Online and distance education, also called online distance learning, has grown by leaps and bounds as the Internet and bandwidth become more accessible. In many ways, this paved the path for elearning as we know it today. These medium of instruction leaves the online learner with more options for flexibility. Many accredited colleges and schools in the US offer programs in a variety of areas, whether it is bachelors and undergraduate, and graduate (masters, doctoral/PhD, professional degrees) Distance Learning and e-Learning Technology Degrees Online are offered by leading accredited universities.
An Overview of Online and Distance Education
Distance learning is not a new experience although online distance education is a more recent and evolving phenomena. Distance learning has been a method of teaching and learning for many individuals for at least one hundred years, starting with correspondence learning via postal mail (Moore & Kearsley, 1996). Online degree courses and e-learning utilizes multiple resources and multimedia components for learners anywhere at anytime.
The advent of information and communication technology (ICT) and e-learning have blurred the boundaries of distance education and traditional education (Garrison & Shale, 1987). Distance education has evolved in accordance with the trends and changes in conventional education for online degree classes.
Technological innovations like cable, satellite, computers, and fiber optics have increased the scope of distance education. As the radio was added to the conventional lecture approach, distance education integrated audiovisual components as well.
Online and e-learning degrees are available in a variety of areas:
- Online Business Administration and MBA Degree Programs
- Online Education Degree Programs
- Nursing Degrees
- Computers and Information Technology Degrees
- Health & Medicine Degrees
Presently, distance learning uses emerging technologies such as e-learning to enhance traditional education. For example satellite links, computers, telephone and Internet conferencing, two-way interactive video and the Internet. As a result, the distance learner can now have almost the same instructional contact and interaction as the student on campus. The introduction of live two-way audio and video communications means that face-to-face interaction and interpersonal communication can be combined at the same time when teaching at a distance.
The terms “distance learning” and “distance education” have been applied by many different researchers interchangeably to a great variety of programs, providers, audience, and media. Programs are available at all levels including:
- Associate Degrees
- Bachelor Degrees
- Masters Degrees
- Doctorate Degrees
In these online degree study programs, teaching and learning occur when the written and printed word, the computer, or telephone-conferencing are used to bridge the physical gap (Garrison & Shale, 1987). In other words, it is a process that utilizes various technologies to overcome separation of the teacher and the student. Distance learning is also characterized by the discretionary control of the learning process by the learners rather than the distant teacher, and the non-contacting communication between the learner and the instructor, mediated by some form of technology or print.
For geographically separated groups of learners, Internet-based (online) instruction can be more appealing than traditional face-to-face learning. Distance learning not only adds technology to instruction; it utilizes technology to advance potentially new approaches to the teaching and learning process.
It is a phenomenon that has changed the learning relationship. It has shifted the focus from the common, centralized school model to a decentralized and flexible model. The process had reversed the dynamics of conventional education. Instead of bringing students to school, it brings the school to the students. Online degree requirements do however vary by college or program.
Garrison, D.R., & Shale, D. (1987). Mapping the boundaries of distance education: Problems in defining the field. The American Journal of Distance Education, 1(1), 7-17.
Moore, M. G., & Kearsley, G. (1996). Distance education: A systems view. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Before proceeding with online distance education e-learning degree programs, it is important to examine some important points, such as: 1) The advantages and disadvantages of online distance education; 2) The types of learners who are successful in online distance education programs; and 3) Locating credible and accredited programs. This will help you avoid diploma mills.
Instructional Design and Related Programs
- Education programs include BA in Education Studies, BA in Child Development, and MA in Education.
- Students can specialize in areas such as Education and Public Policy, Instructional Design, and Early Childhood Education.
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- MA/Education - Exceptional Systems for Revolutionizing Education
- 100% online degrees include Master of Arts in Teaching, Master of Science in Education, and more.
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- Offers MUSE (My Unique Student Experience), a content delivery system that gives students the option to watch, view, read or listen to required course materials.
- Allows students to complete courses at whatever pace they want.
- A DANTES-affiliated university and member of the Service Members Opportunity Colleges.
- Offers IntelliPath, a proprietary learning technology that lets students learn at their own pace.
- Which career path will you take – Business, Nursing, Education, Psychology? Something else? GCU offers more than 100 majors to get you started!
- Colangelo College of Business: Features more than 25 programs from the bachelor through the master's level, including several high-demand MBA programs and an accelerated accounting degree.
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- College of Education: Whether you are looking to start or advance your career as a teacher or administrator, GCU offers bachelor’s and master’s in education degrees in key areas.
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- B.A. in Christian Studies with a concentration in Youth Ministry
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- Ranked among the Best Online Graduate Education Programs in 2016 by U.S. News & World Report.
- Regent’s School of Education has yielded a 95% pass rate on the School Leadership Licensure Assessment.
- Regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
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- Online MBA program ranked 6th in the USA by CEO magazine.
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- My Unique Student Experience (M.U.S.E.) lets students watch, view, read, or hear content.
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- Doctor of Management - Environmental and Social Sustainability (Executive Format)
Concordia University - Portland offers several fully online 14-month Master of Education (M.Ed.) programs and a fully online Doctorate of Education (Ed.D.) program. You'll learn new strategies and techniques for your classroom while expanding your knowledge and skills as an educator.
- M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction: eLearning/Technology Education
For over 35 years, Keiser University has maintained a practical, hands-on approach to career education to help our students achieve their personal and professional goals. Our student-centered approach remains at the foundation of the Keiser University mission and continues to attract students who prefer a more personal learning experience.
Colorado State University-Global Campus
Colorado State University-Global Campus (CSU-Global) recently received state approval to enroll students with little to no prior college experience. To help ensure student success, the university has created a program especially for these students who plan on starting their college experience for the first time with us.
- The first and only 100% online, fully accredited public university in the United States
- No set class times or locations
- Affordable tuition, guaranteed not to increase as long as you are enrolled
- Accelerated eight-week terms
- Classes start every month
- BS - Human Services
Earn your graduate degree online with Northcentral University. We offer online programs focused on doctoral and master’s degrees in the schools of business and technology management, education, psychology and marriage and family sciences.
- Gender Diversity Studies - MA in Psychology
- Gender Diversity Studies - PhD of Psychology