Distance learning has been growing for many years. It’s origins date back as far as 1883 in the United States (see history of distance learning here). A pioneer of this genre is an English establishment called The Open University. This academic institution in the mid 1970s brought a new vision of independence for distance education as distinct from traditional education. Today it continues this leadership with a teaching style is has coined as “supported open learning”. Here students can learn anywhere and at any time, allowing them to progress with their education around other commitments.
The secret to successful distance learning, on judgement, is to make the learning materials and delivery innovative, creative, and attention-grabbing (see here). It is hard enough to keep a person’s attention within a classroom, especially for back-to-back periods. When the pressure to behave is not there, becoming distracted with more pleasurable things is easy.
The Open University has applied the principles of modern-day storytelling to truly revolutionize its offering. They have created bite-size content pieces to get students excited about courses. Moreover, the short videos are done in an incredible entertaining way, using cartoon style animation and a good dose of humor. The series below are on major theories motivating religion: religion as social control, as ritual, as a mother, as a virus. Have a look.