Distance Education FAQ's
What is the difference between a DE course and a residential course?
A DE course is 100% online, but that does not mean 100% isolated. Rather, the student is required to interact in the online classroom forums with both the professor and fellow students. However, unlike a residential course which meets a certain time and place, DE courses can be accessed anytime and anywhere a computer and internet connection is available. With this incredible flexibility there is a greater responsibility for the student to manage their time and study habits well, so that they can complete the course in the required amount of time. DE courses do follow a similar pattern to residential courses in that the student must listen to the lectures, complete the reading, write a research paper, and take exams. Where DE courses differ is that we also require the students to answer five topical discussion questions, and interact with the professor and fellow students in the forums.
What is the difference between an Online Course and a Hybrid Course?
An Online Course is done 100% in the online classroom and requires no physical class time or travel. A Hybrid Course is 49% online and 51% on-campus. The student of a Hybrid Course should expect to meet with other students and/or the professor on campus for exams, projects, or other activities.
Who should take a Distance Education Course?
For some individuals residential campus education is not feasible due to personal, work, or family commitments. As such RTS provides classes online for these students so that they can continue to minister where they live and work. Distance Education courses allow the individual to learn on their time and place without having to drastically change their schedule or commitments. Residential students who are facing a conflict in scheduling or who want to stay on track with their degree timetable find that Distance Education courses allow them to fill in gaps in their schedule or fit in classes where there is a scheduling conflict.
What are the benefits of Distance Education?
Distance Education provides the student with freedom to choose when and where they attend their classes, without the expense and time associated with traveling to a campus. Along with this students can: Continue to maintain their commitments to work, family, and church. Learn at their own pace and set their own goals. Learn new technologies and become familiar with education at a distance. Meet new students in the online classroom. Meet faculty members in the online classroom.
What are the challenges of Distance Education?
While working at your own pace and setting your own goals in education seems easier, it can be more challenging as it requires the individual to be self-motivated and disciplined to turn in all the assignments by the course end date. There is also the challenge of working with new technologies and adapting as technology changes, for some individuals this may prove to be the most challenging. Taking a Distance Education course requires that the student have access to a computer or laptop with high-speed Internet access, as online courses will require students to download and access course materials and interact in forum discussions.
What equipment and technology will I need?
Online education requires that the student have access to a computer (some of the resources may be accessible through a tablet or mobile device) with an Internet connection capable of downloading files and streaming audio and/or video.
How is the course content delivered for Distance Education courses?
All course content is delivered through the LMS. Audio lectures for current courses, legacy courses, special seminars, and chapel messages from all RTS residential campuses can be accessed free of charge on the iTunes U platform. Or by downloading on your mobile/tablet device the RTS Mobile App.
What is the LMS?
The LMS is the "Learning Management System" which hosts the online classroom for the student to attend and the faculty to adminster. RTS Distance Education currently uses the LMS Canvas.