In distance learning the traditional contact education is completely replaced by a mix of online learning and self-study. There are hardly any contact moments, but you are intensively coached by a team of lecturers. Distance learning is a learning process that
- largely or completely from a distance
- individually or in group
- mentoring and validation (formal learning)
- supported by information and communication technologies (e-learning)
Distance learning allows you not only to study from a different place, but also at a different time or at a different pace. In this way, different classmates can go through a separate process in an open learning center. With distance learning you can also study at the same time according to your time use (work, studies …).
Distance learning is also available for children who experience difficulties at school, who live abroad or who cannot go to school on a regular basis for health reasons.
Has the distance learning courses succeeded in this assignment?
In general, a good number of people have obtained an academic diploma through the distance learning courses. My impression is that there are many more people who attended distance learning courses, for example because they wanted to know more about rights, culture or economy.
The courses offered by the distance learning courses offer people an excellent opportunity to improve themselves. There can be all kinds of motivations for this: work, free time use or personal interest. I think it is ideal that this is possible. What I also find strong is that the distance learning courses has gradually developed into a digital university. It is a great advantage to be able to participate in interactive courses via the internet. ‘
Should the distance learning courses commit even more too life-long learning?
Universities have long evening classes in the Netherlands. Later on, this has been expanded and expanded to include theOpen School, the distance learning courses and part-time education at universities and colleges. Life-long learning not only has an economic background. People naturally have to constantly retrain, retrain or retrain, but they also want to gain knowledge and insight about the changing society over and over again. For example, they want to know more about Islam, or learn how criminal law works. Even if many international students are involved in all kinds of ways, life-long learning will become increasingly important. The fact that you leave education at the age of twenty with a backpack and can function well until you are 80 years old is nonsense.
Why do the distance learning courses have to offer that?
It’s not that other universities and colleges can. In the first place, their course offer is linked to specific programs and aimed at obtaining diplomas. Courses must also be able to stand apart from that. In the second place, the distance learning courses is very strong in offering distance learning.
It is important to cooperate more with other universities and colleges, so that there is a kind of symbiosis between regular education and distance learning. The distance learning courses has very good educational departments, which other institutions can benefit from. ‘
Does the financing system not prevent such strengthening of the course offer?
‘The financing of higher education is generally based on full programs, on graduation after obtaining a diploma. This is a problem for the distance learning courses, because it not only has students who follow a complete program, but also people who register for parts of programs. I think it is incorrect that the funding is not or insufficiently coordinated. If politics is full of permanent education and lifelong learning is important for society, then the necessary financing options must be provided.
Sarah Smith is a professional educationist with long experience in conducting distance education programs for learners and teachers. Her quest to impart education on distance learning has led her to be a much sought blogger and article writer in this field at SpeedyEssay. She is very fond of cooking in her free time and practicing Jazz, as well.