Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

Distance learning finds niche on GWTV

A new distance learning studio at GW’s television station will give students the opportunity to monitor and participate in classes without ever setting foot on campus.

A current trend in higher education, distance learning gives students with unusual circumstances the chance to fulfill course requirements and even complete degrees.

Studies indicate that dedicated students educated through distance learning are able to retain more of the information they learn than students taught in traditional classroom environments, GWTV’s special services manager Arlene Polinsky said.

“We’re letting what we’re teaching dictate the delivery system,” Polinsky said. “You don’t need a talking head teaching you statistics.”

Distance learning’s non-traditional approach vastly increases the possible pool of students, Polinsky said.

“There is a very non-standard group that can benefit from these technologies,” Polinsky said, citing students in remote areas and students with learning disabilities as examples.

Polinsky said distance learning requires students who are highly motivated because “you don’t have professors looking over your shoulder twice a week.”

The new studio’s features include microphones on every desk, full audiovisual support for presentations and three remote cameras. The studio allows a class in session to be monitored and joined live by students around the world, Polinsky said.

Distance learning combines a variety of technologies – students are able to interact with their professor and receive assignments by mail, telephone, fax or over the Internet.

Occasionally, classes are filmed live and allow the instructor and students the opportunity to see, hear, and converse with one another.

Equipped with three fully-furnished broadcast studios and located in the Academic Center, GWTV is run entirely by professionals and contracts the use of its studio and staff both commercially and within the University.

GWTV is producing several distance learning programs.

One program is a master’s degree program in educational technology leadership offered by the Graduate School of Education and Human Development.

Several thousand students from across the country have received the degree from GW’s GSEHD since 1983 without ever taking a class in Foggy Bottom, Polinsky said.

However, according to Bill Lynch, director of the Education Technology Leadership program, distance learning through GW is more than just a correspondence course.

“The program is striving to provide a high-quality educational experience to people who choose GW as their school of first choice,” Lynch said.

Program leaders hope to continue pioneering methods and techniques for successful delivery of distance learning, Lynch said.

This spring, the degree in educational technology leadership will integrate on-line testing into its program for the first time.

Another distance learning program produced at GWTV allowed members of the military stationed on Navy vessels to complete bachelor’s degree programs while at sea.

Lynch notes that distance learning programs do not replace standard teaching methods.

“There is room for all, both classroom and distance learning at GW,” he said.

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