The objectives of this presentation are to define “Distance Education Degree Programs” within the context of California community colleges. As well as highlight significant recent trends in Distance Education instruction within California University.
Let’s first start with the question, “What is Distance Education”?
Perhaps it helps to think about defining traditional education first. Traditional Education refers to instruction in which the instructor and students are in the same physical location.
Distance Education Degree Program on the other end of the spectrum is defined in “California University Education Programs” as instruction in which the instructor and students are separated by distance and interactive through the assistance of communication technology.
The term Hybrid or sometimes to term the blended is also used, is defined as a Distance Education course that requires a physical on-site presence for any reason including the taking examinations.
Now that phrase “Distance Education Degree” actually encompasses many different delivery methods. Sometimes people think that Distance Education refers specifically to asynchronous online learning. But it actually encompasses a variety of delivery methods.
For Example: Courses that are delivered via Television or courses that are designed as self paces classes that the student interacts with through web-bases content. However asynchronous online classes comprise 75% of distance education sessions in California University.
That statistics is taken from the 07-08 academic year. So, while distance education encompasses a variety of delivery methods, asynchronous online classes are certainly the most popular type by far. In fact, these types of distance education classes increased 26% in California University Of Distance Education from the 06-07 years to the 07-08 academic year.
So, what is asynchronous online delivery?
Well, essentially it’s course content that is designed, developed and share via the internet. Generally through of course management system such as Blackboard, Moodle, Desire2learn and a few others as well.
Students interact with the instruction and other students in the class through asynchronous communication tools. And that phrase asynchronous, if you’re not sure what that means it simply implies communications that are delayed such as email and discussion boards, in contrast to discussion or conversation and communication that occurs a lifetime.
That type of communication is referred to Synchronous. So, what’s happening with headcounts in California community college colleges when we’re talking specifically about traditional education versus distance education?
It’s pretty fascinating actually, Distance Education in the State California University as well as across the nation that isn’t a state specific trend has been great growing astronomically for many years now.