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- ABOUT TDI
- PROFESSIONAL EDUCATION
- TDI CORE COMPETENCIES
TDI's Online Education Philosophy
Online courses, although shorter in length, are held to the same rigorous quality standards as courses in our degree programs. Our professional education offerings are designed and taught by the same faculty who teach in TDI's masters programs.
Each course is designed to support effective, meaningful learning and provide participants with the information and tools to immediately incorporate their learning into their professional environment. To do this, we aim to keep course content current, applicable and adaptable. While online learning does involve using various technologies, technology tools are selected based on their ability to effectively deliver and support learning. And, recognizing that not everyone is at the same level of technical agility, we try to keep the technology as simple as possible.
Our courses emphasize reflection, problem solving, articulation, and collaboration. Although the instructor and fellow participants are at a distance, collaboration and interaction have a central role in our online courses. Learning is enhanced when students are able to articulate what they have learned and integrate multiple perspectives in their mental model. Online, we achieve this interaction through the use of discussion forums, learning journals, blogs, group work, and live virtual meetings.
Learning online has some unique benefits such as:
1. Discussion boards and other communication tools allow time to reflect on writings by others and gives participants the opportunity to compose their own thoughts.
2. Participants can keep a communication going by posting and responding numerous times, further building and sharing knowledge.
3. Everyone has a chance to express their thoughts and ideas using the various online discussion tools (as opposed to being limited by time in a classroom environment).
4. Participants can learn at a time of their choosing, so they are not rushed, tired or distracted.
5. Technology allows for flexible delivery; a well-designed course gives participants several different ways to learn. For example, videos and multimedia support visual learners; collaborative group work appeals to social learners.
Depending on the subject, courses may be comprised of all live virtual sessions (synchronous), or weekly readings, assignments, and video lectures that you will complete on your own time (asynchronous), or a hybrid of both.
No matter the exact format, each course has a course web site that you will access for all course materials. Upon registering for a course, you will receive instructions on how to access the course's URL and your login information.
Specific technology requirements can be found on the Course Technology page.
Tips for Online Learning
Online learning is a powerful, convenient, and flexible learning environment in which you may need to develop a new set of study skills. Here are some commonly suggested tips for being a successful online learner.
1. Devote adequate time. With the freedom and flexibility of the online format comes the time commitment. Develop a schedule that designates about 3-4 hours each week to participate and complete all activities related to the course.
2. Communicate promptly & effectively. Without face-to-face contact, prompt and effective communication becomes paramount in the online learning environment. Keep in touch with your instructor and/or peers with any questions or problems right away.
3. Participate actively. The success of an online course relies on active participation by everyone. Contribute your ideas, perspectives and comments, and read those of your peers in the online discussion forum; develop and ask thoughtful questions to help create an engaging online learning community; and make meaningful connections with your online peers.
4. Stay motivated and self-disciplined. It is very easy to procrastinate and lose motivation in the online learning environment. To keep up and successfully finish a course, you need to stay involved and be self-disciplined.