A girl in a happy one-on-one interactive online distance learning Session. Online education works through the delivery of resources and instruction and providing support by higher institutions, schools, and other remote learning providers to students remotely in the course of a program study. Photo by Julia M Cameron from Pexels
Distance and Information Education:
How Distance Learning System works
Distance Learning Programs on the increase in higher education institutions and colleges
Many higher education institutions and colleges in the world today, including the top-ranked ones are shifting attention to distance learning as a reliable alternative to traditional in-person classroom education because of the added advantage of convenience in learning experience tailored to learners’ schedules and flexible timetables to suit almost every lifestyle.
Distance Learning System involves a series of lectures and regular tutorials supplemented by resource materials, coursework assignments, periodic exams or tests, and others.
How does this advancement in technology that allows students to study remotely in a virtual classroom setting while still socializing with fellow students work? Can watching lessons, participating in subject-specific group discussions and webinars, periodic evaluation and assessment tests, and examinations online guarantee a successful academic program and achievement of a career dream? How does this form of online learning described as the future of education work?
An extensive discussion on how distance learning system (DLS) works is detailed below under the following headings:
1. Official school registration of students
A student has to be officially and fully registered online at your higher education institutions and colleges participating in a distance learning program.
2. Required computer technology devices and application software for online distance learning
No student can have a successful online education program without the necessary and relevant computer technology devices for the coursework.
A personal computer (PC), smartphone, and tablet
These computer technology devices can be used to watch interactive online videos and complete assignments. A personal computer PC is the most convenient for completing assignments because it features a proper keyboard.
A headset, webcam, and other gadgets
A headset and webcam will aid the student to partake in online tutorials and group discussion activities. Others are a video cassette recorder, TV, and a microphone. The microphone is to watch the video monitors and popping the pre-recorded videos in the videocassettes into the videocassette recorder (VCR) and turning on the TV will also enable the student to watch pre-recorded videos.
Standard office application software program
Students must have access to standard office application software programs – such as Microsoft Word and Excel, plus any standard installed web browser, such as Chrome, Microsoft Explorer, or Firefox in their computer devices if the distance learning program will work.
Specialist application software program
This is a requirement for online distance learning if a student’s coursework requires a specialist application software program. This usually requires a license that lasts throughout the studies.
3. Assigning delivery methods of students’ courses and resources
Online students often think that their learning resources will be delivered via email, or even by mail but methods of delivering online program courses go beyond just those.
Students offering their distance education courses in higher education institutions and colleges using 100% online mode, can expect to study their online learning program using a combination of front-line educational technological resources without attending lectures, examinations, or traditional in-person discussion sessions even if their institution is in another country.
The distance learning program courses and resources will be delivered via the colleges or institution’s online learning platform. The online learning platform while depending on the application software used will usually consist of a central Distance Learning Management System (DLMS) that students can remotely access from their personal PC, mobile phone, tablet or personal computer (PC) devices.
4. Internal and freelance online instruction
Higher distance education institutions schools and other providers vary in programmes of study or courses but many utilize a combination of in-house and freelance course instructors to create and deliver their online courses. These instructors are usually qualified and experienced subject experts and will be able to give academic guidance and feedback at any point in the course of the program. Academic feedback often becomes the first step towards improving the student and making him gain greater confidence in the study.
Virtual classroom course instructors will always provide constructive commentary, giving tips and future advice thereby making the student confident in decision-making and broader subject-specific comprehension.
One-on-one individualized remote learning sessions can also be provided in which the student finds ample opportunity to contact his course instructor directly in order to ask questions about topics covered in the course study and request further feedback on his progress and areas of development.
5. Students’ assessment of online distance learning programs and courses
An online student can choose to access your course information and complete your assignments at any time. This allows him to fit study time in around your work, family, community, and other commitments This also means that students who wish to continue working while studying can get the best of both worlds without putting their careers on hold.
6. Evaluation and Assessment in an online distance education program and courses
The Distance Learning System (DLS) has the tendency to evaluate and assess students taking a degree program or course online at regular intervals throughout their study period to assess their understanding of the course materials.
Types and methods of evaluation and assessment in online distance education program and courses
There are four types and methods of evaluation and assessment in online distance education programs and courses.
A DLS delivers an online coursework assignment topic, deadline, and word count to the students’ course profiles who are expected to produce a structured, reasoned argument within the boundaries set out by the course instructor. Some courses also include workbooks or similar resource materials the student can complete or download online.
Online distance education program evaluation and assessment can be done just as individual assignments. Through journal activities, reflected and reviewed previous knowledge and skills can be applied to the future. Journal activities assist course instructors to monitor students’ progress through the course and if they are really gaining knowledge and skills in the right areas.
Face-to-face discussion activities between the teacher and the students is another type of evaluation and assessment in an online distance learning program.
Students research topics, post their responses to the task demonstrating their own knowledge and understanding and debating on the topic once the learning facilitator starts each discussion off with a question or topic for debate.
Examinations or Tests
Online distance education program examinations and tests can be open-book, open-note, or MCQ-based CBT test formats using exam-management software like virtual proctors because the course instructors have no way to oversee a virtual examination or test.
Students can complete their examinations on their own personal computer (PC) in a convenient location just like where they can have their lessons.
Provision of Online Distance Learning Resources and Support by the higher distance education institutions or colleges or providers
There are different methods of online distance learning support students are expected to receive from the higher distance education institutions or colleges or online learning providers offering any program. One of the major benefits of utilizing resources and support that are hosted entirely online is unending flexibility. They are:
Face-to-face interactive online support for students
A viable online distance learning provider or institution must make available sufficient and timely online or face-to-face interactive support (including resources support) for students to have a seamless learning experience and have their needs met in every area.
With advanced technologies like video-calling and the more traditional phone and email, virtual learning institutions can provide online support to their students.
Online resources support for students
Most of the distance learning resources that any institution can deliver to its students in the course of the program study can be in form of recorded lessons, interactive sessions, and eBooks, textbooks, and journals.
Online learning providers deliver their course instructors’ lessons through the replication of face-to-face interaction and in-person discussions for the learners.
Online education degree programs often use a combination of discussion forums and interactive question-and-answer (Q & A) sessions in the teachers-students and students-students online interaction. Every student is assigned an academic tutor and a course advisor who is available to answer any questions the student might have in the course of the interaction, provide feedback on your progress and advise the student study task scheduling.
Lectures recorded are primarily an essential way of receiving a huge amount of academic information in a relatively short period of time and can be received at any convenient place.
EBooks, textbooks, and journals
EBooks, textbooks, and journals are important online distance learning resources that required dedicated reading and understanding of the topics in the literature in line with the guidance of your course instructor or teacher, or learning facilitator.
EBooks, textbooks, and journals are completely portable, allowing students to study on the go from their personal computers (PC), smartphones, or tablets.
For a student to reflect on and deepen his understanding of all the coursework study materials, he should commit not less than 40 hours per week of a full-time or 15 hours per week of a part-time online study though the exact amount of time committed is dependent on the nature of the course of study.
The time may be spent watching video lessons, studying eBooks, textbooks, and journals, completing online coursework and assignments, or participating in group discussion activities.
Online Student Support Teams and Groups
A student’s course adviser provides one-to-one training on how to use our virtual learning environment, video conferencing, correspondence, and community platforms when the first coursework starts.
The Distance Learning Management System (DLMS) of a higher education institution can also provide technical support if a student encounters difficulty setting up any equipment or software.
The role of academic support through internal and freelance instructors play vitally in a distance learning system for a successful students’ online program cannot be overstated, but a dedicated student support team often forms the core of online distance education providers’ student support functions.
Online student support teams are often trained in providing advice, care, help, and support on issues problems students experience ranging from financial troubles to family commitments, and from minor technology troubleshooting to major life events like bereavement.
A student’s fellow students can also be a great source of help and advice. Using online discussion forums provided by the institution of distance education on social media platforms like WhatsApp group, Facebook group, and others, students can create an online community that supports each other as they overcome obstacles working together as a group. For each course unit, the students will be part of a small group of fellow students who can be contacted through the online communities.
Students’ support from the online education institution or provider is an important aspect that determines the quality of a study experience and how successful a distance learning program will be.
The role and benefits of Distance Education Management System in online learning
Distance Education Management System in online learning plays key roles in ensuring a smooth study towards a successful online program and is quite beneficial to students. The distance learning program courses and resources are delivered via the colleges or institution’s online learning platforms. The online learning platform while depending on the application software used will usually consist of a central Distance Learning Management System (DLMS) that students can remotely access from their personal PC, mobile phone, tablet, or other computer devices.
Students can have access to the same resources as an on-campus student, like your institution’s digital library, learning management system (like Blackboard), student union membership, and more.
This blog post on ‘How Distance Learning System works’ is categorized under Distance and Information Education
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