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Distance Education A Brief Overview with an Emphasis on Online Education What is Distance Education?

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distance education

Distance Education

A Brief Overview

with an Emphasis on

Online Education

what is distance education
What is Distance Education?

"Distance Education is defined, for the purposes of accreditation review, as a formal educational process in which the majority of the instruction occurs when student and instructor are not in the same place. Instruction may be synchronous or asynchronous. Distance education may employ correspondence study, or audio, or video, or computer technologies."

(Guidelines for Distance Education, ©2000 North Central Association Commission on Institutions of Higher Education).

brief history of distance education
Brief History of Distance Education
  • Correspondence Courses - 1880’s to present

By 1930, 39 universities offered, 2 million students enrolled

  • Broadcast Radio and TV – 1921 to present

Radio courses didn’t work well, but TV did, beginning in 1950’s

  • Systems Approach - 1960’s to present

Combination of TV or videotape, print media and correspondence, plus student support, advisement and tutoring services

  • Teleconferencing - 1970’s to present

Started with audio-conferencing, then after satellite technology developed, it expanded to ITV and two-way interactive video-conferencing

  • Internet-based Virtual Classes – 1990’s to present

Growing rapidly. Almost all public universities have some courses available online.

online learning
Online Learning
  • University Level
    • Thousands of Courses available
    • Complete Programs for Associate, Bachelors, Masters, and Doctoral degrees
  • High School Level
    • Advanced courses - world languages, math
    • Entire high school curriculum (in some states)
  • Curriculum for Home –schooled Children
    • Wide variety of curriculum areas
  • Online tutorials – thousands available
types of online courses
Types of Online Courses
  • Completely online
    • May include video, audio, text, CD, DVD
    • Discussion may use WebX, live chat, email
  • Hybrid or Blended
    • partly online, partly face-to-face
online learning not for everyone
Online Learning – not for everyone
  • Student must be:
    • Motivated
    • Self-directed
    • Good at understanding written directions
    • Good at synthesizing information
    • Able to work on their own