|The opportunities for continuing education are incredibly
diverse, thanks to the technology of distance learning and
elearning. Because of the sheer number of people who are
looking to improve themselves, it was inevitable that a
large number of colleges, universities and businesses set
out to fill that need.
The result is that people are learning new skills, honing
talents and reaching goals, all while going on with their
lives. For many people, furthering education and attending
classes are limited because they are already involved in
their adult lives. Jobs, family obligations and other
responsibilities limit the amount of time many people have
available to devote to their own education.
Distance learning allows thousands of people to achieve
degrees from programs hundreds of miles away. In this day
of convenient travel options, it might be tempting to say
that anyone can attend college or classes anywhere. Despite
our mobile economy, many people simply don't want to move
and don't have the time to travel great distances to attend
classes. That means that their opportunities are limited to
the programs that are offered nearby. Until distance
learning and elearning became so widely available.
Briefly, the difference between distance learning and
elearning is a matter of how the course is structured.
Distance learning requires that the student attend classes
at a prearranged time on a regular basis. An instructor who
is actually teaching in another facility (across the state
or across the nation) lectures makes assignments and
teaches just as normal.
The students in the satellite facility have the opportunity
to interact with the teacher through two-way
communications. The major advantage is that students are
attending class right in their own neighborhoods, at
community colleges, universities, schools and even public
facilities instead of traveling to the site where the
teacher is actually conducting class.
Compared to distance learning, elearning is even less
structured. Typically, students work at their own pace
through online courses. There may be pre-recorded lectures,
worksheets, assignments and tests, all viewed and completed
The major advantage here is that students have an even more
flexible attendance policy and can choose to work through
the material as quickly or as slowly as they want, though
some courses do have time limits for completion.
When you add it all up, both distance learning and
elearning offer opportunities that simply wouldn't be
available any other way. People who would otherwise be
"stuck" with no way to further their educations now have an
Find out why distance learning lets anyone go back to
school. Discover what you need to look for in a distance
learning program, and what you should avoid. Click
About the author:
John Tipton dropped out of school early, and worked boring
jobs for 20 years. Then he discovered 'distance learning'
and finally got the education he missed. After lots of
different courses at lots of different schools, Peter
shares his experience in this series of useful articles.
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