Distance education registrations up
by Kristine Hamlyn
A great start for the new year. Memorial University’s Distance Education and Learning Technologies (DELT) has a milestone to report. Distance education registrations have increased for both graduate and undergraduate distance students. The combined distance education registrations have surpassed the 6,000 mark, the first time ever for Memorial.
The university has recorded 5,688 undergraduate registrations so far for winter ’07. Similarly, 578 graduate students have registered so far for ’07 for a total of 6,266 and still counting. This past fall, overall distance registrations rose a significant 14.7 per cent from around the same time the previous year.
Ann Marie Vaughan, director, Distance Education and Learning Technologies, said the increase is an ongoing trend in distance education.
“As the Internet becomes increasingly prominent in people’s daily lives, the number of people using it to access learning opportunities such as the quality courses and programs offered through Memorial is also increasing,” she said.
Results of a survey conducted by DELT in 2006 correspond with its service benefits: to provide Newfoundlanders and Labradorians living in rural communities access to quality education; to provide scheduling flexibility to the working professional, no matter what their physical location; and to service those students studying on-campus who also need that adaptability. About 36 per cent of survey respondents indicated work commitments as their primary reason for taking distance education courses followed by 22 per cent citing distance constraints. Notably the smallest percentage of respondents indicated class schedule conflicts as a reason for studying via distance.
“Distance education is an additional value that Memorial adds to the student experience,” said Ms. Vaughan.
DELT currently offers about 300 undergraduate and graduate degree-credit courses from 10 faculties and schools, with approximately 14,000 registrations annually from across the province, the country and around the world. Full undergraduate level degrees are available via distance in Business, Nursing (Post RN/BN), Technology and Maritime Studies as well as graduate level programs in Nursing and four streams in master of education.