Technology has drastically changed the way classes are being taught, from kindergarten up to the university level. Now, students don't need to be physically present to participate in a class, and can listen in on lectures and complete assignments with students and instructors from all over the world.
Colorado Mountain College, which has campuses in Breckenridge and Dillon, has nearly doubled its number of online offerings of non-credit classes in the past several months.
Rolo Cuadrado, the director of continuing education at CMC, has been working to increase the number of online courses.
"One of my big steps has been to add online non-credit classes, based on the success of our distance learning classes," Cuadrado said. "My purpose (is) to both increase the offering and improve the programming."
In the printed edition of its course offerings, CMC provides a range of non-credit classes, about 100 of which are online. These range in subject from drawing and photography to medical coding and grant writing.
"We wanted a good mix in many different areas. It's a 'something for everyone' standpoint," Cuadrado said. "We pick and choose for quality and interest."
The printed listings are only about a third of the total number of online courses offered through CMC, however. Prospective students can go online and browse through more than 300 online course opportunities, which is more than twice the amount available last semester.
Instructors of online courses may be based anywhere, nationally or internationally, and all students need to do to "attend class" is log on with their computer. The virtual classroom can be anywhere - on computer at home, a laptop in Starbucks, a computer in a library or campus lab - and can be accessed any hour, day or night. Classes may consist of lectures via video, and all will have assignments, such as reading, watching or listening to something online or participating in discussion boards.
New sessions of the online classes run every month. The classes last for six weeks, during which two new lessons are released weekly. Cuadrado encourages those interested to "go (online) and shop."
For additional information, visit www.ed2go.com/cmc.