Gone are the days of correspondence courses and snail mail.
Today’s distance education programs offer digital resources that are designed to support and enhance the learning experience and to help the student succeed.
Online tutorials allow students to visualize problems and put solutions into practice while chat rooms can start a book discussion or give someone the opportunity to ask a teacher a question and get instant feedback. Courses that employ a variety of teaching resources, both in print and online, are referred to as blended learning.
While the credits earned and diplomas awarded get all the glory, often times, the technical skills that have been developed by using digital resources and studying at a distance get overlooked.
“By the time a student has completed a blended learning course they will have acquired not only the knowledge associated with the course but also they will have enhanced their technical acumen and online research skills,” says Sarah Irwin, managing director of the Independent Learning Centre (ILC.org), Ontario’s designated provider of distance education.
Whether applying for a better job, trying for a promotion or applying to a post-secondary institution, a job training or second-career program, being computer literate and familiar with the use of multi-media technology is an important skill. Adult learners should keep this in mind when they are considering returning to school, and evaluating the different distance education programs being offered.