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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Save Money

What strikes me the most: Distance education programmes are often cheaper than their traditional counter parts

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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.

Find and compare 4,351 distance learning programmes

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 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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London Metropolitan University

London, United Kingdom

Located in the heart of one of the world's most exciting cities, London Metropolitan University is a great place to study, offering a wide range of postgraduate degree programmes and an exciting educational experience.

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The University of Hull

Hull, United Kingdom

The University of Hull – the 'friendly university' – puts students at the heart of everything we do. We're also proud of our academic reputation, which reflects the high quality of the education we provide.

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Laurea University of Applied Sciences

Helsinki, Finland

Laurea University of Applied Sciences, located in the Greater Helsinki region, has seven campuses close to good transport connections. Laurea offers six Bachelor’s Degree Programmes taught in English and one Master’s Degree Programme taught in English. Laurea has approximately 7500 students of which about 700 are foreigners.

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General

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Everyday life as a DL student

Supervision, assessment, exams and grading

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