The term distance learning has many names: eLearning or the more familiar one: online learning. The official definition of distance learning according to Oxford’s Dictionary is “a method of studying in which lectures are broadcast or lessons are conducted by correspondence, without the student needing to attend a school or college.” What tends to get lost in the true meaning of online education is recognizing and respecting the platforms in which distance learning is taught, because there is much to learn from utilizing such technologies.
How Online Learning and Technology Work Together
TechTarget notes some of the popular distance learning tools as webcasts, MP3 recordings, and even CDs. Video technology is arguably the most popular type of technology to get a message across these days as approximately 55% of people watch online videos on a daily basis. The use of video technology can include instructional videos and interactive video conferencing.
When it comes to academic learning, particularly in higher-learning institutions, such technology is utilized as a learning vehicle for educators to enhance their curriculum making it easier for them to teach more students. TechTarget went on to note that “distance learning can be as effective as the traditional format when the methods are appropriate to the teaching tasks, there is student interaction, and the teachers provide student with appropriate and timely feedback.” As a result, such regionally accredited curriculums, much like the ones offered at Florida National University (FNU), has integrated our curriculum with this technology onto a secure intranet system allowing only registered students to access.
Why is Distance Learning So Necessary?
Distance learning offers students the added time and flexibility to earn a college education. Traditional college classroom teaching methods might have limited some students from pursuing a degree because not everyone’s work schedule will allow them to attend classes. Colleges and universities have accommodated this obstacle by offering night classes, but the solution doesn’t completely meet the needs of non-traditional students as many may hold more than one job and might even have a family to care for.
FNU strives to accommodate anyone who is looking to further their education at a higher level. Our university is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). Through this regional accreditation, we’re able to award associate, bachelor, and master’s degree. The privilege of being regionally accredited ensures all of our students that every degree program offered from our university has met the superior academic standards of the SACSCOC that include approval from a panel of other regionally accredited scholars. This also includes our distance learning degree programs.
Learning More about FNU Distance Learning
All of FNU’s in-class and distance learning degree programs are composed to administer explicit learning results that allow for a flexible time frame to complete the required courses within the program. Each course within our degree program will include a quality assortment of the learning activities and lesson plans dispersed in the aforementioned technological platforms.
Required Technology Needed for FNU Distance Learning
In order to enroll in any of FNU distance learning programs, you must meet the following technological requirements:
- Be proficient with a personal computer. You are expected to know basic computer management skills needed to operate a computer and navigate file systems to save, open files, and print documents.
- What’s equally important is knowing how to browse the internet. This will be one of your top researching resources.
- Understand how email works. Much of your communication with the university, professors and classmates will be conducted through email. You’ll need to know how to properly organize your email, open and send attachments.
- Having the necessary hardware and software requirements is critical for distance learning. All of your work will be conducted online. It is of the utmost importance that you possess the equipment to help you complete your college assignments. This is the type of operating system you should have:
- Windows Operating System: Windows 7 or Windows 10
- Apple Computer: Mac OSX 10.5 or the latest version
- For your internet browsers we recommend the following:
- Internet Explorer
- Google Chrome
- Important plugins you’ll need is:
- Adobe Reader – Needed to open PDF files
- Flash Player – To view videos
- Java Runtime Environment – To view Java content
- The most popular software system is Microsoft Word. It is what FNU recommends. However, there are other affordable options like Libre Office that is free. If you’re going to use this option, then you will need to always remember to save all of your documents in the Microsoft format for ease of compatibility.
What Type of Distance Learning Programs Does FNU Offer?
FNU offers a total of 4 masters, 9 bachelors, and 13 associate distance learning degree programs. In addition to our degree programs, we also offer an English as a Second Language certificate program that can also be completed online. Many of our international students enroll in this program before they start taking any credited courses that work toward their degree.
Mobile Advantages of Enrolling in a Distance Learning Program
Distance learning allows aspiring students to earn a college degree from a regionally accredited university no matter where they live. The benefit of having all of the technological capabilities for online learning allows for mobility to take your class with you anywhere you go—anyplace that has an internet connection. Many mobile providers offer a hot spot service that allows you to use your phone as a personal and secure WiFi connection. This means that you don’t have to risk compromising the content on your laptop by connecting to a public WiFi spot.
With FNU’s distance learning options, you can take your classes on the road! This is an added advantage for student athletes too.
FNU also offers financial aid assistance to qualifying students.