The delivery method is the medium through which course content is transmitted and human interaction occurs. Some courses are available via two or more independent methods and you can choose the one that works best for you. In such cases, each delivery method is numbered separately in the search results of the ICN catalog. It's also possible for two or more methods to be combined within a single offering. In such cases, the delivery methods are assigned the same number in the search results. In the example below, for instance, students will use a combination of print/correspondence materials and the Internet to participate.
A brief description of each ICN delivery method is given below:
Interactive videoconferencing allows students and faculty at multiple locations to see, hear, and interact with one another. Because these courses require access to specialized equipment, students must go to a videoconferencing site. Sites are available throughout the state at ICN learning centers, IHETS Receive Sites, libraries, K-12 schools, government offices, museums, etc. Contact ICN at
or 800.icn.8899 (800.426.8899) to find the videoconferencing site closest to you.
- Cable/Public Television
Some ICN classes are broadcast on local cable systems and/or public television channels, generally on regularly scheduled days and times on a designated channel. Stations may replay the courses at varying times to enable participation with greater convenience, and of course, it's always possible to record the programs for later viewing. At the current time, televised courses are available only in selected regions of the state. To find out which courses are available via public or cable television, check the ICN Course Catalog.
- Computer CD-ROM/Disk
Some classes are offered on computer disks, CD-ROMs, or, more recently, DVDs. The disks and study materials are mailed to your home. If you do not have your own computer to view the course materials, you can use one at an ICN learning center or your public library.
- IHETS Interactive / Web Conferencing
IHETS Interactive is a Web-based application that supports live video and audio as well as other types of interaction and collaboration. Students watch and listen to the instructor using a standard Windows PC and interact with the instructor and one another using the application’s audio and text chat features. IHETS Interactive classes can be taken at any location with a networked PC meeting the minimum technical requirements, including from home or work. Students who do not have regular access to a networked computer can participate from an authorized ICN learning center.
Courses delivered over the Internet often, but not always, use the World Wide Web. They may include material to read online, exercises to complete online using interactive forms, discussion forums to exchange ideas with the professor and other students in the class, and many other types of instructional activities. Most Internet courses are asynchronous, meaning there are no live sessions or fixed meeting times, which makes this method especially attractive to working adults with busy schedules. Students can participate from any computer with an Internet connection. If you don't have access to a computer with Internet access at home or work, you can use a computer at an ICN learning center or your local library.
- Live Video Streaming
Video streaming is a common method for distributing live or stored video over the Internet. For live streaming, the instructor's lectures or presentations are digitally enoded and distributed over the network in real time. Class members can watch and listen to the instructor using a networked computer and media player software, such as Flash Player or Windows Media Player. Some video streaming classes have a toll-free telephone number so students can call in with questions. Live streaming classes adhere to a fixed schedule of meeting times. Some are also archived, which means you can watch the video at a later date and time if you happen to miss a session.
Correspondence courses, the earliest form of distance education, are still quite popular today. Students taking correspondence courses receive class materials and return completed assignments by mail, or, in some cases, by electronic mail. The maximum time allowed to complete a correspondence course ranges from one semester to one year, depending on the originating institution. Correspondence courses do not follow the typical semester system, which may make it more difficult to obtain financial aid. Be sure to check with the institution offering the course to see if financial assistance is available.
Courses available on videotape mean that videotapes will be shipped to you at your mailing address. To participate, you need access to a television equipped with a VCR. Access to a television and VCR may also be obtained at your local ICN learning center.
ICN courses that use a delivery method other than those listed here. These include audio conferencing, internships, competency-based courses, etc. Read the detailed course description or contact the originating institution for more information.