Distance Learning - What students like about it:

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Flexibility

I don’t depend on the visiting hours of my tutors any longer. Convenient online tools provide direct feedback on my progress

Joanna
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Individual support

For me studying online is perfect: No overcrowded lecture halls but individual feedback to keep me focused in my studies

Jake
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Easy Access

Starting an online programmes is literally just clicks away; no need to be physically present at all!

Edward
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Digital Learning Environment

By DARCO/EADTU

Most higher education institution today have a digital learning environment to support all kind of learning services to students. This holds for both distance teaching universities and more traditional campus-orientated institutions. An institution may use a combination of different technical solutions or integrate many support functions in just one Digital Learning Environment (DLE). Sometimes these environments are called Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), Learning Management Systems (LMS), Learning Content management Systems (LCMS), Virtual Classrooms, etc.

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Functions of digital learning environments

For example, the following functions can now be supported digitally:

  • orientation to study (e.g. by free online courses, doing pre-tests)
  • production and delivery course material
  • registration and enrolment
  • providing additional course material and practical video examples
  • calendar, study timetable
  • visualize difficult concepts through modelling and visualization software
  • additional practice training
  • teach concepts by video interaction, simulation and gaming
  • visualize difficult concepts through modelling and visualization software
  • determination of misconception and refine understanding of concepts
  • receive feedback from tutors and students
  • discussion groups, chat
  • work together on assignments in groups, discuss the different problems
  • tracking learning activities, portfolio functions
  • get help and support by students, by institution and sometimes
  • study and work in a (virtual) projects and virtual business environment
  • doing assessment, testing and exams digitally

Examples of such learning systems

Examples of many of these educational functions are BlackBoard, Moodle, Desire2Learn, N@tschool, Teletop, Sharepoint, IT’s Learning, Merlot, etc (there are a few hundred DLE, VLE and L(C)MS availiable). But more and more institutions are using portal software to integrate separate ict-tools that support learning (e.g, skype, email, document sharing, YouTube channels, iTunes, Facebook, etc.).

An effective way to learn

Research shows that students with access to computer assisted instruction, integrated learning systems technology, simulations and software that teach higher order thinking and/or collaborative networked technologies showed positive gains in academic achievement. A recent studied found that students who took either all or part of their instruction online performed better than those taking the same course through traditional face-to-face instruction. Students who took “blended” courses— those that combine elements of online learning and face-to-face instruction—appeared to achieve the highest.

Personalized learning - the trend of the future

However, the success of online and blended learning holds if ICT affords the student an “expansion of learning time” that is difficult or impossible to achieve with face-to-face instruction. In addition the ict-tools and the internet nowadays is making personalized learning environments possible and some make connection to even informal learning. Some institutions even supports social learning in communities and learning networks.

Universities in the spotlight

Warwick Business School

University of Warwick

Coventry, United Kingdom

Warwick Business School is the largest department of the University of Warwick. It has an excellent global reputation as a leader in business research and teaching. We were the first UK business school to gain the key accreditations from EQUIS, AACSB and AMBA. Full re-accreditation in 2005, maintains our membership of a small and elite group of international business schools with this triple accolade.

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The Cyprus Institute of Marketing, BVI (Distance-Learning Studies)

Nicosia, Cyprus

The Cyprus Institute of Marketing Ltd. (Reg. BVI) was established in 1997 and is a pioneer in offering Distance - Learning degrees. Today, CIM (BVI) is considered as one of the Leading Global Business Schools in the world, offering Undergraduate, Masters and PhD (Doctoral) Programs in fields including Tourism, Shipping, Insurance, Banking, Human Resource Management, Psychology, Business Law, Health Units Management, Financial and Computer Studies and many others.

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Instituto Europeo Campus Stellae

Santiago de Compostela, Spain

El Instituto Europeo Campus Stellae es un centro de estudios superiores de reconocido prestigio especializado en la formación de Postgrado y de alto nivel, cuyo objetivo principal y fundador es dar respuesta a las necesidades formativas surgidas en una sociedad en continuo cambio, siempre bajo el compromiso con la calidad y una arraigada vocación social. El Instituto Europeo Campus Stellae tiene tembén tres sus objetivos la promoción de actividades culturales, artísticas, sociales y empresariales.

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General

Study orientation

Application and enrolment

Cost and funding

Everyday life as a DL student

Supervision, assessment, exams and grading

After graduation


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