What Makes for Distance Learning Best Practice?

By: jimzorn
Over the years, people have worked towards developing a distance learning best practice core, to be followed by all institutions and individuals connected with the distance learning revolution. Education has been one of the most celebrated rights of any individual, and it is imperative that educational institutions and teachers alike uphold the high standards that are required of an educator, especially when it shapes the future of innumerable human beings.

What is a Best Practice?

The term best practice entails a series of strategies and tools that any educator can implement to improve teaching and learning. It means creating a learning environment in which students can optimize their skills and achieve their potential in the best possible way. When it comes to distance learning best practice, it essentially relates not only to the educational tools, but also to a cutting edge administrative, support and technical framework, which can aid the cause of remote education. Since teacher and students are not geographically together, it is necessary for the technical and support backbone of any institution to be a cut above the rest.

Must-Haves for Distance Learning Best Practice

Most institutions are striving today to define for themselves a quorum of best practices to follow. However, it would be safe to say that most institutions believe that defining a healthy learning atmosphere - one which encourages dialogue, inspires creative thinking and sets the highest goals for learning, is of utmost importance. Couple this with a sound support and technical structure which allows people from across the world to debate and discuss in real time and one has a veritable best practices code. For example, University of Guelph, Ontario has a set of best practices, chief amongst them are promoting active thinking and problem solving; accommodating a variety of teaching techniques and providing students with access to resources.

Best practices are meant to benefit both the teaching and the student community. By defining clear objectives and goals, an institution can create the right learning and sharing atmosphere. In the realm of distance education, it's vital that these objectives be defined, since the parties involved are not physically together and are working asynchronously. Distance learning best practice assumes huge significance in the light of the fact that teacher and student are apart, and to maintain high levels of motivation it is necessary to have a set of fair objectives and goals to follow.
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