Interactive Distance Learning (IDL)

What is Interactive Distance Learning?

Interactive Distance Learning (IDL) is a medium for course delivery that involves the electronic transmission of courses.  This opportunity allows students to interact with the instructor and students at various regional learning centers and see and hear the instructor on television monitors.  Distance education is an instructional delivery method which allows students to be in different locations from the instructor.  At it’s most basic level, distance learning takes place when an instructor and student(s) are separated by physical distance, and technology (e.g. audio, video, and data) are used to bridge the instructional gap.

Through distance learning, students have the opportunity to attend class even though they cannot be in a classroom at the main campus.  Distance learning offers schools, communities, and businesses a means of extending their educational resources beyond the confines of a limited geographical area, and still allow students to interact (real-time) with the instructor and fellow students.

Why Distance Learning?

Distance learning offers a means of minimizing the limitations which may be encountered with a traditional classroom approach.  Through distance learning, the classroom is brought to the student, rather than the student to the classroom. By placing monitors and video cameras at the main location and remote classrooms, the instructor can be seen by students at regional learning centers. Through the control of a computer, the instructor can view and interact with any of the remote classrooms.

How to Operate the IDL Equipment

The IDL Instructor Handbook provides information about:

Best Practices and Distance Teaching Strategies

  • Because the distance learning environment is different from the traditional classroom, instructors must use different strategies to effectively engage their students. IDL Best Practices (PDF) shares strategies used by other IDL instructors to create an effective distance learning classroom.
  • Establishing IDL Ground Rules (PDF) and clear expectations promotes a successful learning environment.