Media and Communication
The key to effective distance education is focusing on the needs of the students. Additionally, the requirements of the instructional content for the programs and the constraints faced by the teacher should all be considered before selecting a delivery system. Typically, this systematic approach will result in various forms of media transmitted, each serving a specific purpose to help the student learn. For example:
- a strong print component (course books) can provide much of the basic instructional content in the form of a course text, as well as assigned readings, the syllabus, and day–to–day schedule;
- an interactive web conferencing and chat can provide real time face–to–face, voice–to–voice or texting interaction. This is also an excellent and cost–effective way to incorporate guest speakers and experts. The real time delivery also can be saved and streamed on demand for students that are not able to attend the meetings;
- electronic mail can be used to send messages, assignment feedback, and other targeted communication to one or more class members. It can also be used to increase interaction among students;
- presentations can be made by the instructors to present material that needs to be learned, as well as students can create them to use for class projects, such as speeches. In this case, students use their computer microphones to talk during the slide show or pre-record the speeches.
Using a student-centered approach, the instructor's task is to carefully select the best options that will best present learning materials to the e-learning students. The main goals of these methods are to build a structured combination of instructional media and meeting the needs of the students in a manner that is effective during the learning process and executed well economically.
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