Online Learning involves courses offered either completely virtual including massively open online classes, or by postsecondary educational institutions that are 100% online. The former offers the student the benefit of studying at his or her own pace, from anywhere in the world. Further, online learning usually accommodates people from different age groups because the majority of the population is over the age of 18. Further, distance has become a criterion for admission into traditional face-to-face academic learning institutions.
The benefits of online learning are obvious. It is convenient to the student as well as the instructor and offers flexibility and convenience to students who need to juggle family and work-life along with studies. The cost of distance learning is also considerably less than conventional classroom education. Students can also opt for distance learning as an elective course and complete their secondary education.
As in any form of distance learning, teachers and students have to adhere to the same rules and guidelines, particularly regarding textbooks and other required materials. Besides, there are some special considerations to be observed in distance learning. For instance, in distance learning, the instructor may require extra supervision, and he or she cannot give direct student instruction as in a classroom situation.
The first of these is the digital curriculum, which consists of all textbooks and related reading materials as well as lecture notes, which are available for download from the university website. Another digital curriculum is the combination of CDs and DVDs, which help students in completing assignments more accurately. Digital teaching strategies also include the use of interactive whiteboards and digital learning assistants.
Besides, there are many distance learning software packages, such as Microsoft Office, that can be used for teaching. These packages include specialized forms of presentation such as slides, videos, and interactive whiteboards. Interactive tools enhance the credibility of online teaching and help students understand and remember information better.
The role of the parents in distance learning programs is very important. They should encourage their children to participate in the class and interact with the classmates. Encourage the use of computers and minimize the use of paper and whiteboards. This will help them have a good idea about the progress of the child.
The other important factor for distance learning is effective communication between teacher and student. The most common way of effective communication is through email or Instant Messenger. A teaching aid such as a mouse, a keyboard, and a camera are some other tools that can facilitate communication.
Therefore, teachers should make sure that they do not encourage the excessive use of screen time during distance learning classes.