CMC Corner: Bringing the classroom to you
Distance learning is a departure from the face-to-face educational model, and provides an accessible, affordable, convenient way for many people to complete courses toward a degree, earn a certificate, enhance career skills or learn a new subject. Almost any course can be adapted for distance learning, and innovative technology has made it possible to teach even science courses with a lab through distance learning. The general types of distance learning delivery are Web and TeleWeb – in which learning can take place any time, anywhere – and interactive video system, or IVS, which occurs at set times and locations. Web courses are offered online; the TeleWeb format has both an Internet and audiovisual component.
TeleWeb courses incorporate professionally produced educational programs accessed via video streaming, VHS, DVD or CD, and/or audiocassette. With the IVS courses that Colorado Mountain College offers, students go to a CMC location offering a real-time lecture that is broadcast over television. They can interact with the professor and other students, even though the classrooms are distributed over several campuses. Most courses at CMC use the Blackboard course management system, an online tool that allows students to electronically submit work, participate in discussion groups and check assignments and grades. At CMC you can enhance your credentials or launch a new career by earning a certificate in resort management, early childhood education or information technology, entirely through distance learning. Through every one of its locations, the college offers 45 to 75 courses across numerous disciplines each semester, serving as many as 900 students collegewide.
Distance learning is designed to complement what’s available in the community and at our campuses, and many students take both traditional and distance learning courses. CMC student Larry Gilliland of Breckenridge likes being able to take classes wherever he may be, such as in Florida looking at the ocean, as he did with his last course. And CMC-Summit professors Louis Beatty and Linda Read are busy developing innovative ways to assist the learning process. These include providing frequently asked questions to guide learners and providing more online content containing both visual and auditory features. With some classes they allow students to show up for class, work independently online – or both, which combines the convenience of distance learning with the personalized instruction of a CMC classroom.
The basic requirements for success at distance learning are college-level reading and writing ability, self-discipline, the ability for independent study and a comfort level with technology. A simple online test can help you determine if it’s a good fit for your temperament and learning style. Visit the CMC website at http://www.coloradomtn.edu/distlearn to find out more about distance learning and take the self-test. Daryl Yarrow is Colorado Mountain College’s distance learning coordinator. For more information on distance learning at CMC, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call the Summit Campus at (970) 453-6757 or (970) 468-5989.
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