During our last class, we had the privilege of hearing from Howard Griffith about Web Based Courses and the progress Manitoba Education is making in refining and developing them.
When I was in High School in small town Manitoba, I took a course called Calculus 45A, which was taught over the phone. Five other students and myself met once a week and joined a teleconference with our teacher, who was in another small town 100 kilometers away. We would fax our exercises to him and he would mail them back to us with corrections made, and any questions could be asked during the teleconference. The course went well, but a big reason for that was the fact that all of us were strong math students and didn't need much extra assistance after working through examples. We could put our heads together and more often than not help each other with errors. The amount of help we could get from the teacher was limited by the lack of face-to-face instruction. Nowadays, there is video conferencing capabilities that can bring in that face-to-face aspect.
Especially in rural schools, the demand for distance learning is increasing due to lack of teacher resources, changing needs of students, and other logistical barriers. Web based courses are an option that can be used. One benefit that was brought to my attention by Howard was the fact that these courses can be used as yet another resource for teachers to implement in the classroom. I am looking forward to incorporating the information and activities into my classroom instruction. I also look forward to the potential opportunity to teach web based courses in rural Manitoba.