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What's Up Magazine

Distance Education: Is it for you?

Jan 07, 2011 05:00PM ● By Anonymous


For online classes, all correspondence is done electronically via e-mail, interactive forums, and message boards. So, just as easily as you logged on to this website, you could be using a “virtual blackboard” to view assignments, take tests, and access resources that are uploaded by the professor. There is no predetermined time slots or dates to “attend” online classes, because students are simply responsible for submitting work by specified deadlines. And don’t think those deadlines are a joke; just one second past the time an assignment is due and the link to upload will disappear—though professors typically make everything due at midnight to feed the procrastinator in each of us.

Satellite campuses are physically detached from the school’s main facility. This concept is growing because it allows classes to be taught at one campus, and then transmitted to other locations remotely, so students may see their professor on a television, projector or even the “old-fashioned” way—in person. Satellite campuses have small classrooms, testing labs and staff on hand for assistance. To remain accessible during non-business hours, 24-hour phone numbers are typically provided.

The cost, quality, and time it takes to earn a degree from online classes or satellite campuses is comparable to that of traditional classes. Personal preference plays a major role in choosing which option is best for you. Do you prefer hardcopy textbooks or online resources? Do you like to communicate with professors in person? Do you want to save money on commuting and parking permits? These are just a few of the questions you will have to ask yourself.