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Effectiveness Of Videoconferencing In Long Distance Learning

Aug 17, 2007
The effectiveness of videoconferencing in long distance learning is rapidly becoming more apparent. Studies have consistently proven that students receiving distance-learning training learn as effectively as students in traditional classrooms.

Videoconferencing provides a visual and auditory context for learning, and it is the most convenient way ofcing the atmosphere of a conventional classroom. It allows interaction with previously unreachable individuals and information.

Distance learning can be defined simply as an involvement of students and teachers who are separated by time and space. Distance education first emerged in the nineteenth century, when it was called a correspondence course. Today, distance education commonly refers to the use of videoconferencing technologies as delivery modes.
Effective learning occurs in urban cores, rural settings, universities, and employee training.

Videoconferencing significantly broadens learning opportunities. Adult education has become much more accessible. Since videos face-to-face context engages any student, the adult learner benefits from videoconferencing as much as the youngest primary student. Video can effectively capture cultural context to enhance the learning experience.

Urban schools have embraced the concept of videoconferencing in long distance learning. A variety of challenges confront large urban school districts. They bear the responsibility of providing students with low-cost, high quality educational services. In addition, urban schools often face large numbers of adult learners.

Adult educational needs range from basic literacy to career planning, training, and placement. Constricted by decreased funding, lack of transportation, and street safety issues, urban schools are turning to distance education as a means of delivering educational services.

Teachers in rural areas across the country are finding ways to use videoconferencing. Given the sometimes-extreme distances between school districts and towns, teachers need a way to deliver specialized content to rural students despite geographic barriers. One of the greatest benefits of distance learning is that it breaks down traditional geographic barriers. Effective videoconferencing helps students learn about topics that otherwise might not be accessible to them.

For example, in a rural school with one teacher for seventh grade, it is unlikely that the teacher will specialize in multiple subjects such as algebra, geometry, calculus, and geography. Distance learning technologies can connect these rural students with teachers who specialize in these subjects and many others. Team teaching across hundreds of miles becomes a reality.

Videoconferencing has changed the way university students obtain their degrees. Because of improved videoconferencing capabilities, many students take courses from professors they never see face to face. They watch lectures from remote sites, or download lectures and assignments over the Internet; and correspond with classmates and faculty by Email, list servers and chat groups. They attempt to reach students who, because of jobs, location, or other constraints, cannot take courses in a traditional classroom at a defined time.

Recent studies have shown that long distance learners felt that learning networks provided better access to their professor. Students in a survey also believed that they got better grades than in a face-to-face course, perhaps because the social inhibitions were gone and they felt more comfortable taking an active part.

Distance learning can be an effective way to train a work force. The benefits of distance learning are that it is a cost-effective way to train a widely dispersed workforce, saving on travel expenses and time away from work. It provides flexibility convenient for individual schedules, allowing learning to take place anytime, anywhere. And it gives companies a good way to retain their most valuable employees.

Distance learning enables learning to be self-directed, provides a high level of training, and makes it easier for businesses and organizations to achieve their goals and objectives.

Learning via videoconferencing is valuable in another way, regardless of who the learner might be. The benefits are obvious.

Video learning is like having a live virtual classroom where everyone connects to the same server at the same time. An instructor is present to teach the content, and electronic tools allow for hand raising and interaction. Nothing is lost in translation; all the components of traditional education are in place. Individuals trained effectively with videoconferencing can be trained whenever needed. Being able to teach in smaller chunks, in a timely manner, means that learning is retained.
About the Author
For several years now, Jason has been reviewing hundreds of online products and services. Many consider his reviews to be very insightful and reliable. Visit his website 1VideoConference.com
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