Distance learning: what is it?
Distance learning – a process of interaction between a pupil and a teacher at a distance with the preservation of all the components inherent in learning (goals, content, methods, organizational forms, teaching aids) and with the use of specific technical means (Internet technologies or other interactive environments).
If to simplify a little, then distance learning is an independent form of learning with the use of information technology as the main means of learning.
To take a distance learning course it is not necessary to go to Moscow, rent expensive accommodation. Here it is enough to have a high level of self-discipline and self-control, as well as the necessary distance learning technologies (mainly Internet), which will help to complete e-learning with maximum benefit.
It is now all of us who are so smart and use the Internet except from birth. And before it was different, let’s find out how this type of training came to us.
History of modern distance learning
Learning with the use of distance learning technologies has appeared in the distant 18th century, when in Europe there was a regular and accessible to all postal services.
It looked quite simple: the student received by mail assignments and teaching materials, corresponded with teachers and in due time passed the exam or wrote a scientific work.
But in Russia, this full-time distance learning came to the end of the 19th century. And everything began to happen even faster, because in the 20th century, thanks to rapid technological growth, a telegraph and even a telephone appeared. But these types of communication have not abolished the “correspondent training”, which is still found in many countries.
The appearance of radio and television made a significant breakthrough in distance learning opportunities. Numerous educational television programs began to appear, which could be watched by millions of people. True, there was one drawback, but it was quite a big one: lack of feedback.
The world’s first distance learning university was opened in 1969 in Great Britain – the Open University of Great Britain. This name made it clear to everyone that the institution was accessible to everyone due to its affordable price and the absence of the need to attend daily distance learning classes.
Other distance learning universities began to open, which became more well-known abroad:
- University of South Africa;
- National University of Technology (USA, 1984);
- FernUniversität in Hagen;
- The Open University of Hagen (Germany);
- Spanish National University of Distance Learning;
- INTEC College of Cape Town (South Africa);
- Australian Territorial Information Network;
- British Open University Open Business School.
Of course, the development of personal computers and their availability in the 1980s produced an educational revolution, giving hope for simplification and automation of learning. read herehttps://argoprep.com/blog/k8/benefits-of-homeschooling/
The first training programs on computers were in the form of games.
In the 90s satellite technologies started to be actively developed. But still the year 1997 is considered to be the year of the beginning of distance learning in Russia. It was then that the Ministry of Education issued Order No. 1050, which authorized experimental distance education.
Already in the 21st century the Internet began to spread on a massive scale, contributing to the popularization of distance learning in universities for the first or second higher education, for retraining or advanced training at universities, for any basic or additional education.
With the Internet, students have a unique opportunity to receive feedback from teachers wherever they are. As soon as the speed increased, various educational trainings, webinars, and online classes began to be held.
Distance learning in Russia
Every year this type of education becomes more and more popular.
In 2005, the Ministry of Education issued Order 137 “On the use of distance education technologies”, according to which the university can control education through DOT (distance education technologies) either in person or remotely.
But why is the use of distance education becoming so popular now? Never before has higher education been so popular, and the Internet is so accessible and fast. Time saving, self-organization and fast feedback are all that is needed for successful distance learning.
Moreover, continuing education today is an indispensable attribute of any highly qualified specialist. If a person wants to keep abreast of the latest developments in his field, he must constantly learn. And the easiest way to do it is to organize distance learning.
A modern person is characterized by a constant craving for self-education. This is what the distance learning form of education can provide.
Distance Learning Technologies
Modern distance learning after college or university is based on such basic elements as:
- information transmission environment (TV, mail, radio, X – information communication links);
- methods, depending on technical environment of information exchange.
Of course, today distance learning is impossible without the Internet. But besides it, there are different educational platforms that promote deeper learning of information.
In 2003, an initiative group ADL (Advanced Distributed Learning) began to develop SCORM – a standard of distance interactive learning for the widespread use of Internet technology.
Thanks to these standards there are more in-depth requirements to the composition of distance learning, as well as to the software itself.
Types of programmes BEFORE
If you have already started looking for a university with this type of education, take your time. It is time to get to the bottom of your school classification:
- “Natural” universities. These are regular universities that offer either a bachelor’s degree or a graduate degree. Distance education of this kind is rare even in the United States, where there seems to be a huge variety of different types and forms of study. These universities have proper accreditation that implies a quality education that is typical of the entire U.S. education system.
- Providers of corporate courses/fresher training. It is clear that some organizations offer courses, training, webinars, and programs that result in a certificate of distance learning. As a rule, such courses are aimed at developing/improving certain professional skills. Usually without accreditation. They are customized, so different programs on the same topic are very different in content and quality, as there are no common standards for distance learning. And it is very important to study the structure, direction and order of DL as much as possible to determine its effectiveness. It is also important to learn how support and communication with learners is done, and what is provided.
- Traditional universities with online learning opportunities. Many traditional colleges and universities have recently created separate online programs. They are not abandoning their usual fields of study, but are expanding their product line, thus attracting more and more interest.