Open University



Distance learning systems and programs of today are almost all centered around the Internet as a means for virtual communication between students and instructors. Thanks to the interactive capabilities of the Internet, a distance learning student can connect with his instructor in real time, as well as being able to contact other students to discuss the material using text, audio and video communication platforms. This is in addition to the ability which students are given to access recorded multimedia lectures and other presentations at any convenient time, as well as to review this information whenever necessary so as to truly be able to master the subject matter involved.

Even traditional educational institutions are adding distance learning to their curricula, for enrichment of the learning experience and increased reinforcement of the material through distance review with an instructor or tutor.

By the same token, some of the most respected distance learning programs do include instruction or review at a physical campus, usually on a monthly or similarly convenient basis. This enables distance learning students to obtain the benefits of traditional classroom instruction or one on one sessions with an instructor, and can alleviate any feeling of isolation that a distance learning student may feel.

The distance learning systems of today are indeed valid subsitutes for traditional classroom instruction, and the best educational programs at present take advantage of the educational power of Internet interaction either as a mainstay of their instruction system or as an adjunct to traditional educational methods.