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Distance Learning and Online Degree Course Showcase

The following are some of the factual elements that describe the rapid growth of distance learning and its applications.

USDLA defines distance learning as the acquisition of knowledge and skills through mediated information and instruction. Distance learning encompasses all technologies and supports the pursuit of life long learning for all. Distance learning is used in all areas of education including Pre-K through grade 12, higher education, home school education, continuing education, corporate training, military and government training, and telemedicine. Research studies have been quite consistent in finding that distance learning classrooms report similar effectiveness results as reported under traditional instruction methods. In addition, research studies often point out that student attitudes about distance learning are generally positive. Providing courses and electronic field trips are among the principal applications for distance learning in Pre-K through grade 12 education. Distance learning is also used to support rural and inner city classes with student enrichment, student courses, staff development and in-service training for teachers and administrators.

In higher education, distance learning is providing undergraduate and advanced degrees to students in offices, at community colleges and at various receive sites. Students for whom convenience may be a crucial factor in receiving college credit are earning degrees by satellite, audio, and over the Internet. Faced with retraining 50 million American workers, corporate America is using distance learning, both internally and externally, for all aspects of training. Many major corporations save millions of dollars each year using distance learning to train employees more effectively and more efficiently than with conventional methods.

Programming for distance learning provides the receiver many options both in technical configurations and content design. Educational materials are delivered primarily through live and interactive classes. The intent of these programs is not necessarily to replicate face-to-face instruction. Interactivity is accomplished via telephone (one-way video and two-way audio), two-way video or graphics interactivity, two-way computer hookups, or response terminals. Technology offers many options for delivering and receiving education over a distance. The ability of the teacher and students to see each other may not be a necessary condition for effective distance learning, but audio can be a critical component for interactivity. Teaching strategies based on computer applications are emerging that are also effective. Research on distance learning applications for Pre-K through grade 12, as well as in adult learning and training settings, strongly suggests that distance education is an effective means for delivering instruction. Funding for both satellite and web-based distance education systems can be accomplished through various means:

  • Issuing bonds to cover construction costs
  • Legislation to install satellite dishes and other technology packages at schools and community buildings
  • State, national and Federal grant programs
  • Various other options including taxes and levies Distance learning provides equity of access to information and opportunities and can dramatically decrease the costs and inconveniences associated with maintaining a well-trained work force.

Telecommunications systems that serve education can also benefit the community at large. In rural areas, especially, telecommunications systems and services are tied increasingly to economic development and community survival. New uses for distance learning include the application of information and educational resources for Pre-K through grade 12 students, adults, senior citizens, local governments, organizations and businesses.

Editorial: USDLA

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Featured Distance Learning Providers

DeVry University
3300 N. Campbell Ave.
IL 60618
Tel: 773 929 8500
For more information, click here

Ryokan College
Ryokan College 11965 Venice Blvd.,
Suite 304,
Los Angeles,
California 90066.
Tel: 866 796 5261 (Toll-free)
For more information, click here

American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA)
American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) 233 N. Michigan Ave.,
Suite 2150, Chicago,
IL 60601-5800
Tel: 800 335 5535
For more information, click here

Rochester Institute of Technology Online
58 Lomb Memorial Drive,
NY 14623-5604
Tel:  866 260 3950 (Toll-Free)
For more information, click here

San José State University
School of Library and Information Science
One Washington Square
San José,
CA 95192-0029
Tel: 408 924 2490
For more information, click here

Pennsylvania State University
Commonwealth College,
111 Old Main,
The Pennsylvania State University,
University Park,
PA 16802-1501.
Tel: 814 863 0327
For more information, click here

Kaplan College
6409 Congress Avenue
Boca Raton,
FL 33487
Tel: 866 522 7747 (Toll Free)
For more information, click here

Strayer University
Strayer University Phone: 1-888-4-STRAYER
For more information, click here

University of Wisconsin-Stout
PO Box 790
WI 54751
Tel: 715 232 1987
For more information, click here

The University of Liverpool Laureate
The University of Liverpool Laureate

The University of Toledo
SeaGate Campus
401 Jefferson Avenue
Toledo, OH 43604-1005
Phone: Local: 419 321 5130
toll-free: 866 UTOLEDO (886 5336)
For more information, click here

100 Morrissey Blvd.
MA 02125-3393
Tel: 617 287 7925
For more information, click here

Northcentral University
505 W. Whipple Street
AZ 86301
Tel: 888 327 2877
For more information, click here

George Washington University Health Sciences Programs
900 23rd Street, N.W.,
Suite 6142,
Washington DC 20037
Tel: 202-994-8528
For more information, click here

University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
4033 Carlson Hall
College of Business and Economics
Whitewater, WI 53190
Tel: 262 472 1945
For more information, click here

National Universities Degree Consortium - NUDC
For more information, click here

Colorado State University
Colorado State University Division of Continuing Education
S. College Avenue
Fort Collins,
CO 80525
Tel: 970 491 5288
For more information, click here

Capitol College
11301 Springfield Road
Maryland 20708
Tel: 301-369-2800
or 800-950-1992
For more information, click here

Missouri Southern State University
Missouri Southern State University Division of Lifelong Learning
3950 E. Newman Rd.
Joplin, MO 64801-1595
Tel: 866 727 4108
For more information, click here

University of Northern Colorado
University of Northern Colorado Greeley,
CO 80639
Tel: 800.232.1749
x 1-1936
For more information, click here

Dallas Baptist University
3000 Mountain Creek Parkway
TX 75211
Tel: 1 800 460 8188,
For more information, click here

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University 1866 Southern Lane,
Georgia 30033-4097,
Tel: 404 679 4501
For more information, click here

The American University of London
The International Distance
Learning Centre,
2 Old Brompton Rd.,
London, SW7 3DQ
Tel: + 00-44 (1494) 730 571
For more information, click here

Upper Iowa University
Extended University
PO Box 1857
Fayette, IA 52142
For more information, click here

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Last Updated 14th Oct 2005

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