Monday, November 5, 2012

Learn Where You Are: The Growth of Distance Education

Higher education is in the midst of a growing transformation, and its name is distance learning.

Distance learning or distance education (DE) involves a physical separation, or distance, between instructor and students which is often bridged by online or other electronic means.  At TWU a DE course or program is one in which over 50% of the instruction is delivered via electronic means, predominantly online.  Texas Woman's University Distance Education homepage. 

Currently over 3.5 million college students are taking online courses and/or earning online college degrees (United States Distance Learning Association), including roughly 7,700 at TWU (TWU Distance Education Fall 2012 Snapshot Report.)  Photo left courtesy of TWU Distance Education Fall 2012 Snapshot Report.
Quick Facts about Distance Learning
courtesy of the United States Distance 
Learning Association.
National Distance Learning Week (November 5-9, 2012), sponsored by the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA), seeks to promote and celebrate the tremendous growth that distance learning is experiencing.  The USDLA is making available a schedule of events for the week; free online open houses and webinars for those who wish to see first-hand what distance learning is all about; and other articles and resources (including Is Online Learning Right for You? by Andrew Gansler.)   
To support distance education and traditional students as they work on assignments from within Blackboard (TWU's online course delivery and management system), TWU Libraries maintains a robust presence there.  Within Blackboard the Library tab takes students to the Library in Blackboard Subject Guide and its information on library research, subject guides and librarians, and tutorials; as well as a fun page, writing help and much more.  As always, all students--DE and traditional--are encouraged to contact the libraries for their research and other information needs.
Current and future TWU DE students can find valuable information on the Texas Woman's University Distance Education homepage.

~Sandy Cochran and Stephany Compton

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