Distance Education

"I have been teaching distance education classes in the political science department since we started offering them. Part of the reason I have continued to do so is because I believe in online learning. In fact, I think a strong argument can be made that distance education classes are actually superior to traditional classes."

First, students can attend distance education classes anytime, anywhere they have access to the Internet which means that they can access course materials on their schedule. I actually record and post all of my classroom lectures with accompanying lecture slides, so students can replay them, pause them, and even go to specific sections that they want to view again.

Second, faculty often incorporate a digital discussion board that permits communication between students that is, honestly, more in-depth than much classroom discussion. Students benefit from having the time to think through their comments and questions before posting, and then engage in ongoing threads with other students.

Third, for some, being able to work at their own pace may actually help them earn higher grades.

Finally, the flexible schedule helps the non-traditional student balance their education with work and family life. I strongly encourage students to take advantage of the opportunity to take distance education classes.

Jason Gainous, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Political Science
University of Louisville