What learning strategies are most effective in an online learning environment?
Distance learning refers to a learning environment in which the instructor and student are separated by physical distance. [ Although distance learning dates back to the early 1800's with correspondence classes, it has evolved with the development of new media, from print to radio, telephone, television, video, satellite, computers, and, most recently, the Internet. The different technologies
are still being used depending on the content and learning objectives for the course, and the users and their capabilities.
The most recent distance technology, the Internet, adds an interactive component not possible with the other technologies - collaborative communication over a prolonged period of time. Traditionally, distance education has been primarily between the instructor and the student, and there has been little or no opportunity for interaction among students. However, the Internet changes this because it allows learners to communicate with each other either through synchronous or asynchronous communication. Students are able to read and respond to all correspondence, thereby learning from each other as much as from the instructor. This changes the roles of the instructor and the student, and the instructor becomes more of a facilitator of learning and the student becomes more of an active participant in, and more in control of, the learning process. ]
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