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We have reached an exciting time in the history of the World Wide Web. One where you may study almost anything by remote learning, or supplement by attending online school. However do not let this make you complacent; you will still need to study hard and you should make your start by beginning a checklist of the things you need to support your coursework at home, and become a master of efficient and accurate research.
To help you build a successful degree, diploma online, or other course online, don’t miss out on opportunities that will increase your reach toward academic excellence.
When you research a subject or assignment, pull out all the stops to do a thorough job. Note that many resource materials are quickly driven out of date by changes in industry standards, technological advances and failure on the part of the author or company to keep their information up to date.
Here are some good resource tips for most any topic:
Utilise search engines most effectively
Here’s where you can find real up-to-date information, or information that is several years old. When you search keywords and keyword phrases and click on a search result, make sure to look for the date of the material you are viewing first. Otherwise many “”top of the page” items can occasionally be up to 10 years old. This is often the case with more far-reaching or unusual topics that are not searched on a very regular basis.
Utilise your favourite search engine’s “advanced” area to return only the freshest results. You can also find the website address for the professional bodies for your chosen discipline, and choose to return results only from those websites. This is as easy as appending “site:example.com” to the end of your search query.
Consider the source!
Whilst investigating a subject in a remote learning environment, you may be reading up on something that has been published by a large corporation, for example, such as AT&T. In this case, it is likely that the information is timely, correct and well-written. But if you look at a search item from a company that may no longer update its information, you could be barking up the wrong tree, and your data may be incorrect and unacceptable to your tutors.
Find associations and membership groups within your area of research
Let’s say you are writing a paper for online study for an assignment in an electrical engineering course. There are many business associations and groups that have websites and are willing to give you free and current information. Do a search (“electrical engineering associations”) and study the website(s) you find.
Write to these groups and tell them you are a student seeking information for an assignment. More often than not, you will get a quick and positive response. The people involved in business associations are always interested in student activity — it is in the best interest of their future success and their industry’s future success if graduates are entering the job market well-prepared and well-informed.
Use blogs and forums
One way to find current information is through reading blogs and forums on your chosen subject. Warning: these are sources where you need to look carefully for the entry dates. They are usually distinctly visible on each comment. Go for the ones that are the most current and read along. Join the blog or forum to ask questions and gather information. As with writing to associations, tell them you are a student of distance learning and you wish to ask some questions.
Go where the teachers go!
Picture yourself as the teacher or professor for a moment. How do they research their topics for lectures and assignments? Search like a teacher, and you will find a plethora of information available online. Here again, utilize the information found at educational association websites.
In conclusion, surely you won’t want to forget about free software and downloads available as an alternative to hardcopy textbooks. Search, search, search, and get creative, and you will be on top of your game in no time!
Believe it or not, the term “distance learning” actually came about as it was originally developed as a course in itself, via snailmail by Great Britain’s Issac Pitman! Wishing to promote and prosper with his newly-developed shorthand method, the “correspondence course” initiated what has now become an explosive business and future for education of all sorts. Pitman, of the 1840s, wasn’t the very first developer of a long-distance educational concept, however. Nearly 100 years before, Boston, Massachusetts’ Caleb Phillips’ new method of shorthand was sent over distance for the first time. Pony? Let’s get up to speed…
Today distance learning has many names that interpret remote education. For example, online learning, e-learning, open learning, learning on demand, m-learning, computer-assisted learning, virtual education, electronic learning, distributed learning, machine and web-based learning, and even web-conferencing. The variables lend exciting opportunities for students worldwide, and have given reach to people who may not otherwise be able to attend university. This system of learning is crowning as one of the fastest-growing modern ways of teaching on all levels.
From videos in the primary school classroom, to college courses and full degrees at university, open learning concepts have grown in leaps and bounds. Gone from those early methods of mailing course materials to the home, teaching via computer brings to the table a host of highly-technical, individually student-structured, and balanced educational tools and programs. As our world speeds up because of the flow of emerging technology, our educational standards must also.
According to the Sloan Consortium study of online learning statistics (2008), research shows that more than one in four students of higher education, or 4.5 million students, of higher education, take at least one online course. That’s a 17 percent leap from only one year earlier. Information is taken from surveys of 2,500 colleges and universities throughout the United States.
More than 83 billion dollars will be spread throughout financial aid sources for student assistance in the U.S. Grants, loans, scholarships and work-study areas.
Just a few years ago, few course studies were offered on online universities, the most popular of distance learning categories. Now, an online education can be obtained in more than 3,000 degrees with varying levels of degrees, including online associate degree, online bachelor degree, online master degree, online doctoral degree, online undergraduate program, online graduate program, online diploma program and online certificate program.
Want to become a web designer? There are countless schools offering degrees online for computer technical educations. Want to become a doctor? Higher education and top-rated schools that are land-based and online-only have choices for the discerning student to work from home.
Flexibility is a key factor in all areas of remote study. Course choices are numerous, timing in preparing study assignments is flexible, class sizes are often smaller than every possible at a physical college and one of the most important reasons for flexibility is that students’ work hours away from home can be factored into a study plan.
From pony express to instantaneous worldwide communications, the choices for education that include distance learning have given people access to thousands of areas of interest to reach a higher education.
Astute educators online are contributing to the virtual library of information and teachers are directing students to these opportunities.
There are several websites which will provide open source books to students who are taking online courses and to educators who are preparing online courses.
In the States, CCOTC (Community College Open Textbook Collaborative), is a network and support service operation providing reviews and training for educators in open source work. Government agencies use the site for the benefit of support materials in their work, and teachers and for students resources.
The Community College Open Textbook Collaborative is a member-based, non-profit venture funded by The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.
More commonly called Open Textbook, teachers are welcome to edit information to fit the needs of their classes and coursework, as well as to contribute to the list of books. The online resources are printable, and are either free or sold at very low costs.
Other online resources providing free or inexpensive text materials include Merlot, considered an important portal for a wide variety of learning materials. This also is written by and contributed by educational professionals.
There are more than 20 disciplines in the Merlot library, with departments for:
- Learning Materials
- Personal Collections
- Learning Exercises
- Guest Experts
Next is OER Commons (Open Educational Resources). Again through shared efforts, OER content is derived from teachers around the globe contributing in K-College levels.
Some of the resources OER offers now are:
- Classroom Management
- Science as Inquiry
- Historical Habits of the Mind
- Art as Inquiry
- Leadership in Education
Click on a material listing relevant to an interest, and up pops a long list of publications from which to choose.
Wikibooks has a plethora of interesting subject matter and books as well. Wiki is a non-profit foundation (Wikipedia Foundation) which offers a constantly-growing group of resource websites including, Commons, Wikiquote, Wikispecies, Wikinews,
Wikipedia, Wikiveristy, Wikitionery, Wikisource and Meta-Wiki. This is perhaps one of the more well-known open-source resources with information usually found in the upper-most area of information-specific search engine results.
Connexions describes its resource site as containing chunks, or modules which are available to organize courses, books and reports by the user. Connexions is a trademark of Rice University, and is supported through The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, The Maxfield Foundation and the Connexions Consortium.
Easy-to-use instructions for creating a course of study or class course, or for contributing as an author-educator, are found right on the homepage.
Project Guttenburg claims fame for being the first producer of free electronic books, called ebooks. A free ebook may not always be in the context of money-free, or no charge, however. This is how it is described by Project Guttenberg:
The word free in the English language does not distinguish between free of charge and freedom.
Free of charge means that you don’t have to pay for the book you received.
Freedom denotes that you may do as you like with the book you received.
This distinction is immaterial if you just want to read a book privately, but it becomes of utmost importance if you want to work with the book:
- you are a teacher and want to use the book in class,
- you wrote a thesis about the book and want to distribute the book along with your thesis,
- you have a literary web site and want to distribute the book to your audience,
- or you are a writer and want to adapt the book for the stage.
If the book you got is just free of charge, you may do none of the above things. You may not even make a copy of the book and give it to your best friend. But if the book you got is free as in freedom you may do anything you like with that book. Clearly free as in freedom beats free of charge.
Fortunately almost all Project Gutenberg ebooks are free of charge and free as in freedom.
(The information above is quoted from the page on the website www.Guttenburg.org)
Bartleby.com also offer a large selection of free (no charge) books and print books to students, educators, researchers and the curious alike. Though the chairman and CEOs name is Leeuwen, not Bartleby, the moniker for this site was taken from the classic concluding written line of Herman Melvilles American short story, Bartleby, the Scrivener: Ah, Bartleby, Ah, Humanity!
An impressive variety of programs offer adult students updated and/or basic knowledge, which can often mean the difference between a promotion or landing a better job versus stalemate employment. A boost in confidence for personal gain can also be a good reason to “attend” a class at BBC Learning. Employers recognize Skillswise course-work as an equivalent to GCSE.
The online, interactive programs consist of factsheets, fun and challenging games that aid in learning and studying, worksheets to keep organization and order and quizzes to test the learning experience. Skillswise offers grammar, spelling, reading, listening, writing and vocabulary, and in mathematics, temperature, whole numbers, measures, shapes and spaces, fractions and decimals and data handling.
Skillswise also offers online information and guidance for tutors, including, but limited to, lesson plans, materials and student tracking systems.
Skillswise was developed by the BBC in conjunction with the Basic Skills Agency for England and Wales, the Learning Connections/ Scotland and a host of talented teachers and professors. The site is based upon the Adult and Literacy and Numeracy Core Curriculums for England, Wales and Northern Ireland. For Scotland, there are some approved classes available now, and the full programs are in the making to meet proper standards for Scotland.
Level 1 of the new curriculums for England, Wales and Northern Ireland, which denotes the level of the newest national testing requirements, is what is set forth in the development of Skillswise. This equates to Intermediate 1 in Scotland.
As an example of the studies, Scanning, a fast reading technique, is one of the courses offered in reading and words courses. To begin, the student clicks on Factsheet 1 and a window pops up with a reading assignment. These are short, to the point and easy to read. All factsheets are immediately printable, too. Then there are quizzes, games and worksheets for each subject in Skillswise.
Another area of the BBC Learning programs offers remote, online audio and video language courses. Currently, there is French, German, Spanish, Italian, Greek, Portuguese and Chinese. In addition, one can learn essential phrases in 36 languages, handy for travelers and business people.
Under BBC’s Learning division, Skillswise is not the only accredited course study available. Under its three categories in Learning, one can attend the BBC Learning Center at Gloucestershire where RAW, WEBWISE AND SKILLSWISE programs are all offered.
There are seemingly endless pages and links to explore on the BBC website, and course study, tutoring and adult freshening classes are concise, up-to-date and fun ways to learn from your home or office.
For a complete listing and detailed information for students, adults and tutors, about all of the BBC’s Learning programs, visit www.bbc.co.uk/skillswise.
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Skilled employees in any size business add value to products, services and corporate business value. Sending your employees to seminars and training courses is an expensive endeavor, and can mean long waiting times before any added value really kicks in. But distance training, which is available in several formats, is a popular and exciting way to educate and polish your staff.
Turn the high cost of airline tickets, hotel rooms, lost days, car rentals and big fees (not to mention meals), into one simple efficient boardroom of workers in front of a computer monitor or television. It’s not only long distance meetings with customers or vendors that can be accomplished in the boardroom, but long distance learning, too. From training a cleaning staff to providing upper management with highly technical courses in software or administration, the remote learning business is teeming with options.
Opportunities in distance training have been around for a long time. But finely-tuned, state-of-the-art equipment and specialised software have brought the element of upgrading skill levels quite far in the past few years and even months. More and more resources are available and more and more equipment and telecommuting options are available.
Methods by which businesses fine-tune their departments to keep aware of emerging technology and means to communicate effectively in-house are often overlooked or altogether ignored.
There are a few steps you can take to “test” whether you need employee training on an ongoing basis for more than one department or just a class or two for updated work methods, safety precautions, sales/service upgrades and much more.
Research your industry for available training courses. These are often found through trade organisations and membership associations.
Search for training courses in colleges and universities that develop their classroom programs into optional corporate employee training.
Gather information on privately-funded foundations that have devoted monies to the betterment of business ethics and conduct.
Check government availability for distance training classes. Some government print publications’ offices are turning dated materials into video and computer-based transmissions.
Look for experts in your industry who have produced video presentations for class study in the boardroom. Many of these people are the same people you might find as keynote speakers at conventions and trade shows. Others are semi-retired, successful businessmen and women who turn their knowledge into a shared environment.
Look for authors of books on your subject matter who have done the same.
There is a plethora of reasons why distance training is a plus for many corporations. Aside from the obvious, well-organised employee programs boost morale and cut turnover rates. When ROI shows increases and reputation shows honor because you have well-trained representatives who care about your business — from the receptionist to the CEO — success is bound to be imminent.
The purpose of this Level 5 Higher Diploma in Business Studies is to provide such part time and full time learners with an opportunity to study the principles and applications of Business Studies at an advanced higher educational level (Level 5), with sufficient focus and detail to achieve transferrable skills, knowledge, understanding and application, necessary for progression towards related programmes at Level 6.
The subject is unitised in order to provide flexibility of operation and study. Satisfactory completion of all four units within this syllabus results in the award of 120 credits at Level 5.
Each unit may be undertaken separately, and each will be assessed independently, however, it is a key requirement of the subject that all fours units attached to the syllabus be completed at a satisfactory level in order to achieve the diploma.
The purpose of this Level 5 Higher Diploma in Coaching is to provide such part time and full time learners with an opportunity to study the principles and applications of Coaching at an advanced higher educational level (Level 5), with sufficient focus and detail to achieve transferrable skills, knowledge, understanding and application, necessary for progression towards related programmes at Level 6.
The subject is unitised in order to provide flexibility of operation and study. Satisfactory completion of all four units within this syllabus results in the award of 120 credits at Level 5.
Each unit may be undertaken separately, each will be assessed independently, however it is a key requirement of the subject that all fours units attached to the syllabus be completed at a satisfactory level in order to achieve the diploma.