Distance Learning Classes

Since the beginning of the 18th century, distance learning classes have been conducted in some form. Early offsite education relied on postal mail correspondence, which could take weeks before reaching students. But with the advent of television, radio, and more recently, the Internet, providing high quality instruction to offsite students has become a preferred method of innovative education. And the worldwide web brings the global classroom to our front doors. Technological advances have revolutionized delivery methods, taking snail mail correspondence courses out of the post office and into cyberspace. Instructors not only utilize traditional telecommunication tools, such as cable television and videos, but also high-tech web cams, streaming audio and videotaping, chat rooms, blogs, and email to communicate with program participants.

Computer-aided instruction enables students enrolled in distance learning classes to participate in course activities from remote locations from across town to across the globe. ISP addressable cameras can project videos of classroom activity to be viewed in real time or downloaded later. Students simply log in using a unique IP address to view live lectures and demonstrations. Offsite enrollees can see, hear, and speak to classmates and instructors, provided that each site is equipped with a remote web cam and audio speakers. Chat rooms and blogs also provide an active online interchange between classmates as they compare notes, comment, or add insightful observations to enhance the experience of participating in computer-assisted independent study.

The advantage of enrolling in distance learning classes is obvious: not everyone interested in higher education can physically attend class. Most students enrolled in an adult education curriculum hold down full- or part-time jobs and prefer distance learning classes because of the flexibility which online programs offer. Computer-aided courses allow students to work at their own pace or log onto prescheduled sessions via chat rooms or videoconferencing with other participants. Employed students can burn the midnight oil at the PC and still work a 9-to-5 the next day. Stay-at-home moms can ace a term paper and have ample time to read junior a bedtime story. And older adults who have been out of school for decades don't have to be intimidated by having to compete with youngsters half their age in a crowded lecture hall or lab. But, the key to successfully studying at home is skillful time management and knowing how to properly prioritize life events for the best possible outcome. When it comes to our personal faith, time is also of the essence: "And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we first believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light" (Romans 13:12-13).

The requirement for enrolling in distance learning classes is the same for onsite students, with one exception: most are web-based and require an off-campus personal computer with Internet access. Enrollees must also acquire an email account with the distance learning provider's institution, which will be the primary means of communication between instructors and classmates. Students should also have enough computer-savvy to maneuver around the web, send and download emails, cut and paste documents, conduct Internet searches using a URL, and manage electronic files. Many institutions require online participants to complete an introductory computer course as a prerequisite to distance learning classes. Participants should also have software installed on home PCs which will enable them to produce spreadsheets, presentations, text-heavy term papers, and graphics. It is also important to use PCs that have been updated with newer operating systems, such as Windows XP or Vista; otherwise, some instructional programs may not be compatible. Pentium 4 processors and higher are advised, as well as at least a 64MB hard drive, 56K fax modem, sound cards and speakers. Monitors are really the student's preference, but the flat panels have come down significantly in price and take up much less desktop space. Students can expect to invest under $600 for a moderately priced system; and most new units come loaded with the latest office product software.

Not every student is cut out for distance learning classes. Studying online in a remote location with a textbook and a computer screen for companions is not everyone's cup of tea. Some individuals are easily distracted and learn best in the classroom setting where they can interact and receive instant feedback. But others thrive on being isolated and able to fully concentrate on learning principles, theories, and complex algorithms in the privacy of home. Before enrolling online, students should assess their ability to work independently and to be sufficiently self-disciplined to complete assignments on time and stay on task. Although online students are isolated from their classmates, they should regularly participate in chat room discussions, emails, and blogs. Classmates can actually learn from one another by regularly instant messaging, chatting and emailing to explore instructional materials from different perspectives.

Anyone interested in enrolling in computer-assisted distance learning classes should browse websites of local and out-of-state colleges, universities, and adult education centers. Websites will feature online catalogs with course offerings from accounting, word processing, and medical terminology, to cosmetology, business communications, and computer science. Some online curriculums are combined with classroom participation to provide a complete spectrum of learning methodologies. Called hybrid courses, they are designed to give students hands-on experience in the classroom, combined with a grasp of technical or intellectual principles which can be gleaned at a computer keyboard. College, university, and technical school administrators recognize the benefits of both kinds of instruction to broaden the learning experience and equip today's young adults for tomorrow's challenges.

Distance Learning College

A distance learning college provides an ideal way for many people to obtain a quality education without the hassles of relocating and subsequent costs of living. There are hundreds of universities which offer courses over the Internet which make the furtherance of learning both easy and accessible. The amount and quality of programs are able to improve along with advances in technology. Such advancements have made possible a student's ability to take part in a lecture from across the country or around the world via a web cam, or take part in class discussions through applicable message boards. Universities which offer distance programs are able to help many students step a little closer to long held goals, dreams and aspirations.

Society is made up of rules and regulations, some unspoken while others are blazoned across every form of media. The act of obtaining additional education after high school is one that is looked to as the norm, and those who forgo the furtherance of learning run the risk of not only disappointing those around them but depriving themselves of the chance to succeed. There is a significant amount of information placed on formal education, however, there are many factors that can effect whether or not a person is able to obtain the necessary education for success. A distance learning college can provide a solution for hundreds as classes can be taken electronically which allows for students to set their own schedules and attend class when they are able, even from across the country.

A strong emphasis is placed on the importance of education and those who are able to obtain degrees have a better chance of success in the business world. The job market can be a competitive one and those who are able to obtain a higher education either through traditional means or through a distance learning college, have the advantage of being set apart from those who might be less qualified. On average, those with college degrees have a better chance at landing more prestigious positions with higher salaries. Most places that seek to hire new employees in the corporate world only want candidates that have at least a four year degree or more. A diploma not only shows that a person has obtained an education, but they have completed all the required work necessary to do so which can in most cases, go a long way towards showing that a person has had some applicable and necessary experience as well.

Despite all the advantages to a college education, there are some disadvantages as well. For example, the process can prove to be an expensive one, and not everyone has access sufficient funds with which to foot the bill. For this reason many take out loans, however, not everyone wishes to do so if at all possible, to avoid any necessary debts from piling up which can be hard to deal with in the future. There are many expenses that have to be factored in of which the tuition for classes in only a part. Most commonly students will attend a university which is far from where they live, so they usually choose to dorm or rent an apartment close to campus. Those who follow such a path find that money can become tight, and that paper does not stretch. Living costs can add up quickly and become a point of stress and worry that takes valuable time from studying and working on course. A distance learning college makes for an idea solution to such a problem as a student need not worry about living expenses as they can attend classes from the comfort of home or basically anywhere were they have access to personal computer and a connection to the Internet.

Potential students who are interested in a distance learning college can find the Internet to be an excellent source of information for learning about all the programs and services available. Most well known colleges and universities offer courses which can easily be completed over the Internet and multiple programs which allow for people to easily and on their own schedule, earn an associates, bachelor's, master's and in some cases even a doctorate. The popularity of the idea for a distance learning college has grown significantly in recent years, which has helped to pave the way towards advancements and improvement in such systems of learning.

Many people can benefit from a distance learning college. For example, there are many people who are ensconced in a career that perhaps might not be the one originally desired or they might simply be bored and want a change. People who find themselves in such situations can easily take online classes from a college or university in a vast selection of fields, and over time, earn the education that will help them to find a vocation that is more tailored to them or a position that pays more.

Almost everyone from all walks of life can benefit from a degree earned over the Internet. Single mothers who struggle to make ends meet could gain a better education by attending classes online in the evenings or whenever a spare moment is available. Those who have to care for the ill or elderly can find some time to sit at a computer and listen to lectures or take part in discussions or turn in assignments. Whatever a person's situation, there is a distance learning college that can work for whoever is in need, for "... time and chance happeneth to them all" (Ecclesiastes 9:11).

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