Terms and Technology

Here are a few definitions to help you to better understand distance learning:

Distance Education
Distance Education is a method by which students may take college courses without actually traveling to a university. Distance Education is growing each year. At the moment, not only courses are available, but entire degree programs through University college (UC). Courses originate at each of the seven University of Maine campuses; therefore, all courses are accredited and transferable. Distance-education courses may be delivered to you in several ways, which are explained below.
Interactive television (ITV)
ITV courses are broadcast from one location and viewed on a television at the variousITV Course receive locations. Students at each receive site view the professor during the lecture. Additional technologies, such as the overhead projector and computer, may be integrated into ITV classes. Interaction is via telephone by dialing an 800 number. Classes are held at a set time, although many are available in the evenings. Some courses are also available through a taped-delay option. Currently there are over 80 sites throughout Maine capable of receiving ITV classes.
Compressed Video (CV)
polysCV has two-way audio and two-way video capabilities, which eliminates the need of telephone interaction. Additional technologies, such as the overhead projector and computer, may be integrated into CV classes. Also known as Poly Com, CV classes take place in real time. The tape delay option is not available with CV. However, as with ITV, many classes are available in the evenings. CV classes are received at over 60 locations throughout the State of Maine.
Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM)
ATM delivery is simultaneous two-way audio and two-way video limited to a total of 4 sites. However, additional sites may be added with one-way broadcast. The ATM signal can also be broadcast to CV units, which would have full interactivity.
ATMAs with ITV and CV delivery, additional technologies, such as the overhead projector and computer, may be integrated into ATM classes. Unlike CV, ATM classes may be taped at the discretion of the professor. However, taping ATM classes is not standard practice, nor it is supported by UC, as with ITV classes. ATM classes are available at University of Maine Campuses, and at over 80 high schools throughout the state.
Internet, Asynchronous, or Web-Based Courses reshaping the way we learn. Instead of meeting at a set time and place, you can set your own course schedule. Courses are delivered entirely online and require computer and internet access. Online classes are referred to as "asynchronous" because they do not have a set daily class meeting time as with ITV, CV or ATM. Participants should be aware that asynchronous does not indicate self paced. Online courses may use videotapes for part or all of the course material; others may include streaming video and/or audio technology, enabling students to view and/or listen to the class on a multimedia PC connected to the web.
"Asynchronous" means that your course is being delivered at a different time than when you will be interacting. You may see Online class times listed as asynchronous. The advantage of Online delivery is that you can participate when you wish, while observing the set course-work deadlines. You do not need to be in a classroom at a specific time. For those who have families and outside employment, this means greater access to courses and to education in general. Please note: ATM classes do have a set class-meeting time.
For further information on how to get started and to view UMM's complete list of distance education offerings, please visit our Distance Education homepage.
For a complete listing of all the UC distance offerings, please visit http://www.learn.maine.edu.
Ready for the Web? If you're unsure about enrolling in online courses, take this self-exam quiz.
Before you can enroll in some courses, you must have completed other courses (prerequisites) or placement tests. Placement testing is available free of charge at all University College Centers and selected Maine sites.
ITV and online courses are fully accredited college courses.Tuition is charged by the campus offering the course at the same rate as traditional courses. Fees are charged for various services. Typically an ITV student pays an ITV materials handling fee of $5.00 per credit hour.
Taking courses over the internet allows you a more flexible schedule. While the courses demand exactly the same amount of work and learning as regular on-site classes, the way you participate and the way you arrange your learning is quite different.
Often an internet course is very intimidating at first. Fortunately, most people find that navigating through these courses via the web is rather simple, once you get started. As in every other class you take, asking questions will help a great deal.
Though having some experience with a computer and the internet will be helpful, many students are successful without much previous experience. Your attitude and energy will make the difference.
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