In the past distance learning was not very effective; it was made up of video tapes with pre-recorded lectures, and you have to do plenty of work on your own. Now the widespread of the internet and the advances of technology enhances distance learning and every online class.
Technology has changed and is changing everyday; it has improved the learning distance program and makes school available for people to conduct classes online and from home during their spare time. Many colleges use a web-based system to access distance learning courses and resources. For example:
The blackboard greatly helped in improving the method of online classes. Blackboard is a Web-based course-management system designed to allow students and faculty to participate in classes delivered online or use online materials and activities to complement face-to-face teaching. Blackboard enables instructors to provide students with course materials, discussion boards, virtual chats, online quizzes, an academic resource center, and much more. The degree to which Blackboard is used in a course varies. For example, instructors may supplement an on-campus class by putting their syllabus and handouts on their course site. In contrast, other courses may be conducted entirely through Blackboard, without any on-campus sessions. If a person enrolls in a course that uses Blackboard, they need to find out how Blackboard will be used in that course.
With the help of web-based systems there are many online courses at many colleges. The advantage of having an online class is that the professors can conduct the class from Europe, china, Japan, France, or anywhere in the world. Students also have that same advantage as they can take their online course from the comfort of their own home, while on the road, or just about anywhere in the world as long as internet connection exists. In some online classes students can study at their own pace, while other classes have deadlines. Students have other advantages such as removing the need to commute and they can continue their day jobs while working on their classes at night. Multiple choice and true or false tests are also incorporated into the web-based system for more convenient test taking.
Distance Learning ToolsIncluding blackboard system there are also many tools that make online learning convenient such as voice Thread, Webex, Movi-Cisco, Cisco TelePresence Movi.
- Voice Thread is a web tool that allows for discussions around different kinds of media, such as video, audio, images and documents. Professors load in images or other media ahead of time, and then students can respond through webcam for video, audio or text to the questions.
- Webex is an online meeting, web conferencing and videoconferencing tool. Webex is similar to Skype, professors can use it to hold synchronous office hours and meetings with multiple students. These sessions can be recorded and made available to students unable to make those meetings.
- Cisco TelePresence Movi is a videoconferencing tool that allows individuals at multiple locations to interact or share applications via simultaneous video and audio transmissions. Meetings and classes can be recorded and shared later.
The spread of technology will continue to enhance distance learning in many different ways, and there will always be new technology release that will make learning very effective from any part of the world.
About the Author
R.S. Is one of the owners of eTechhelper.com, a website that offers support for hardware and software issues and much more.