How are distance education courses different from regular classroom courses?
Course objectives and curriculum for Cuesta distance-learning courses are the same as the classroom version — it is only the way that instruction is delivered that is different. In other words, a distance education course may involve the student communicating with the instructor via e-mail or online discussion. Course assignments, handouts, and lecture notes might be accessible on the course web site, and assignments and tests may be turned in and taken online.
Most students who successfully complete distance-learning courses say that independent learning courses are often more difficult than classroom-based courses. This is because students must invest the extra time and effort necessary to essentially teach themselves by using the variety of self-instructional media and print materials that have been designed to deliver the course content. Many of these courses are very structured and, therefore, require a very self-disciplined approach by the student. This is accomplished by using the course materials in a very deliberate order and sequence.
What types of students take distance education courses at Cuesta College?
Many students enroll in distance education courses out of necessity due to their busy work schedules and family or community responsibilities. They simply do not have the time or opportunity to come to a campus location at a regular fixed time. Other students are very self-directed learners who enjoy learning independently, have the ability to take control of their own learning, and are attracted to the flexibility and convenience of learning at their own pace. Still other students enjoy using the different forms of media that allow them the flexibility to replay and review the materials in order to reinforce course content.