• Distance education provides flexibility for those who are disadvantaged by limited time, distance, or physical disability. They can benefit from a more flexible environment that lets them learn on their own time, wherever they choose.
• Shy students can choose to observe and become an involved participant because other students can't see them.
• Adults may take a second chance at a college education. Most adult learners have children and a job. They can't spend several hours in a classroom because they have a home to manage and house payments to make. With distance learning programs they're in control of what they do and how fast they cover the material within a range of time.
• After completing an undergraduate degree, learners may decide to enter the workforce and at the same time get an advanced, graduate-level degree. Distance education provides a good solution. In many cases, students can immediately put into practice what they are learning.
• How do we prepare appropriate (adaptive) course content, incorporating technology to meet the varied requirements of student acceptability? Faculty members must partner with course developers, using a fundamentally new approach for conveying the message and ensuring that the requisite learning takes place.
• Who has control of the intellectual property, who has ownership of the intellectual property, and who has rights to the intellectual property?
• What are the effective student assessment and evaluation approaches to ensure that someone else isn't doing a student's work?
Mahbubur Rahman Syed is a professor in the Department of Computer and Information Sciences at Minnesota State University, Mankato, Minnesota. He is a conference and program committee chair for several international conferences including the International Conference on Intelligent Multimedia and Distance Education. His research interests include multimedia computing and communications, distance education, image-processing and retrieval, computational intelligence, pattern recognition, electronic commerce systems, distributed processing, and security. He has a PhD in the field of digital technology from Budapest Technical University.