Republic of the Philippines
Nabua, Camarines Sur
ISO 9001:2008
 Distance learning, also known as correspondence education or home study, is a form of
education where there is little or no face-to-face interaction between students and their
instructors. Distance learning students usually study from home, instead of attending
physical classes.
 Distance learning, also called distance education, e-learning, and online learning, form
of education in which the main elements include physical separation of teachers and
students during instruction and the use of various technologies to facilitate student-teacher
and student-student communication. Distance learning traditionally has focused on
nontraditional students, such as full-time workers, military personnel, and
nonresidents or individuals in remote regions who are unable to attend classroom
lectures. However, distance learning has become an established part of the educational
world, with trends pointing to ongoing growth.
 Modern distance learning courses employ Web-based course-management systems that
incorporate digital reading materials, podcasts (recorded sessions for electronic listening or
viewing at the student’s leisure), e-mail, threaded (linked) discussion forums, chat rooms,
and test-taking functionality in virtual (computer-simulated) classrooms.
 Students and institutions embrace distance learning with good reason. Universities benefit
by adding students without having to construct classrooms and housing, and students reap
the advantages of being able to work where and when they choose. Public-school systems
offer specialty courses such as small-enrollment languages and Advanced Placement
classes without having to set up multiple classrooms. In addition, homeschooled students
gain access to centralized instruction.
First, distance learning is by definition carried out through institutions; it is not self-study
or a nonacademic learning environment. The institutions may or may not offer traditional
classroom-based instruction as well, but they are eligible for accreditation by the same
agencies as those employing traditional methods.
Second, geographic separation is inherent in distance learning, and time may also
separate students and teachers. Accessibility and convenience are important advantages
of this mode of education. Well-designed programs can also bridge intellectual, cultural,
and social differences between students.
Third, interactive telecommunications connect individuals within a learning group and with
the teacher. Most often, electronic communications, such as e-mail, are used, but
traditional forms of communication, such as the postal system, may also play a role.
Whatever the medium, interaction is essential to distance education, as it is to any
education. The connections of learners, teachers, and instructional resources become
less dependent on physical proximity as communications systems become more
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Republic of the Philippines
Nabua, Camarines Sur
ISO 9001:2008
sophisticated and widely available; consequently, the Internet, mobile phones, and e-mail
have contributed to the rapid growth in distance learning.
Finally, distance education, like any education, establishes a learning group, sometimes
called a learning community, which is composed of students, a teacher, and instructional
resources—i.e., the books, audio, video, and graphic displays that allow the student to
access the content of instruction. Social networking on the Internet promotes the idea of
community building. On sites such as Facebook and YouTube, users construct profiles,
identify members (“friends”) with whom they share a connection, and build
new communities of like-minded persons. In the distance learning setting, such
networking can enable students’ connections with each other and thereby reduce their
sense of isolation.
It gives students greater access to education. Students who are unable to attend classes
due to disabilities, or due to family responsibilities, may be able to further their studies via
distance learning.
It is more affordable. Students can save money by not having to travel to classes.
It gives students the option to work and study at the same time. Because distance
learning students are free to study according to their own schedules, they can easily fit in
their studies around their work commitments.
It allows students to study at their own pace. Students won’t be under pressure to keep
up with the rest of the class, and they won’t be held back by slower students. They can also
choose how much time to spend on each section of the course material.
It allows students to choose from a wider variety of courses. Students aren’t limited to
studying courses that are offered by academic institutions in their geographical areas.
It helps students to develop valuable skills. Students will be able to improve their selfdiscipline, sense of responsibility, time management, and independent thinking skills by
studying largely on their own via distance learning.
It presents students with fewer distractions. While the social aspect of campus life often
distracts students from their studies, distance learning makes it easier for students to remain
There is no face-to-face contact with teachers or lecturers. However, many distance
learning institutions provide students with academic support via telephone, email, post, and
instant messaging.
There is often minimal interaction with other students. However, students may be able
to interact online, or they may decide to form their own study groups.
It requires high levels of self-discipline. In most cases, there won’t be anyone checking
up on students to make sure that they get through their work on time.
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Republic of the Philippines
Nabua, Camarines Sur
ISO 9001:2008
Classes are taught in a specially equipped classroom called the Interactive Television or ITV
room. Students at remote classrooms will view their instructor, presentation materials, and other
students through monitors or video projector screens (if there is more than one). Microphones
allow instructors and students alike to hear and respond to each other as in traditional classrooms.
Physical layout
The furniture of the ITV classroom features the usual desks — or tables — and chairs. Even in
this essential, however, differences abound between ITV and traditional classrooms. A tour of
sites on the World Wide Web concerned with distance learning and featuring photos of ITV
classroom setups at various institutions reveals that at most sites tables seating two or three,
rather than the individual desk-chairs more common now in traditional classrooms, are the norm.
As in the traditional classroom, various factors including class size and teaching approach may
dictate arrangement of the tables in a U-shape, in straight rows, or in V-shaped rows. In contrast
to the traditional classroom, in the case of the ITV classroom we must add the number and
positioning of studio cameras to the list of factors affecting decisions about seat arrangement. The
arrangement of tables in rows facing the instructor is the most common configuration; this way, a
single camera mounted above the instructor's head may tilt, pan and zoom as necessary to
capture the image of any student in the classroom more or less in full face. If students sit in a Ushape, the ITV technicians must employ different cameras and angles to capture different
students' images, adding to the complexity of their work. The camera's capacity for creating a
unified point of view on screen may be exploited for instructional purposes.
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Republic of the Philippines
Nabua, Camarines Sur
ISO 9001:2008
Behind the scenes
The ITV medium requires the participation of many specialized technical
personnel, including engineers who work behind the scenes to operate
cameras, compose onscreen images, monitor and adjust sound levels,
manage the sending of signals, and troubleshoot. Cooperation between
these engineers and the teacher is essential for management of the ITV
classroom, and for this reason the teacher often gives explicit instructions
regarding class management for the benefit of the engineers.
Teacher's station
The instructor in the ITV classroom sits at a special “station” at the originating
site which consists of a chair and table plus special technical equipment, and
faces the class. This furniture configuration is similar to that in the traditional
classroom except for the presence of the additional equipment. The presence
of this equipment and the necessity of avoiding sudden moves out of camera
range limits the instructor's mobility and creates a certain amount of
separation from the students he is facing.
Tools for the student
Students in the ITV classroom have direct control over microphones placed on
the tables or desks in front of them. In some cases, every student has a
microphone, and in some cases microphones are shared, usually among two
or three students. Some types of microphones are activated by a button that
toggles on and off, and some by the more traditional sliding switch. The
preferred practice is for the student who wishes to speak to turn on the
microphone, identify herself if the instructor has not already done so, speak, and then turn the
microphone off. Student microphones are generally not left on, as this creates audio feedback.
Because voices are amplified in the ITV classroom, and also because students (particularly those
at receive sites) cannot all see each other at any given time, if more than one student speaks at
once using the microphones then the potential for disruption of communication is even greater
than if several students speak at once in the traditional classroom. Students not visible to one
another may make simultaneous bids to speak, and without visual cues may find smooth turntaking difficult. Instructor management of turn-taking can ameliorate this problem; improvement
is also seen with increased student experience in the classroom. Audio interaction is mediated
technologically by technical personnel handling the control board, who must constantly readjust
the input levels from various sources to avoid audio feedback. Because of the potential for audio
feedback, instructional strategies that would require all students to turn their microphones on at
the same time are not advisable. The instructor's microphone, on the other hand, is usually kept
on throughout the class.
The visual presenter
The visual presenter is an important tool in the ITV instructor's
array, allowing full-color display of materials placed on a flat
surface, including written or printed materials.
ITV (Interactive Television) courses provide access to instruction at two or more campus locations
via television and telephone. This type of distance learning course is used for courses with low
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Republic of the Philippines
Nabua, Camarines Sur
ISO 9001:2008
enrollments to increase student enrollment for courses that are unique to one specific campus
location. ITV provides flexibility and convenience in course offerings which allows you to choose
a campus closer to home or work, yet fully participate in the regularly scheduled class. All
ITV classes are broadcast in real time.
Audio and visual signals are sent from the main campus (send site) to any of the other
campuses, or any other location that has been appropriately equipped (receive site).
Participants at the receive sites ask questions or make comments through an elaborate
telephone system.
This technology is a telecommunications system which allows for two-way audio and twoway video transmissions. These sessions can originate from any campus location and be
shared with the other locations. Outside facilities that have compatible systems can also
receive or send information to the college via this technology. This alternative delivery
technique is used to deliver courses that require active interaction between the instructor
and the participants at multiple locations.
While distance education programs are offered via a large variety of communication mediums,
online education, via the Internet, is now the norm. In 1996, Jones International University was
the first higher education institution to launch a fully online accredited degree program. In the
following years, most major colleges and universities quickly followed suit.
Even though for-profit universities have been the quickest to adopt and exploit Internet
technology to offer online degrees to the masses, the majority of public colleges now offer their
academic programs completely online as well. Common fields of study pursued online include,
but are not limited to, programs in business, psychology, criminal justice, health sciences,
computer science, design and liberal arts.
Distance learning has quickly been adopted as the training and education method of choice
among busy working professionals. Online distance learning programs offer the most affordable
and convenient means of earning a degree, improving skills and pursuing a higher education.
Distance learning programs involve many kinds of technology. The Internet and World Wide
Web (WWW) are the primary means of presenting educational information. Once learners have
subscribed to, or signed up for an Internet provider, they gain access to the educational materials
and services designed for the Internet and WWW. The educational information is stored
electronically; thus learners with access to the site can download or use the information as long
as it is stored there. This makes it easy for learners to work at their own pace and to visit the site
as frequently as they like.
The Web can provide learning information in many different interesting formats. It can present
information in sound bits, such as music, voice or special effects. Graphics may be also presented
in a special type of artwork such as animation or video. In addition, Learners can also use another
very convenient tool on the Internet: hypertext links. Hypertext links can take viewers to a
thematically related piece of information within the same document or Web site, or to information
found at another site (Porter 1997).
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