Wider Horizons

Wider Horizons asked:

What type of learning do you prefer as a student, traditional learning or distance learning?

Nikki Gordon- educational assistant
Lethbridge Outreach High School

As a single mother of two who works a full-time job with the public school district and a part-time job on weekends in a residential FASD (Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder) foster home, I did not have time to be going back in a traditional setting. However, I really wanted to add to my Special Needs Educational Assistant certificate I received seven years ago, and the FASD program was something that I knew would enhance my current skills.

Distance education ensured that I could work on the courses when I had free time, but could access help from my instructors as well by email or using Angel [Lethbridge College’s online learning management system]. Web conferencing in Angel was used for my presentations and my marks and work were all submitted through there as well.

I have graduated from programs at Lethbridge College in both settings now and while having one-on-one instruction can often be beneficial, the freedom of distance education has been a great experience for myself and I would recommend it to anyone.

Justin Shigehiro- Grade 12 student
Lethbridge Collegiate Institute

As a high school student, I have had limited experience with online learning, as the majority of the courses are in a traditional classroom setting.

The traditional classroom can be beneficial. You get one-on-one time with your teacher, as well as hands-on experience such as in science labs. You’re also able to ask questions face to face, and if you are having difficulties, the teacher is readily available to help. However, traditional learning can also be quite restrictive. If you miss a class you will find yourself behind and may have trouble catching up. Also,

you may be receiving the teacher’s biased opinion as it is difficult for people not to show their feelings on a topic they care about.

During my time at Lethbridge College, I am looking forward to experiencing a combination of the flexibility of online learning, as well as the structure of a traditional classroom setting.

Shigehiro started Civil Engineering Technology at Lethbridge College in September.

Sally Card- Correctional Studies Student

Legal Services Board, Yellowknife

I am a distance-learning student enrolled in the Correctional Studies – Bachelor of Applied Arts program. I live in Yellowknife and unfortunately don’t have the opportunity to attend a campus with traditional classroom instruction.

It would be preferable to have contact with instructors and other students. There certainly are challenges I face with taking courses through distance learning.

It, however, gives me the opportunity to advance my career goals, work full-time and be a mom. The benefits of taking a course by correspondence mean I don’t have to attend scheduled classes and don’t have strict deadlines other than exam week.

I certainly like the traditional classroom instruction, but what I lack from being in front of an instructor and classmates is made up by the college’s Angel [learning management] system. I like that I can easily get in contact with my instructors who are eager to answer my questions by email or phone.

Wider Horizons
Lethbridge College
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