Distance Education

The University of Alaska system offers students access to many different courses through a distributed, interactive, online environment.

Learn more about what you need to succeed as a distance student, access the distance education resources, and fulfill application requirements by reading the information below.

Distance Education Student Handbook has been developed as a resource for students interested in accessing distance education through the University of Alaska system.

Learning Resource Center (LRC)

Phone: 907-745-9772
Email: matsutesting@alaska.edu
Click here to schedule a test at the LRC

Blended vs. Online Courses

Blended courses are for students who want the best of both worlds. Blended courses require both class attendance and access to a computer. Part of the class is taught online and part in a traditional classroom setting. Students who are reluctant to take an online course might choose a blended course to become familiar with the procedures and technology used in online instruction.

In an online course, you do not attend any regularly scheduled classes. Your entire contact with other students and the instructor is conducted over the Internet. The majority of the coursework is transmitted to and from you via the Internet/Blackboard.

University of Alaska Distance Education Gateway

"Whether you prefer to select your courses by geographic region, campus affiliation, mode of delivery, academic discipline, or learning style, I am confident that the University of Alaska Distributed Education Gateway will enhance your educational experiences at the University of Alaska."  ....Mark Hamilton, President, University of Alaska System.

Correspondence Study

Within the University of Alaska system, correspondence study is administered through the University of Alaska Fairbanks campus. The Student Services Center has brochures and registration forms for this program and can proctor exams. Contact the Center for Distance Education and Independent Learning, College of Rural Alaska for additional information.

Center for Distance Education
University of Alaska Fairbanks
2175 University Ave. So.
P.O. Box 756700
Fairbanks, AK 99775-6700
Phone: (800) 277-8060 or (907) 479-3444
Fax: (907) 479-3443
Email: distance@uaf.edu

University of Alaska Learning Cooperative (UALC)

The UALC is an organization of representatives from throughout the University system which is responsible for coordinating UA's distance education programs towards the accomplishment of common goals. The UALC supports efforts to make more courses and programs available to students away from Alaska's urban centers through the use of instructional technology and by encouraging collaborative delivery of these programs among UA units.

UALC also supports the use of alternative methods of instruction to meet the needs of students for whom regular campus-based programs are impossible, due to the demands of employment, family or community commitments. The UALC Bulletin contains information about programs which are available to students throughout the state, regardless of where the students live, and about additional courses and sections available to students through non-traditional means.

UAA Distance Education Services

Many UAA departments, schools and colleges offer technology-enhanced courses. While technology in the classroom can be used to accomplish many things, one of the primary reasons technology is employed in education is to provide "distance education." The simplest definition of a distance course is a course in which the student is not required to physically visit the campus from which the course originates.

Additionally, many distance courses are run in an "asynchronous" mode. This means that the student may engage in the course work at any time during the assigned time period. As a result, distance courses often provide increased flexibility and access for students who live in geographically remote areas, or for students who have schedules that preclude regular on-campus attendance.

Key points about distance courses

UAA distance courses can be applied toward MSC/UAA degree programs the same as on-campus courses. No distinction is made on a student's transcripts between the classes through UAA offered distance and on-campus courses.

Distance courses are not "easier" than on-campus courses. In fact, most studies suggest that students must have increased motivation and self-discipline in order to successfully complete distance courses.

UAA distance education courses use common technologies, but not all technologies are used for all courses. Each course uses its own combination of the technologies available, so it is important to check the requirements of a distance course before enrolling. For example, some courses require a computer with Internet access, while others require a television with a VHS player. These requirements should be listed in the course schedule. Students may also call ITS Call Center (see below) to inquire about course requirements.

All students enrolled in distance education courses have access to UAA's ITS Call Center for technical and course-related support questions. Dial 907-786-4646 or toll-free at 877-633-3888 for assistance.

Visit UAA eLearning for detailed information on enrolling in distance education courses.

Distributed Education Technologies

Web-Based Instruction: Course materials and activities are hosted online, using internet browser(i.e., Internet Explorer or Netscape Navigator).
Audio Conferencing: Students and instructors conduct meetings via telephone. Students dial a toll-free number to attend the audio conference.
Instructional TV: Course materials are distributed via GCI Cable Channel 42 and KAKM Channel 7.
Video/Audio Tapes: Course materials are distributed via VHS video tapes or audio cassettes.
Streaming Media: Instructional video or audio is broadcast via the Internet.
CD-ROM Instruction: Course materials and activities are distributed on PC and Mac compatible CD-ROM.
Correspondence: Course materials are mailed to and from the student.

Proctoring Services: Quizzes, tests, and exams are administered at testing sites such as public schools, libraries, or community centers.

Click here to schedule a test at the MSC Learning Center.