Electronic Correspondence Learning Options
As technology continues to evolve, students now have more options when it comes to the format of their distance learning. The list below contains a few examples of methods used by instructors to communicate course content to their pupils.
- Hybrid:Some distance education courses have become integrated with physical campus courses, meaning that students can attend certain classes or lectures but submit all of their assignments and projects electronically. These courses may be known as hybrid electronic correspondence courses.
- Live Streams:Depending on the type of material presented, some other forms of transmission in these electronic courses can include radio broadcasts or podcasts. Professors may meet with students in an online chat session to answer questions, and students might even be able to obtain tutoring through electronic correspondence.
- Prerecorded Lectures: A staple of asynchronous programs, this option features a professor recording him or herself giving a lecture and explaining important course topics. The video is then posted online, where students can view it at their earliest convenience. Students might be expected to take notes on the lecture, and then answer review questions or take a quiz about content featured in the lecture.
- Reading Materials: Another popular option involves the posting of selected materials on the course's website. Professors will choose reading materials for the class, such as blog posts, textbook excerpts, or news articles, and then make them available to students, who can then access and read them. Students may be asked to discuss content or answer review questions.
- Open Schedule: In these courses students are given course materials and a basic schedule of deadlines. They are then allowed to work at their own pace. Students can go quicker than the class is structured, or they can wait until the deadline comes to turn their work in. This allows the greatest freedom for working with a complicated personal schedule.
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Electronic correspondence is another name for distance education or distance learning and particularly refers to online education. Electronic correspondence courses are designed for students who can't physically attend classes at a campus. Students may complete and submit their assignments and tests online to be reviewed by an instructor, who then posts grades online as well.
With electronic correspondence courses, learning is more accessible, since even students who live far away can attend class. These courses are ideal for older students who may need to coordinate their education with full-time employment, family obligations or military deployment. Distance education courses can also be cheaper, because students don't need to live on campus or commute to it.
There are two main ways that these types of courses are structured. Some instructors schedule a set time for all the students to be present online, then hold courses using Web conference technology. The other way for students to participate in electronic correspondence courses utilizes message and discussion boards and e-mail, allowing students to progress through the coursework according to their own schedules. These two structures are known as synchronous and asynchronous online learning, respectively.
Electronic correspondence courses are ideal for working professionals, those with complex or shifting schedules or those who do not live near a university. More and more options are becoming available, allowing many people to attend school who otherwise might not be able to.