What are the advantages of online instruction?
Aside from the major advantage of online classes - convenience - studies have shown that there are several other important benefits as well. First, because students can work at their own pace and have more time to compose responses, discussions are often deeper and more satisfying than traditional classroom discussions. Also, online courses are highly interactive. Class sessions often center around discussions, and each student is expected to participate, thus insuring a diversity of ideas and opinions.
Asynchronous learning can bring students from all parts of the world together for an interesting mix of cultural perspectives. Additionally, students who tend to be more reserved in traditional classrooms feel "anonymous" and express themselves more freely in the online environment.
What kind of computer equipment do I need to be an online student?
Many students find that the computer they have will work just fine for their online learning experience. A standard PC running Microsoft Windows with Microsoft Office should be sufficient for your online learning experience.
How much computer knowledge do I need to take online courses?
Only basic computer knowledge is necessary. You should be familiar with using your computer, e-mail communication, saving and retrieving files, using your word-processor, making your Internet connection, and Internet navigation.
What if I need to talk to the instructor or other students privately?
The course management software used by American Distance Learning Academy allows you the ability to participate in private conferences just as easily as you can become involved in group discussions.
Whom can I talk to if I have questions?
It's frustrating when you have a question and can only get a recorded message. That's why American Distance Learning Academy provides a trained staff with whom you can speak about your education. You can contact the school from Monday - Saturday from 8:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m. If you have questions after hours you can email us at Support and your response will be immediately routed to an advisor who can respond to your email within hours. We are here for you and want this process to be easy and seamless.
How many hours a week will I need to devote to an online course?
It's hard to determine exactly how many hours you'll need to schedule as an online student. It varies from course to course and depends upon the level of difficulty. But remember that online courses are just as demanding as traditional courses, so set aside at least 10 hours per week per course (this includes preparation time).
Do students have to sit down at their computers at the same time every day?
No. You do all of your communication and work while on-line, and your interaction takes place with other students in an Asynchronous manner. In other words, you leave your written comments or work for others to see whenever they login.
Wouldn't it be better to have real-time discussion just like a more traditional face-to-face classroom?
The Online class is designed to take advantage of the technology's strengths, rather than to simply replicate a model that works well in a face-to-face traditional classroom. Because our Online students have a variety of conflicting work and family obligations, it would be very difficult and inconvenient for all of them to be on-line at the same time. When communications is asynchronous, students can participate when and where it is convenient for them, whether that is 6:00 in the morning, or from a hotel room while traveling on business. In addition, there are significant learning benefits attributed to On-line education. Because students can take their time reviewing the class archives (comments, lectures, discussions) and composing their responses, the material and concepts are approached at an individual rate. Students and faculty find that a greater level of depth and breadth can be achieved in asynchronous communication than what is possible with "real-time chat-mode" communication.
Can I communicate with the instructor or other students in private?
Yes, the courseware's INTERNAL mailing system you can send e-mail to any other student . You also have the ability to chat online with students or teachers in your classes. Each course has it's own chat room so you can chat with other students in your course whenever you want. You can schedule a chat session with your instructor and discuss issues online. As well as you can also contact the instructor directly by telephone or e-mail.
Does the lack of physical presence detract from the educational process?
While the lack of physical presence has its constraints, it does not necessarily have to detract from the educational process or quality. The most obvious issue is the lack of visual cues—you can’t have eye contact or see a smile or a nod. Students and faculty have found other ways to compensate for this. Study materials and teaching techniques have been adapted to a visual, rather than an auditory learning environment, making use of the particular strengths of the Online medium. In an Online class, all students have an equal opportunity to participate in the discussions, not just the extroverts. Potentially discriminating factors such as race, handicap, gender and appearance disappear, and your ideas become the major focus of attention.
How does this process differ from correspondence study?
A good question! American Distance Learning Academy offers both options for learning. We want to make earning your High School diploma as flexible as possible. Correspondence study is generally self-study with individual written communications between one student and one instructor. However, American Distance Learning Academy Online classes, on the other hand, focus strongly on interactive or cooperative learning methods, which are best achieved in groups. You participate in group discussion, academic debate, and social dialogue which eliminates the isolation of correspondence study and provides a peer group for support. The group-driven components of this On-line model also contribute to knowledge-building, as students share information and validate their ideas in an environment of group reaction.
How much time per week should I expect to spend on classwork?
If this were an on campus class, you would attend one 3 hour class each week. Typically, an on campus student would commit 1-1/2 to 2 hours outside of class to prepare for each hour in class. This would total about 9 to 12 hours per week. As an Online student, you should expect to spend a like amount of time.
How often would I have to "link-up" with the class?
You should plan to logon once or twice a day, at least 5 days per week. Your personal schedule will help you determine how you can best interact with the class. One of the real benefits of Online learning, however, is that you are thinking about -- and working on -- the coursework every day of the week, rather than just once or twice a week as in a typical on campus course. You are continuously focused on the subject and are able to apply this new knowledge on a daily basis.
Is this program accredited?
American Distance Learning Academy is fully accredited by the Association of Private Schools. Your high school diploma from American Distance Learning Academy is accepted by the majority of colleges and universities.