Taking advantage of both technological advances and the accessibility of Internet access, distance education courses have evolved from a traditional correspondence model.
Today an independent student learns by interacting with dynamic courses that feature online resources ranging from math applets to media clips focused on real world examples.
“As studying at a distance becomes more and more readily available to career changers and busy adults looking to earn high school credits or to upgrade skills on their own time, it's important that courses are interesting and relevant,” says Sarah Irwin, managing director of the Independent Learning Centre.
“For example, learning the theory of a Grade 11 physics course (SPH 3U) by studying the design of athletic shoes design or how musical instruments generate sound waves.”
Reaching far beyond textbooks and spreadsheets, modern instructional designers include various methodologies to engage students and support learning. A learner studying independently at a distance can now expect courses to include digital components such as videos and news clips, online discussion forums and interactive tutorials, creating a learning experience that entertains and engages while educating, earning credentials and meeting the expectations of the curriculum.