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Delivering Distance Education

Course CodeBGN108
Fee CodeS2
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment

Lay a Foundation to Work in Distance Learning

Growth of Online Education
This is one of the strongest growth areas in vocational and tertiary education. There are two main reasons for this:

  • People are busier than ever before, moving location, working odd hours etc, so there is a greater need than ever for people to be able to study where and when they are able to find the time.
  • Technology has enabled distance education to be delivered more effectively than ever before.

Disadvantages of distance education are obvious:

  • The teacher/trainer cannot see the students face to face continually throughout every part of the course
  • The students cannot see and hear the teacher/trainer continually throughout all parts of the course.
  • Students need to maintain motivation without peer encouragement or teacher input
  • Students need to be more self disciplined in their approach to their studies

Advantages of Distance Education are both obvious and not so obvious.
Obvious advantages include:

  • The student has greater flexibility in terms of when and where and how often they study
  • The tutor has more flexibility regarding when and where to assess or to respond to students.

Not so obvious advantages are:

  • The student does not get bored with the teacher.
  • The student cannot lose attention in the midst of study through others in the class
  • The teacher cannot be so easily upset, disturbed or stressed by particular students
  • There is a reduced likelihood of teachers/trainers becoming overly stressed and letting that stress impact on the quality of training.
  • The student is more likely to have the undivided attention of their tutor whenever they interact (eg. Through written communications, phone calls, or meetings).
  • There may be greater equity. The course may be better documented than a lecture; hence, if developed properly, there is less chance of a lesson not succeeding. For example, in a classroom, everything depends on the lecturer. If they have a bad day, are sick or over stressed, this can reflect in the way they deliver the lesson. However once written, a distance education lesson will be delivered with the same consistency to all students who attempt it.
  • Students can feel that they have a closer relationship with their tutor/teacher as there is no classroom competition for attention.

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Lesson Structure

There are 9 lessons in this course:

  1. Scope and Nature of Distance Education
    • Trends in Education
    • Changes in the World and their Impact on Distance Education
    • Growth in Distance Education Industry
    • Advantages and Disadvantages of Distance Education
    • Forms of Distance Education
    • Traditional Distance Education (paper-based education)
    • Mentor guided projects or research
    • Video or audio courses
    • Real Time Conferencing
    • Online
    • E Learning
    • Blended learning
    • What Style of Study Works Best
    • Adapting Teacher-Learning Models to Distance Education
    • Exposition Model
    • Behavioural Model
    • Cognitive Development Model
    • Interaction Model
    • Transaction Model
    • Comparing Online Education with Traditional Distance Education
  2. Getting the Student Started
    • Profiling Students who are New to Distance Education
    • Making the Transition
    • Getting Past the First Lesson
    • How to Do Assignments
    • Time Management
    • Writing Style
    • Completing Assignments
  3. Supporting Students
    • Introduction to Nature and Benefits of Support Services in Distance Education
    • Types of Support Services
    • Guidelines for Counselling New or Prospective Students
    • Guidelines for Completing Assignments
    • Help with Research
    • Student Feedback
  4. Real Time Support
    • Introduction
    • Dealing with Practical Work
    • Telephone Conference
    • Online Chat
    • Video Conferencing
    • Mentoring
    • Workshops and Attended Events
    • Conducting Structured Exercises in Small Groups
    • Listening Skills
    • Empathic Listening
    • Conflict
  5. Managing Resources
    • Scope of Resources
    • Cost of Resourcing
    • Considering Resourcing Options
    • PBL Project to manage resources for a specified distance education course.
  6. Assessment
    • Introduction
    • Various Approaches to Assessment
    • Grading
    • Types of Assessment for Distance Education
    • Submitting and Processing Assignments
    • Marking Exams
    • Exam Procedures and Processes
    • Plaigiarism
    • Practical Examination
  7. Student Administration
    • Introduction
    • Advice for Prospective Students
    • Enrolment Procedures
    • Student Records
    • Managing Feedback and Course Improvement
  8. Communication Skills
    • Introduction
    • Interpersonal Communication Skills for Distance Education
    • Classroom Education does not Suit Everyone
    • Understanding What Impairs a Student's Focus
  9. Supporting Graduates
    • Cost Vs. Benefit
    • Alumni
    • Direct Support
    • Assistance with C.V.'s
    • Networking Services
    • Career Advice
    • Ongoing Use of Student Services
    • News Bulletins

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.

Aims

  • Identify differences between various modes of distance education and other forms of education.
  • Determine appropriate methods for communicating with, and motivating action from, new distance education students.
  • Provide effective support services to students undertaking distance education studies.
  • Explain the ways that teachers and students can work together by using effective listening skills, problem solving techniques, empathy and other interactive strategies to maintain effective and meaningful relationships in the learning process.
  • Manage physical and human resources within a distance education program to achieve appropriate benefit for cost expended.
  • Conduct effective assessment of distance education students.
  • Conduct effective administration of distance education students.
  • Improve students’ and teachers’ ability to communicate effectively in a distance education environment.
  • Provide support for graduates upon or following completion of a distance education course.

The ‘tools’ available for educators to communicate with distance education students in the past were very limited. In the middle of the 20th century, most distance educators communicated with students through the postal system alone. Some also used radio transmissions internet chat or video conferencing over the internet

 

The situation today is very different in several ways:

 

1. More Tools for Distance Education

Many new tools have become available for Distance Educators to use (eg. Internet, Fax, email, telephone, more extensive courier services, better air services, etc)

2. Classroom Education more Costly

The cost of classroom education, particularly in developed countries, has become increasingly prohibitive, often resulting in a depreciation of standards and services.

3. Greater Social Acceptance of new Technologies

New technological tools have become increasingly widely available around the world.

4. Globalisation Opened up Markets

Courses can be offered to a wider demographic of people living in many different countries.

5. Busier Lifestyles

There is an ever increasing need for greater flexibility in education –which did not exist in the past. People’s lives and their life choices are constantly changing and this is being reflected in the variety and scope of educational courses being offered.

6. Self Directed Education is more effective

Research is actually showing that student centred education and self directed education is more effective and graduates have better career prospects.
 
 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 
Q. What will these studies lead to?
 
A.  When you understand education, you have an improved capacity to understand all aspects of distance education.
People who have studied distance education are better equipped to succeed, and that is an advantage in any situation, either as farmer, an farm employee, or working in a farm supply or service business.
 
Q.  Can I get a credit toward a Certificate or Diploma if I wish to continue further studies after this?
 
A.  Yes; both with our schools in Australia and the UK and with a number of affiliated colleges across the world
 

Q. What happens if I have to stop studying for a while? (e.g. Get sick, go on holidays, have a baby).

A. Apply for an extension. It's OK to take a break and start up your study at a later point in time. Just let us know.

 
Q. What level is this course?
 
A.  We designed this course with adults in mind, and with the flexibility to allow students to work to a level that they are comfortable with. People who have a university level education can approach their work in greater depth, and will have the support of an expert to guide and support them. People who have far less experience and education, may work to a lower academic level, and may take longer to complete studies; but with persistence, they will (with help from tutors) still achieve the minimum goals set for the course. This course should not be seen as rigidly being a degree, diploma or certificate level; rather you should simply see it as an opportunity to extend your skills and knowledge in this discipline, starting wherever you currently are, and finishing with a heightened understanding and capacity to work in this field.
 
Q. What do I get as a student?
 
A. First, understand a good course is quite different to a book or a web site
•A course should be something that changes you; making things stick in your mind, improving your capacity to do thing, remember things, solve problems and understand the subject
•A book on this subject is a reference that can be read, but might not be understood as the author intended, and most of which probably will not be remembered unless a lot of time is devoted to studying it.
•A web site is like a book; except there is a stronger likelihood that it could contain biased and even incorrect information.
An ACS course differs to books, seminars, web sites and other sources of "information" in several key ways.
•It is a constructed learning pathway that is designed with the purpose of bringing about a change in the student
•It is constructed by a team of experts, credible in their field, from across the world (it reflects input from many people, from different countries and climates. (A book more commonly reflects only one).
•Every student is guided as an individual through the learning experience. The learning pathway and the precise information encountered is commonly different for every single student.
•You are monitored; motivated and where necessary your path is corrected as you move through the course. A book is a one way communication (a monologue), whereas a course is two way communication.
•A course filters out and organises information; serving you up a quantity of resources that is "digestible" in a way that is designed to help you digest it.
ACS provides all essential learning resources (eg. notes or books), and all the tutor support that is needed to successfully complete a course. Some students may choose to buy extra books -but this really is not necessary.

Q. Will I have problems with practical tasks, because I cannot travel or attend workshops?
 
A. Our college has developed lots of ways of providing for practical learning, that can be done by anyone, anywhere and anytime. Students come from over 150 countries, and the practicals have never been a factor that has stopped someone completing their studies in this course.
All courses include set tasks that add a practical element to the learning experience, but we often give options.
Courses are as far as possible written to cope with the widest range of situations, from people living in antarctica to someone confined to their home due to illness.
Example -We may ask you to visit a workplace and observe something; but also say or if you have restricted mobility make a virtual visit, on the internet, if possible, or if not, by reviewing a place through an article in a magazine. If you can't find
reference material, ask us and we will send you what you need.
If the course does not provide an option that is achievable, you contact us, and we will give you other options.

 

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