Online distance learning degrees are designed to teach students how to teach online and how to effectively design curricula and use technology to present the most information in the best way. Students in distance learning degree programs will study instructional design, teaching online, and how to build online learning communities.
Distance learning degree programs teach students general curriculum development, various e-learning technologies, integrating technology into the classroom, virtual community building, evaluation and assessment, and the pedagogy for whichever age range they might want to specialize in. Students may be able to further specialize by studying reading, special education, or e-learning project management.
Those who study distance learning would be ideally suited for positions teaching in a primary or secondary classroom, leading technology integration or instructional design within a school district, or teaching in a post-secondary environment. Those interested in teaching in higher education settings could take advantage of the Internet knowing no physical limits, and take adjunct teaching positions with one or several schools across the country or even world.
As enrollment in online degree programs continues to increase, and as school districts around the country continue to embrace technology in the classroom, the career outlook for distance learning professionals is bright. Their position within the education system is solid—education professionals with experience both inside and outside the classroom.