs throughout the world that are out of reach for in-person learning.

Distance Education Modifications & Requests

By having the opportunity to be involved in global institutions via distance education, a diverse array of thought is presented to students through communication with their classmates. This is beneficial because students have the opportunity to "combine new opinions with their own, and develop a solid foundation for learning". The high cost of education affects students in higher education, to which distance education may be an alternative in order to provide some relief. Many textbooks are now available as electronic textbooks, known as e-textbooks, which can offer digital textbooks for a reduced price in comparison to traditional textbooks.

Also, the increasing improvements in technology have resulted in many school libraries having a partnership with digital publishers that offer course materials for free, which can help students significantly with educational costs. Within the class, students are able to learn in ways that traditional classrooms would not be able to provide. It is able to promote good learning experiences and therefore, allow students to obtain higher satisfaction with their online learning.

Students can then manipulate the coursework to fit their learning by focusing more on their weaker topics while breezing through concepts that they already have or can easily grasp. For those in a healthcare or mental health distance learning program, online-based interactions have the potential to foster deeper reflections and discussions of client issues [57] as well as a quicker response to client issues, since supervision happens on a regular basis and is not limited to a weekly supervision meeting.

Distance learning may enable students who are unable to attend a traditional school setting, due to disability or illness such as decreased mobility and immune system suppression, to get a good education. This helps the students have experiences of the classroom and social interaction that they are unable to receive at home or the hospital, while still keeping them in a safe learning environment. Over the last few years [ when? An article from the New York Times , "A Swiveling Proxy Will Even Wear a Tutu", explains the positive impact of virtual learning in the classroom, [74] and another [75] that explains how even a simple, stationary telepresence robot can help.

Distance learning may also offer a final opportunity for adolescents that are no longer permitted in the general education population due to behavior disorders. Instead of these students having no other academic opportunities, they may continue their education from their homes and earn their diplomas, offering them another chance to be an integral part of society.

Distance learning offers individuals a unique opportunity to benefit from the expertise and resources of the best universities currently available. Students have the ability to collaborate, share, question, infer, and suggest new methods and techniques for continuous improvement of the content. The ability to complete a course at a pace that is appropriate for each individual is the most effective manner to learn given the personal demands on time and schedule. Barriers to effective distance education include obstacles such as domestic distractions and unreliable technology, [80] as well as students' program costs, adequate contact with teachers and support services, and a need for more experience.

Some students attempt to participate in distance education without proper training with the tools needed to be successful in the program. Students must be provided with training opportunities if needed on each tool that is used throughout the program.

Courses Offered

The lack of advanced technology skills can lead to an unsuccessful experience. Schools have a responsibility to adopt a proactive policy for managing technology barriers. The results of a study of Washington state community college students showed that distance learning students tended to drop out more often than their traditional counterparts due to difficulties in language, time management, and study skills. According to Dr.

Pankaj Singhm, director of Nims University , "distance learning benefits may outweigh the disadvantages for students in such a technology-driven society; however before indulging into use of educational technology a few more disadvantages should be considered. Pankaj Singhm also claims there is a debate to distance education stating, "due to a lack of direct face-to-face social interaction. However, as more people become used to personal and social interaction online for example dating, chat rooms, shopping, or blogging , it is becoming easier for learners to both project themselves and socialize with others.

This is an obstacle that has dissipated.