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Higher Education Info
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Distance vs. Traditional Education
Traditionally, our system of education places the emphasis on the institution rather than the learner. The classroom is the main source for the exchange of knowledge and ideas, and all curricula is oriented to traditional disciplines and professions. Degree requirements are based on institutional standards and policy, and the degree is awarded when all credits are earned within a set period of time.
Distance learning (or distance education) is student-oriented and exactly what the term implies-any type of study that takes place when the instructor and the student(s) are separated by physical distance, with printed materials and various technologies used for communication and program delivery.
Whether the student chooses to enroll in just one course or an entire degree program, the distance learner determines what s/he will learn, and how and when that learning will take place. The responsibility for learning rests squarely with the learner. For that reason, s/he must be extremely motivated and self-disciplined in order to have a successful distance learning experience.
Educational Technology *
The range of distance learning technologies available fall into four broad categories:
The flexible nature of distance education allows students a variety of nontraditional options for earning credits which may be incorporated into the undergraduate distance degree program--transfer credit from accredited college courses (including distance education courses), credit by examination, and credit for experiential learning (any relevant learning experience in which the knowledge gained can be demonstrated through a portfolio process to be equivalent to college-level learning).
For more information on distance learning go to:
* Source: Campus-Free College Degrees: Thorson's Guide to Accredited College Degrees through Distance Learning, Marcie Kisner Thorson, Adams Media, 1999
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