Distance learning has definitely changed the higher learning scenario in the US and worldwide. Reputed colleges are choosing from the proven effective models of distance learning to enable more people to learn and encourage more participation. This has boosted the literacy curve, especially the percentage of grads in the country that has soared up in the recent years. What are the purposes served by distance learning? It firstly facilitates those who look for adult secondary education opportunities. Secondly, distance learning is aimed at making students more job-ready and the secondary skills are imparted through this type of educational method. However, there are several distance learning models adopted by US e-schools and here below is a brief roundup of these models.
The Examination Preparation Model
Examination Preparation model is not widely applied for imparting education through the wires and in the wireless way. However, the model should be discussed as many ‘degree and diploma mills’ follow this model though major accredited colleges have always abstained from following this model. There are a few colleges which only conduct education and confer degrees and diplomas but do not teach their students. This model, though widely criticized, is beneficial for remote learners.
The Correspondence model
This model has been adopted by many US colleges and the same is very popular across the world as well. The evaluation process is no different from the examination preparation model. However, students are also taught in this process. This is a cost-effective model followed by many colleges in India, China and other countries. This method has certain benefits proven through decades.
Mass media model
The US certainly pioneered the mass media model which became popular during 1970s. Radio and television are the main technological components of this model. However, Illinois University deserves a special mention here. PLATO (Programmed Logic for Automated Training Operations) was a system developed by the Urbana-Champaign of the university. The concept of online instructions, online notes, and multiple user access to the same data electronically was first introduced and materialized by the university researchers who worked on this project. Though the system was used internally and could not be used on a mass-scale at that time, it can certainly be named the forefather of today’s multimedia based learning powered by internet.
Internet based distance education
Internet based distance education is certainly one of the most advanced models that have been adopted by leading e-colleges in America. Though this model supports autonomous learning, it is very demanding as well. Students are provided with a plethora of options to choose from and what they need to do is to choose a media/technology which best suits them. However, economically backward students do not get access to certain technologies and equipments hence the model is still not implementable in many areas.