The paper covers the challenges of the implementation of the Distance Learning into Russian educational environment. Currently the educators in Russian Universities as well as the students face the same scope of the problems: how to find the reliable and high quality Distance Learning courses and programs, how to make sure that the diploma you get after completing the DL course is legal and will be recognized by any other educational institution or a future employer? How a student should be prepared to work at a distance learning course? How a faculty in a university could develop the DL program, curricula and teaching materials, if they have no previous experience in teaching on the base of the Internet technologies, etc.
Answering the growing demand for the information about Distance Learning the authors of the paper suggest to develop the system of consulting centers providing high quality consultations (both face-to-face and virtual) for three main categories of clients: students, faculty, and developers of the DL courses and programs. The consultations will be focused on mostly practical issues, related to the field of methodology, teaching and learning with the help of the new information technologies and the Internet. The prototype of such consulting center is created recently at the Institute for the Information Society (IIS) (http://www.ecavu.iis.ru/ntf/) and the first results of its activities will be presented.
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