educational articles
Educational Articles

Online College Education: The Benefits of Distance Learning!

Distance Learning Benefits

Distance learning was developed to offer an education to people who could not be physically present in a classroom or with a teacher to learn about a subject or study toward a degree. Distance learning is thought to have begun in the 1700's when a man by the name of Caleb Phillips advertised in a newspaper that he was seeking students for shorthand that he would teach by correspondence. The roots of distance learning at the college level go back to 1858 when the University of London developed its External Programme, in which the Royal Mail was used to communicate with students. Today, nearly every college offers some kind of online format for at least one class, if not an entire degree program. Even some whole colleges are completely online and they utilize many of today's technologies to interact with students in new ways.

Technologies Used for Distance Learning Courses

Many colleges use online learning platforms that are specifically used for use in online classrooms. These include Moodle and Blackboard. These platforms have integrated forums for discussion, messaging systems, chat rooms, and other technologies that can be utilized at the discretion of the school or professor. Many professors also use webinars for which students must log in to a service and call a conference line so that all students can be looking at the same presentation and can discuss the material at the same time. There are services that allow webinar attendees to log in with microphone and webcam so that all students can see and hear each other and be present in the same place at the same time, even if that place is virtual. Some schools offer television programming of lectures related to the class, or even live streaming on television or online so that students can actually see their professors and attend lectures through distance learning. Of course, all professors, even those who only teach on-campus classes, make themselves available by phone and email these days during their regular business hours.

The Benefits of Using Distance Learning

Many adults don't have the option of taking time off work to attend classes, so being able to attend classes through distance learning on their own time is important to them. Some schools value using on-campus learning as well as a distance learning component so that students truly get the most out of their education. Through distance learning, people in other countries all over the world can attend classes in any other country, and this exposes all students in the class to a diverse culture when learning. Many times, distance learning classes allow you to work at your own pace and in your own home as long as you keep up with the work, which makes it much easier for students who have a hard time with on-campus classes.

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