College Distance Learning
by Emily Burson
Think you are too busy for a traditional college? Distance learning
may the exactly what you are looking for! Every year more and
more people find themselves too busy to attend traditional school,
but still want to further their education and do something to
'better' their lives. There are several different options if you
are considering college distance learning.
Traditional College Distance Learning
Traditional college distance learning involves old-fashioned
pen and paper, along with stamps. Most large colleges and universities
offer distance learning for people who cannot commute to campus.
These classes are not done online and do not require and internet
connection. At places such as Indiana University (www.iub.edu),
they have an entire school dedicated to college distance learning.
The School of Continuing Studies offers a wide range of classes,
all of which are taken through correspondence.
All you have to do is sign up for the class, pay your fee and
you have a year to complete the required assignments and return
them to your assigned professor. Some college distance learning
opportunities like this require you to visit the main campus one
or two times a year in order to take exams, so be sure you know
if that is required up front.
Modern College Distance Learning
Modern college distance learning takes distance classes to the
internet age. Many modern college distance learning classes are
now offered online, which allows you to turn in assignments immediately
through the web. There are two kinds of online college distance
learning classes that predominate.
1. Classes that require you to be online at a certain time in
a 'virtual classroom.' In these classes, you will have real classmates
from across the country and around the world that are all reaping
the benefits of college distance learning in a modern age. You
will interact with classmates and a professor and have a chance
to ask questions and learn in real time.
2. Classes that simply offer the option of doing assignments
online, without requiring that you be available at a specific
day or time. These classes are much like more traditional college
distance learning classes, only with the added benefit of the
internet. Assignments are due at a specific date and time and
can be uploaded to a website. Your professor will most likely
communicate with you via email and a website. Classes are offered
on a variety of subjects and topics.
Drawbacks to College Distance Learning
One of the big benefits of college is interacting with fellow
students and forming network connections that will benefit you
later in your career. College distance learning does not always
allow for those interactions, so be cautious. If you are furthering
your career, college distance learning could be exactly what you
are looking for; however, if you are just now beginning your college
career, consider attending at least one or two classes on a real
campus. You will be surprised how different it is!
Links to distance learning opportunities:
Online Schools Database
Emily Burson is a 2001 graduate of Indiana
University in Bloomington, Indiana. She worked for a year
as a full time copywriter before getting a job at her
church, Sherwood Oaks Christian Church. She works at the
church full time and loves it. She loves to read and write,
and believes that children's books and young adult literature
contain some of the most powerful lessons and messages
that the written word has to offer. She is an avid scrapbooker
and loves to travel, having been to Costa Rica, Venezuela,
and Honduras, as well as many states.
If you would like to contact her about her writing, craft
ideas, or book reviews, email her at erburson@ gmail.com.
Also, read her personal
thoughts on God,
faith, life, culture, and more.