WHAT does distance learning mean to you? Does it conjure up pictures of students following a correspondence course through the post, or lonely students watching educational television programmes or listening to the radio at strange times of day?
Distance learning has come a long way since the days of 5am TV programmes or the bundles of teaching materials landing on your doormat once a year - thanks partly to the development of internet technology and distance learning environments which use internet and e-learning technology to deliver programmes of study.
The Department of Lifelong Learning at the University of Wales, Bangor, has been developing a range of different distance learning programmes, including the Welsh learners correspondence course through the post, the creative writing course delivered through e-mail to individual students, and the part-time BA honours degree in Internet Learning and Organisations which is taught through distance learning, using the latest technology to create a userfriendly learning environment through the internet.
The new and innovative BA degree in Internet Learning and Organisations, which enrolled its first students in September 2001, combines traditional teaching methods - lectures, seminars and presentations, with the most modern methods of delivery - the internet.
The programme concentrates on internet technologies, organisational studies, and education and is aimed at people who are interested in management, understanding technological issues, and the relationship between the two.
"We are delighted with the response we've had to this programme, " said Meri Huws, head of the Department of Lifelong Learning.
"The method of delivery certainly seems to be working for our students, as we have not lost one students during the first term, which is always a risk with part-time students or those working from afar. …