The options for learning in non-classroom settings, has increased dramatically over the past few years. Distance, online, flexible and blended education allows a learner to study at a time and place that suits their own lifestyle.
These courses can cover all Ed Zones, and so arn't classified like the other courses.
Before engaging in any form of distance, online, flexible or blended learning; check the course cost and qualification.
Distance education is learning where you do not have to attend a physical location at fixed times throughout the academic year. Open learning, on-line learning and distance learning all qualify as types of distance education. The main advantage of this type of learning is that it can be combined with home life and work commitments.
On-line learning is where the whole programme is delivered over the Internet, notes are posted on the web, assignments are e-mailed between students and tutors, students set up chat rooms between each other etc.
Flexible learning provides learners with opportunities for more choice, convenience, and personalisation to suit the learner. It also recognises that different students have different learning preferences and requirements. Flexible learning courses might include using different modes of delivery for course materials, including web-based, CDs, DVDs and so on.
Blended learning refers to a mix of different learning environments. This approach to teaching and learning combines traditional face to face classroom methods with more modern computer-mediated activities. This strategy creates a more integrated approach for both instructors and learners.
Why choose distance education?
- Personal commitments mean you don’t have time to attend classes or lectures
- The course you are interested in is only offered at a time when you are at work
- You live too far or don’t have transport to get to classes or lectures
- No organisation locally offers the course you want to study
As a learner you need to weigh up the advantages and disadvantages to this type of learning. e.g. you can study at your own pace, and you can combine study with domestic and work commitments, on the other hand you need to be very disciplined and allocate appropriate time for your studies and there is very little social contact.
What are the entry requirements?
Entry requirements vary depending on the institution concerned. Many web-based e-learning institutions base their entry requirements solely on interest, while others base entry on standard criteria. Check with the relevant institution for entry requirements.