Distance education, online learning, or e-learning is a mode of delivering education and instruction to students who are not physically present in a traditional setting such as a classroom. There are two main flavors of distance education at Bowie State University:
- Online: A course in which the instruction and content is delivered exclusively via distance education technologies, which are also used to support regular and substantive interaction between the students and the instructor synchronously or asynchronously (see below). Students may be required to come to campus for orientation, testing or academic support.
- Distance education technologies may include the following: Internet; one-way and two-way transmissions through open broadcasts, closed circuit, cable, microwave, broadband lines, fiber optics, satellite or wireless communication devices; audio conferencing; and video cassette, DVDs, and CD-ROMs, if the cassette, DVDs, and CD-ROMs are used in a course in conjunction with the technologies listed above. Bowie State University primarily uses the Internet for its distance education delivery.
- Synchronous interaction means the communication is live: the instructor and students are interacting together at the same time, such as webinar through Blackboard Collaborate.
- Asynchronous interaction means the communication is delayed: the instructor and students interact at different times, such as a discussion board through Blackboard Learn.
- Hybrid: A course in which the instructional content is delivered at least 50% via online components and distance education technologies. Students may be required to come to campus for orientation, testing or academic support.
NOTE: Correspondence courses are those delivered by electronic transmission to students who are separated from the course and content in which interaction between the instructor and the student is not regular and substantive, and is primarily initiated by the student. Correspondence courses are typically self-paced. Correspondence education is not distance education according to BSU's definition but a form of individualized study.
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