Thinking about distance learning got you confused? I know the feeling…to tell you the truth I learned about distance learning a couple of times in my previous classes and I keep forgetting its exact meaning. So when I truly think about defining it, what comes to mind is online learning much like what we are doing now at Walden University. One person getting information from a specific place online rather than in a traditional classroom setting.
With that being said, I have much experience with Distance Learning personally. My experience maps out as follows: When I first became a trainer I designed classes to teach in one hour and it was instructor lead. This was in a call center setting and I had to pull people off the floor and off the phones to take my class. This became a problem for the managers of the teams I was pulling from and the call center manager was not too keen with people leaving the floor for an hour when they could be taking calls. So I became in developing web based trainings through an Adobe connect application where I could record the session uploading a power point and my voice guiding and instructing the participants. Without any questions or physical instruction the WBT only took 20 minutes which the call center manager was MUCH happier with. This allowed the participant to learn at their own pace and it gave them the ability to upload documents as notes that they could refer back too at a later date.
Currently as a trainer I develop WBT’s for participants and facilitate conference call style classes through Adobe connect that allow the reps the chance to chat and learn through the application while they listen to me present the information. This is distance learning at its finest because we can have up to 50 people in a room at a time running as many classes at the same time as needed.
So looking at my current definition of distance learning I feel I hit it dead on with non-traditional classroom learning a.k.a. online or virtual learning. I feel distance learning is the current and future of learning with new schools for K-12 like in my state called Nevada Virtual achademy of which both my sons attend and have gotten much better grades than they ever have in a brick and mortor school getting more personal attention when needed. In the future I see no more instructor lead courses in corporations and more distance learning applied in the educational system sharing classrooms with students from other countries
So what are your thoughts…where is distance learning headed???