Ways for Your Distance Education

Distance_LearningChallenges are a part of distance learning education. If you are a nursing student, for instance, the challenge is to go about your time receiving instructions from a superior who is miles away from you.

Distance education enables you to become independent. You learn things through discovery and research at your own time and pace. In that, you must build a sense of responsibility over your actions because your teacher is not around to guide you like in a conventional classroom. Perhaps you might have apprehensions with the idea of distance education. But that happens all the time with many students. Here are a few tips on how to overcome such fears.

  • Don’t be too self-conscious about the words used in distance education. Learning the terminologies in online education takes time.  Learn as you go. You will discover that the thought remains the same, only words differ.
  • Remember that there are a lot of students going for distance education. If you can, reach out to them and compare each others’ lessons. In that way, you are compensating for the things lacking when you attend a traditional classroom.
  • Don’t hesitate to ask questions. This is the only way you will learn, and learn fast. For all you know, your online instructor is interested in you asking questions than him spoon-feeding you.
  • Also remember that you are not the only one your instructor is dealing with. Increase skills in doing research as much as possible. Augment your online education by adding other learning materials in relation to your course.

However, distance education is not a match to everyone. Some students need a classroom environment to stay focused and motivated, which comes at a much higher dollar cost, and time and travel commitment. But if you can find the self-discipline required for distance education, the rewards are limitless.

Correspondence and Distance Education Differences

Nowadays, distance education is much popularly known as online education because of its use of the Internet as an instructional delivery model. And while correspondence education is part of distance education, they have differences in delivery methods, academic rigor, and convenience and flexibility factors.

3d e-learning conceptCorrespondence education was first developed in the mid-nineteenth century in Great Britain, France, Germany and the United States to make education available to those who do not have access to a university. The course materials in correspondence education are given to the learner via mail or electronic means. Meanwhile, distance education takes advantage of the fast Internet technology in delivering instructional materials. It typically uses emails and live chats, as well as audio or video recording.

Distance education is far more rigorous compared to the traditional correspondence education. That is because it offers a more interactive environment. The teacher and the student, even student-to-student, despite being in different locations, can have a quasi-face-to-face environment that enhances the academic rigor. Traditional correspondence education, on the other hand, is done through mail delivery that fails to offer any type of interaction among students, all the more student-to-teacher interaction. In other words, correspondence education is static while online education is fluid and dynamic.

As for convenience and flexibility, both distance education and correspondence education offer a good autonomy to learners. The difference is that one has limited freedom while the other has too much of it. Online education, although flexible, still has deadlines for posting reactions on discussion boards which makes it not as flexible as correspondence education that has a “hands off” approach. There is a downside to too much freedom in correspondence education though. It may not be a good thing to all learners as it requires self-motivation and self-discipline.

Defining Distance Education

Distance education needs to be clearly defined and understood for a variety of reasons. Without a clear meaning, significant discussion and analysis on pedagogy cannot occur. Furthermore, a precise meaning is important for both teachers and students when thinking about distance education and learning. Interpreting distance education and learning is made more difficult because the development of this type of education has changed quickly from first-generation correspondence education and learning to fifth-generation intelligent flexible learning. Furthermore, there are multiple published explanations. Before developing a usable meaning, it is helpful to see how distance education’s meaning has been both created and pushed up to now.

distance_educationValentine talks about distance-learning explanations by discovering colleagues’ differing views. He declares, “Greenberg (1998) describes contemporary online learning as planned teaching/learning experiences that used a wide variety of technologies to reach the student at a distance and is designed to encourage student interaction and documentation of learning.” However, Valentine’s notes that Greenberg’s meaning doesn’t address whether the student is learning asynchronously or synchronously. Valentine says that Teaster and Bliezner’s (1999) meaning makes clear that distance education and learning happens when the student is separate in space and possibilities. But the author features that technological innovation isn’t mentioned at all in Teaster and Bliezner’s meaning.

Middle States Commission on Higher Education (2009) describes online learning as “an educational process in which all or the majority of the instruction happens with the instructor and student in different locations.” In this meaning, Center States makes no mention of technological innovation or whether learning is going on asynchronously or synchronously. In evaluating Keegan’s meaning, Valentine says, “Keegan (1995) gives the most thorough meaning. He says that distance education and learning and training result from the technological separation of instructor and student, which liberates the student from the necessity of traveling to ‘a set position, at a set time, to meet a set person, in order to be trained’.” While Keegan’s meaning of online learning is indeed thorough, it is not able to determine education and learning. Learning and education do differ. Furthermore, for successful research to begin, defining online education and learning is imperative.

Increase of Distance Education Popularity

Nearly 22,000 students registered in online learning applications or distance education courses through South Dakota’s community colleges during the 2012-13 school year, up 8.5% from the year before and up 65% overall during the last five years.  The reported numbers were discussed by the state Board of Regents, whose members govern the community colleges.  Students in distance programs in the last year most frequently were undergraduates (75.5%), part-timers (69.9%) and female (64%).  The University of South Dakota had the largest slice of online learning with 34.4% of the registration and nearly 38% of the applications.

distance_educationSouth Dakota State University was right behind in registration at 33.4%, followed by Black Hills State University at 13.2, Northern State University 9.2, Dakota State University 7.8 and South Dakota School of Mines and Technology 2.0.  Distance education covers a variety of delivery methods. Some are available solely through the Internet; others combine Internet and video technology and also involve correspondence and there are classroom programs at off-campus locations. Students getting distance programs increasingly tend to be from outside South Dakota.

The 6,394 non-residents came from almost every state in the nation last year and represented just shy of 30% of the total getting distance programs. Five years earlier, the number was 2,399, just under 24%. Non-degree seeking learners comprised 30.9% of undergraduates and 61.4% of graduate-level learners in distance education programs last year. Nursing, elementary education, pre-nursing and biology were the top four degree-specific programs for undergraduates. Among degree-specific programs, learners registered most often in education administration, business, administrative studies and curriculum and education.

Distance Education for Everyone

Information Technology has totally changed almost every industry on the globe. We can order food, shop for goods and solutions, see the natural and synthetic amazing things around the globe, get flight bookings, read guides, play games, communicate with our family members and do outstanding projects just at the click of a mouse button. The same goes for the academic industry as more and more organizations are providing solutions on the internet. It is indeed beneficial for both learners and schools to make the highest possible use of technology as they present new facilitation day by day.

The primary benefit is the extended access, as many on the internet schools have global presence. Any individual can join an excellent school and get knowledgeable as a local person would get. Some colleges in the US only offer solutions to the US people, but then again since it is a vast country, learners from New England may be registered in an organization located in the western shore. However, many colleges have programs for foreign learners. In the same way the working class can take the highest possible benefits from distance education as they find it hard to attend sessions with their active tasks.

With the improving international inhabitants, almost all the colleges are experiencing potential restrictions. Distance education has again performed a significant part in solving this issue, as the learners do not need to be actually present in the actual classroom. This fact has also motivated many worthy learners to apply for the top colleges as they are now able to admit more learners without counting on physical facilities. The most important participation of distance education is for the impaired and incapable individuals who find it very difficult to go to the schools. Meanwhile, those who have poor defense mechanisms are vulnerable to capture illnesses from the other individuals they come in contact with. These individuals can benefit from distance education as they can stay at their houses and ensure their health. Distance education is truly for everyone.