top of page

Market Research Group

Public·9 members


Distance education, also known as distance learning, is the education of students who may not always be physically present at a school,[1][2] or where the learner and the teacher are separated in both time and distance.[3] Traditionally, this usually involved correspondence courses wherein the student corresponded with the school via mail. Distance education is a technology mediated modality and has evolved with the evolution of technologies such as video conferencing, TV, and internet.[4] Today, it usually involves online education and the learning is usually mediated by some form of technology. A distance learning program can be completely distance learning, or a combination of distance learning and traditional classroom instruction (called hybrid[5] or blended).[6] Other modalities include distance learning with complementary virtual environment or teaching in virtual environment (e-learning).[3]


Massive open online courses (MOOCs), offering large-scale interactive participation and open access through the World Wide Web or other network technologies, are recent educational modes in distance education.[1] A number of other terms (distributed learning, e-learning, m-learning, online learning, virtual classroom, etc.) are used roughly synonymously with distance education. E-learning has shown to be a useful educational tool. E-learning should be an interactive process with multiple learning modes for all learners at various levels of learning. The distance learning environment is an exciting place to learn new things, collaborate with others, and retain self-discipline.[citation needed]

One of the earliest attempts of distance education was advertised in 1728. This was in the Boston Gazette for "Caleb Philipps, Teacher of the new method of Short Hand", who sought students who wanted to learn the skills through weekly mailed lessons.[7]

The first distance education course in the modern sense was provided by Sir Isaac Pitman in the 1840s who taught a system of shorthand by mailing texts transcribed into shorthand on postcards and receiving transcriptions from his students in return for correction. The element of student feedback was a crucial innovation in Pitman's system.[8] This scheme was made possible by the introduction of uniform postage rates across England in 1840.[9]

The University of London was the first university to offer distance learning degrees, establishing its External Programme in 1858. The background to this innovation lay in the fact that the institution (later known as University College London) was non-denominational and the intense religious rivalries at the time led to an outcry against the "godless" university. The issue soon boiled down to which institutions had degree-granting powers and which institutions did not.[13]

With the state giving examining powers to a separate entity, the groundwork was laid for the creation of a programme within the new university which would both administer examinations and award qualifications to students taking instruction at another institution or pursuing a course of self-directed study. Referred to as "People's University" by Charles Dickens because it provided access to higher education to students from less affluent backgrounds, the External Programme was chartered by Queen Victoria in 1858, making the University of London the first university to offer distance learning degrees to students.[14][15] Enrollment increased steadily during the late 19th century, and its example was widely copied elsewhere.[16] This programme is now known as the University of London International Programme and includes Postgraduate, Undergraduate and Diploma degrees created by colleges such as the London School of Economics, Royal Holloway and Goldsmiths.[15]

In the United States, William Rainey Harper, founder and first president of the University of Chicago, celebrated the concept of extended education, where a research university had satellite colleges elsewhere in the region.[17]

In 1892, Harper encouraged correspondence courses to further promote education, an idea that was put into practice by Chicago, Wisconsin, Columbia, and several dozen other universities by the 1920s.[18][19] Enrollment in the largest private for-profit school based in Scranton, Pennsylvania, the International Correspondence Schools grew explosively in the 1890s. Founded in 1888 to provide training for immigrant coal miners aiming to become state mine inspectors or foremen, it enrolled 2500 new students in 1894 and matriculated 72,000 new students in 1895. By 1906 total enrollments reached 900,000. The growth was due to sending out complete textbooks instead of single lessons, and the use of 1200 aggressive in-person salesmen.[20][21] There was a stark contrast in pedagogy:

The regular technical school or college aims to educate a man broadly; our aim, on the contrary, is to educate him only along some particular line. The college demands that a student shall have certain educational qualifications to enter it and that all students study for approximately the same length of time; when they have finished their courses they are supposed to be qualified to enter any one of a number of branches in some particular profession. We, on the contrary, are aiming to make our courses fit the particular needs of the student who takes them.[22]

Only a third of the American population lived in cities of 100,000 or more population in 1920; to reach the rest, correspondence techniques had to be adopted. Australia, with its vast distances, was especially active; the University of Queensland established its Department of Correspondence Studies in 1911.[25] In South Africa, the University of South Africa, formerly an examining and certification body, started to present distance education tuition in 1946. The International Conference for Correspondence Education held its first meeting in 1938.[26] The goal was to provide individualised education for students, at low cost, by using a pedagogy of testing, recording, classification, and differentiation.[27][28] The organization has since been renamed as the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE), with headquarters in Oslo, Norway.[29]

The Open University (OU) the United Kingdom was founded by the-then Labour government led by Harold Wilson. Based on the vision of Michael Young, planning commenced in 1965 under the Minister of State for Education, Jennie Lee, who established a model for the Open University as one of widening access to the highest standards of scholarship in higher education and set up a planning committee consisting of university vice-chancellors, educationalists, and television broadcasters, chaired by Sir Peter Venables. The British Broadcasting Corporation's (BBC) Assistant Director of Engineering at the time, James Redmond, had obtained most of his qualifications at night school, and his natural enthusiasm for the project did much to overcome the technical difficulties of using television to broadcast teaching programmes.[30]

The Open University revolutionised the scope of the correspondence programme and helped to create a respectable learning alternative to the traditional form of education. It has been at the forefront of developing new technologies to improve the distance learning service[31] as well as undertaking research in other disciplines. Walter Perry was appointed the OU's first vice-chancellor in January 1969, and its foundation secretary was Anastasios Christodoulou. The election of the new Conservative government under the leadership of Edward Heath, in 1970; led to budget cuts under Chancellor of the Exchequer Iain Macleod (who had earlier called the idea of an Open University "blithering nonsense").[32] However, the OU accepted its first 25,000 students in 1971, adopting a radical open admissions policy. At the time, the total student population of conventional universities in the United Kingdom was around 130,000.[33]

The University of the Philippines Open University was established in 1995 as the fifth constituent university of the University of the Philippines System and was the first distance education and online university in the Philippines. Its mandate is to provide education opportunities to individuals aspiring for higher education and improved qualifications but were unable to take advantage of traditional modes of education because of personal and professional obligations.

Most open universities use distance education technologies as delivery methods, though some require attendance at local study centres or at regional "summer schools". Some open universities have grown to become mega-universities.[37]

Internet technology has enabled many forms of distance learning through open educational resources and facilities such as e-learning and MOOCs. Although the expansion of the Internet blurs the boundaries, distance education technologies are divided into two modes of delivery: synchronous learning and asynchronous learning.

In synchronous learning, all participants are "present" at the same time in a virtual classroom, as in traditional classroom teaching. It requires a timetable. Web conferencing, videoconferencing, educational television, instructional television are examples of synchronous technology, as are direct-broadcast satellite (DBS), internet radio, live streaming, telephone, and web-based VoIP.[49]

Web conferencing software helps to facilitate class meetings, and usually contains additional interaction tools such as text chat, polls, hand raising, emoticons etc. These tools also support asynchronous participation by students who can listen to recordings of synchronous sessions. Immersive environments (notably SecondLife) have also been used to enhance participant presence in distance education courses. Another form of synchronous learning using the classroom is the use of robot proxies[50] including those that allow sick students to attend classes.[51]

In asynchronous learning, participants access course materials flexibly on their own schedules. Students are not required to be together at the same time. Mail correspondence, which is the oldest form of distance education, is an asynchronous delivery technology, as are message board forums, e-mail, video and audio recordings, print materials, voicemail, and fax.[49] 041b061a72

  • About

    Welcome to the group! You can connect with other members, ge...

    bottom of page