『Part time education, that is, attending school at night or for one weekend a month, tends to drag the process out over time and puts the completion of a degree program out of reach of many people. 』①Additionally, such programs require a fixed time commitment which can also impact negatively on one’s career and family time.
Of the many approaches to teaching and learning, however, perhaps the most flexible and accommodating is that called distance learning. Distance learning is an educational method which allows the students the flexibility to study at his or her own pace to achieve the academic goals which are so necessary in today’s world. The time required to study may be set aside at the student’s convenience with due regard to all life’s other requirements. Additionally, the student may enroll in distance learning courses from virtually any place in the world, while continuing to pursue their chosen career. 『Tutorial assistance may be available via regular airmail, telephone, facsimile machine, teleconferencing and over the Internet.』②
Good distance learning programs are characterized by the inclusion of a subject evaluation tool with every subject. This precludes the requirement for a student to travel away from home to take a test. Another characteristic of a good distance learning program is the equivalence of the distance learning course with the same subject materials as those students taking the course on the home campus. The resultant diploma or degree should also be the same whether distance learning or on-campus study is employed. The individuality of the professor/student relationship is another characteristic of a good distance learning program. In the final analysis, a good distance learning program has a place not only for the individual student but also the corporation or business that wants to work in partnership with their employees for the educational benefit, professional development, and business growth of the organization. Sponsoring distance learning programs for their employees gives the business the advantage of retaining career-minded people while contributing to their personal and professional growth through education.