**For Immediate Release**
Distance Learning at OPSU
- released by OPSU Campus Communications 07-11-07
by Scott Puryear
Goodwell, Okla. —If you are an employer or a college student (or someone interested in taking college classes), you have probably heard many things about college classes offered via the internet . . . On-Line Courses . . . and Oklahoma Panhandle State University offer a great deal in the area of On-Line Learning. On-Line coursework is offered in some fashion by many colleges and universities and – just like about everything else involving the internet - learning in the on-line format continues to grow rapidly in both popularity and usage.
First of all, one of the stigmas that sometimes comes with on-line learning is that it is confused by some with “classes by correspondence.” If one is taking classes through an accredited school – courses offered in the on-line format carry the same credit and prestige as do traditional classes, as there have been ample studies to show that students taking on-line classes learn just as much as those taking like classes traditionally.
Most employers recognize that on-line learning and traditional “in-class” learning are of equal value. As for students who are working their way through school, the advantages for both employee and employer are great ones, and some of them are:
CONVENIENCE and FLEXIBILITY – An on-line course is available to the student 24 hours a day, seven days a week and for the most part, students can do things on their own schedule. One can take the tests, submit assignments, and even discuss assignments with fellow students in “Chat Rooms.” Also, teachers who handle on-line classes are usually very quick to respond to individual student needs via e-mail. Many who are not in college would like to be, but given the time constraints they face with work and/or family – it is difficult. Though the learner still has to complete the work within the required time frame (usually along the same timelines as a normal college semester or term) on-line delivery can be an ideal situation.
TEACHER/STUDENT INTERACTION – It’s been said many times that “The only dumb question is the one that is not asked.” This may very well be true, but in traditional classes, many times students may be afraid to speak up when it comes to something they do not understand or have a question about. The best on-line programs (like OPSU offers) will make sure the student has a direct pipeline to the instructor through a reliable e-mail system and as stated earlier, experienced on-line instructors usually respond very quickly and in a one-to-one correspondence.
FINANCIAL BENEFITS – The tuition cost of taking an on-line class is a small amount higher than a traditional class, but when one considers issues such as transportation, time, convenience, flexibility, lost work in some cases and even childcare in many instances – taking college classes via “The Net” can make a great deal of sense “and more cents.”
STUDENT GROWTH/SELF DISCIPLINE – First of all . . . On-Line classes are not “easier” than traditional classes, and much of the time they may even more difficult. The learners must discipline themselves to spend the time it takes to be successful in the coursework, but they will find that the discipline and the time management skills they develop will benefit them greatly in their respective career paths. Through self-motivation and instructor support – it will be a strong learning experience.
The accomplished instructors at OPSU who teach in the on-line format know what it takes to get the job done as part of the learning process.
Check out the broad variety of classes offered on-line in the coming fall semester . . . A very strong part of the OPSU EXPERIENCE.