With your table, discuss your own definition of distant learning.
Texas State University defines distant learning as, "Distance education is a formal educational process in which the majority of instruction (interaction between students and instructors and among students) in a course occurs when students and instructors are not in the same place." ("Distance learning : Texas State University," 2018).
Distant Learning Portal. (2012, September 28). What is distance learning? - Distancelearningportal.com [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r6dHK2cXatM
The National Center for Educational Statistics shows a growth of 328,988 people enrolled into distant education between the year of 2015 to 2016, reaching 6,294,801 students. With enrollment continuing to increase through the years.
("Number and percentage of students enrolled in degree-granting postsecondary institutions, by distance education participation, location of student, level of enrollment, and control and level of institution: Fall 2015 and fall 2016," n.d.)
In article posted by the Online Learning Consortium (2017) we learn that distant education has a growth of 226,375 students per year. This contributes to a 3.9 percent increase with each passing year. Online Learning Consortium states, The number of students studying on a campus has dropped by almost one million (931,317) between 2012 and 2015." Making distant learning a more sought after alternative for an education.
Characteristics of Distant Education
Due to the online nature, distant learning can be more accessible to working class society.
Distant education can be
a more affordable route than
a campus based education.
The online platform allows people
the opportunity to work on coursework when they have time.
Distant education is an affordable alternative for people seeking a degree or advancement in the workforce. As the U.S. Career Institute (n.d.) states, "It's affordable. Distance education courses often cost less than traditional courses." this is because "Educational institutions that offer strictly distance learning don't incur the costs of maintaining a campus, so these savings are passed on to the student." Students also save money due to the elimination of needing to commute and other accruing costs that may arise from attending face to face courses.
Accessibility is a characteristic of distant education that is a main component of it's popularity. Distant education allows students to access their coursework from any electronic device, and this allows freedom to work on schooling while completing other tasks or traveling. Which means a working individual has the ability to access coursework any time of day from anywhere to complete their education. As Study.com (n.d.) states, "Online education allows for the attendance of class wherever the student has access to the Internet. Online learning is, in many cases, available 24 hours a day and seven days a week, so the student can participate in class whenever it's most convenient".
Distant education allows for a multitude of scheduling options. While some courses work on a set schedule set by the instructor, some are completely self paced which allows the learner to dedicate time when available. Another aspect of flexibility within the programs is, "in online programs that require students to fulfill in-person lab or internship requirements, students can set them up with local facilities for times that meet their needs" (Study.com, n.d.).
Obtained from elearn Magazine
Distance courses can ensure success by holding the learner accountable. The learner will need to obtain and read the syllabus in order to build a time management plan.
The learner will be able to reach their educational goals while still performing their day to day tasks, such as a job or running a household.
The learner will also be able to have contact with the teacher for more one on one help and facilitation of understanding the information being learned.
The educator has the ability to track the students learning rate and comprehension through the online platform. This allows the educator to see at risk students and help them prior to reaching failure.
With all the tools at the educator and learners fingertips, distant learning is geared towards student success.
Distant learning allows people to follow their dreams
Distant learning is becoming a predominant part of the K-12 education system through advancements in technology each year.
The future in administration may mean that a principal becomes a facilitator. Ensuring the system is working, helping teachers find various means of differentiation for information. Developing and implementing appropriate professional development to ensure the educator can navigate the online portals and troubleshoot technology. The role will not be the same, currently the principal makes sure the inner working of the school continue to function and ensure students are following set procedures and policies. With the removal of face to face, the principal would have the position more of a manager of a business. The tradition roles will be replaced with the need to be tech savvy in order to complete in the online educational trends.
Characteristics of Successful Distant Learning Programs