Distance Learning - What students like about it:

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Numerous choices

Studying with the best school in the world without any physical limitations – that’s distance learning for me!

Jun-suh
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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
Interested? Find your Distance Learning Programmes: Start your search

Digital Learning Environment

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 for a combination of different technical solutions or integrate all /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,

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

The University of Manchester

Manchester, United Kingdom

The University of Manchester is one of Britain's most famous and forward-thinking universities, with a rich heritage stretching 180 years and an exciting agenda for the future. Today, research remains at the heart of the University and the quality, breadth and volume of research activity is unparalleled in the UK, with strong collaborative links with industry and public services.

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Heriot-Watt University

Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Heriot-Watt is a vibrant, forward looking University offering a high quality learning experience and a welcoming and friendly environment. With an international reputation for innovative education, enterprise and leading edge but practical research, it is one of the leading UK universities for business and industry.

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SOAS, University of London

London, United Kingdom

SOAS, University of London is a college of the University of London and the only Higher Education institution in the UK specialising in the study of Asia, Africa and the Near and Middle East.

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The University of Hertfordshire

Hatfield, United Kingdom

UH Online is the University of Hertfordshires hub for online distance learning. Established in 2006, UH Online is dedicated to delivering high academic quality, flexible and accessible alternative to campus-based education. We have educated over 1,000 online graduates - student centered learning is at the heart of our course development. This means we understand how you learn and how to best present material online to make it easy to learn and absorb.

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Vilnius Gedimino Technikos Universitetas

Vilnius, Lithuania

Vilniaus Gedimino technikos universitetas (VGTU) - tai viena didziausiu aukstuju mokyklu Lietuvoje, siekianti tapti technikos ir inzinerijos mokymo bei tyrimu lydere Baltijos salyse. VGTU yra vienintelis technikos universitetas Baltijos salyse patekes i "QS pasaulio universitetu 2012/13 m. reitinga". VGTU rengiami bakalaurai, magistrai ir mokslo daktarai.

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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


anywhere