Reflections on an era of change
We are living in a time of transformation across a whole range of experiences, including communication, and this is directly impacting on the delivery of education services.
The organisation that is currently called ‘Cengage Education’ has witnessed many eras of change over the past century of its operation and it is pertinent to hear some reflections on distance learning from a person whose experience with the organisation spans several decades.
Maurice Benfredj has been with us for more than 40 years and has completed nearly 50 different courses, as well as working as a trainer for more than 20 of these years.
“One of the enduring challenges of distance learning has been bridging the gap between the student and the educational institution and it is particularly pleasing to see that this is now being addressed through online interaction,” Maurice says. “While most distance learning organisations are now adopting this practice, Cengage has been doing it for years.”
Maurice notes that the online experience is also greatly reducing the time lag between students wanting to learn something and the learning process.
“In the old days, it was not unusual to find that, by the time new students received the course materials, quite a few had lost their initial enthusiasm and course drop-outs were quite high. In the future, a student who enrols online is likely to have the study material within an hour.”
Maurice makes the point that, while we make every effort to enrich the learning experience and provide as much support as possible, successful completion still requires committed input and application. “In some cases, students have to learn to be students again!” he says.