Online Learners Trade Graduation Gowns for Bathrobes

To: National Desk

Contact: Jason D. Baker, Ph.D., Baker's Guide to Christian Distance Education, 757-299-2182, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

MEDIA ADVISORY, May 31 /Christian Newswire/ -- Online distance learning is a growing phenomenon with almost three million students currently taking courses online and the numbers are growing at approximately ten times the rate of the traditional student population. From homeschool curricula and virtual high schools to full undergraduate and graduate-level degree programs, schools are multiplying online versions of popular academic programs.

According to Jason D. Baker, Ph.D., author of the Baker's Guide to Christian Distance Education website, accessibility and flexibility are two of the major benefits for online learners. "I hear from pastors, missionaries, and professionals regularly. They're interested in continuing their education, they're willing to invest the necessary time and money, but they cannot uproot and move to a campus. For them, online learning is a real blessing." It used to be that for-credit classes were limited to students within driving distance and whose schedules matched those of the registrar. "For those with significant job or family commitments, finding a local campus-based program offered at just the right time was nearly impossible," notes Baker. "But thanks to distance education, students can take classes from literally anywhere in the world." Since most online courses lack fixed class meeting times, students can more easily fit education into their schedules.

This doesn't mean that online learning is easy. "In fact, most of my students report that earning a degree online is more difficult than taking classes on-campus," warns Baker. "Since most people are used to the traditional classroom model -- complete with a professor constantly reminding the class of upcoming deadlines -- some people may have a tough time handling the increased level of discipline and personal responsibility required to succeed online."

However, some students may actually work better in the online environment. Baker observes that introverted learners, for example, may find online class discussions easier to participate in than face-to-face discussions since they have more time to formulate a response. So while online learning won't be less work, for some the learning experience may actually be more enjoyable and enriching.

About Baker's Guide
Baker's Guide to Christian Distance Education (www.bakersguide.com) began in 1997 as an online listing of accredited Christian universities offering distance learning programs and has grown into the leading free online resource in the field. The website is authored by Jason D. Baker, Ph.D., an associate professor at Regent University who specializes in online and distance education and has both taught and taken classes online.

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