Liberty University has announced that they are transforming their distance learning program. By 2006 they will have transfered all of their classes from a 16 week format to a 8 week format. Also the classes will be online and will now feature weekly assignments and due dates. Tests will also be online. At current time distance courses have a deadline by which all assignments/tests must be turned in (16 weeks after start date). Tests, at this time, are either online or proctored. Liberty tested this new set up on their distance MBA program. It has worked very well and students have loved it. Liberty states: "Last year our Masters in Business Administration (MBA) switched from the 16-week to this same 8-week format. The new structure has enhanced our students' abilities to be successful in their academic pursuits, while engaging in a tight distance community. Our MBA students have experienced this cutting edge format and have seen the social and academic benefits that the 8-week format provides." Personally I think this is a great idea. One of the weaknesses of the current set up is down time. For me 16 weeks is too long however it is needed if proctored tests are involved. Why? Sometimes it takes a week or so to get an appointment. My proctor has been great. In fact the other day I found out that she has kept a copy of everything I have done. I thought that was amazing. Anyway if the classes and tests are online, and if these included weekly due dates, I think this will be a great help to future students. Why? Because it will keep them busy and motivated. In the current set up there is too much time and that can allow students to drift and end up droping out. In the new set up students will be constantly working and meeting deadlines. Also the new set up should allow students to move through the program at a quicker pace. That is always a good thing. Just a FYI Martin.