Distance education, or e-learning, continues expanding in private and public education and as training for organizations. As a result, more universities are beginning to offer degrees, diplomas and certificates related to teaching the craft of distance learning.
This growth is also found in the number of associations that work in support of distance education providers. For example, the United States Distance Learning Association is one among many groups that support distance learning research, development and applied knowledge in education, training and communications.
Study of Distance Education Provides Many Options for Learning
Some distance education degrees are found in the areas of the technology used to deliver online learning. Learning by distance often involves multiple uses of technology to recognize different learning styles. Those studying the technology of delivering online learning often graduate with a better understanding of such technologies as video-based telecourses, YouTube instruction, instructor-recorded tapes, audio files and interactive screen.
Others who study distance education focus on the pedagogy, or teaching and training, involved in developing e-learning learning programs. In addition, some universities now offer degrees in the areas of distance education management and policy.
Perhaps not surprisingly, several universities who are leaders in online or distance education offer degrees and specializations in online learning. Two universities provide good examples of teaching online learning skills.
At Canada’s Athabasca University, student learning about distance learning is developed at its Centre for Distance Education. Students and can earn the following degrees, diplomas and certificates and all options are, of course, available by distance education:
Doctor of Education in Distance Education
Master of Distance Education
Graduate Diploma in Distance Education Technology
Graduate Diploma in Instructional Design
Graduate Certificate in Instructional Design
Study of Distance or Online Learning Results in Degrees, Diplomas, Certificates
The University of Wisconsin-Madison offers distance teaching and learning with certificate programs. The University offers a Distance Education Certificate Program that includes learning webconferencing strategies, Web 2.0 applications and management. It also provides a self-paced Professional Certificate in Online Teaching that teaches models of online courses, strategies to engage learners and how to match tools, activities and objectives.
The field of distance education has exploded in size. Not surprisingly, the number of universities now offering degrees, diplomas and certificates to train educators in the art and science of distance learning has also grown. Students interested in distance education as a career field have a wide range to choose from including teaching, designing distance learning programs and harnessing the technology related to the delivery of online learning.
How to Take Online Classes
Given today’s difficult economic climate with daily reports of layoffs and cutbacks, job seekers need a competitive edge to find employment. That competitive edge comes in the form of retraining, whether learning new computer skills or perhaps even obtaining a degree in a completely new career field.
The job seeker has numerous choices when it comes to continuing education. Community colleges offer a wide range of classes, as do trade schools and public universities. However, online classes have become popular because of new technologies that facilitate easy, effective distance learning.
Numerous online education websites offer a variety of online classes and online degree programs. Here are a few websites offering adult education online.
Online Classes via eLearners
eLearners offers numerous distance learning options. The student can browse online colleges, search for online college degrees and programs, read articles and resources, and take online courses.
Before the student enrolls in an online course, eLearners recommends taking its eLearners Advisor survey to determine whether the student is suited for online education and distance learning. Also helpful is eLearner’s online education blog and distance learning forums.
Online Classes via Classes and Careers
Classes and Careers.com features a wealth of information including online education, on-campus education, financial aid, education and career tools, and education resources. Students can read information on how to obtain an online bachelor’s degree, masters degree online, diplomas, certificates, and even an online doctorate.
Classes and Careers offers numerous additional online education resources including the Top 10 online schools, top degrees, a degree and school matching tool, and a quick degree finder. Other resources include an education and career blog and podcast.
Students may want to read Classes and Career’s “7 Benefits of Online Education” summary regarding why online education may be a good option.
Online Classes via WorldWideLearn
Using WorldWideLearn, students can browse online degrees by subject, level, and online college; browse online courses on a variety of topics; and read featured online education articles.
WorldWide Learn’s Career Pathways page offers numerous resources to help students find a suitable career path and includes career assessment and career planning.
Also handy is WorldWideLearn’s salary estimator which estimates the student’s salary after having taken online courses and compares the new salary to the old. And at the bottom of WorldWideLearn’s home page, the student can read education articles, explore career pathways, and view education resources.
To stay competitive in today’s declining economy, workers may want to consider becoming students and opt for retraining or another career path. Online education resources such as eLearners, Classes and Careers, and WorldWideLearn are good options for taking online classes from the comfort of home.
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