Distance Education

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Distance Education
By Sandra L. Dorociak

A First Hand Account and Advice.

Are you considering Distance Education classes? In our ever increasing fast-paced society, it is only natural that the established structure of the classroom would fall to man's need for alternatives. The choices are many but there are some pitfalls to be wary of and some are less obvious than others.

My husband John and I both take Distance Education classes. He is in the graduate program with the University of Idaho. John has run into some interesting problems but has managed to overcome the small imperfections that will come in the best of programs. His classes are all video lectures. In one class the tapes were not in sync with the current class schedule. Consequently, on two occasions he was tested on material for which he did not have the lecture tape until after the test. OOPS!

That was indeed a surprise for my math guy but it all worked out. He says the only thing you don't have with this type of class is instant feedback from questions to the professor unless someone in the pre-taped video class asks the question to which you need an answer. You do have the option of e-mailing your questions and will have a reply back within a day, week-ends being the exception.

Classes vary in manner of presentation including written format, audio tapes, computer instruction, video lectures or a combination. Each instructor or lecturer has their own method of presentation based on the criteria set up by the college or university. There are some programs that are better than others, but all depend greatly on you as the self-motivated student. Your interaction with other students will be limited in most cases but you will have access to the instructor in all cases. next page

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