Distance Learning

Essay by writer_writerUniversity, Bachelor's June 2009

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International Association for Continuing Education & Training's website suggests that "distance learning is a process through which knowledge and skills are acquired through distributed information and instruction." Instead of meeting at a common place and time, learners and teachers interact using a variety of technologies, alone or in combination. These modes of interaction range from written correspondence courses to audio, video, and computer media.

The third definition of distance learning, from the United States Distance Learning Association, suggests that it is "the acquisition of knowledge and skills through mediated information and instruction, encompassing all technologies and other forms of learning at a distance."MethodologiesDistance learning can be administered in a variety of methods. For example, eArmyU, created in 2004, enables eligible members of the armed services to work toward college degrees and certificates "anytime, anywhere" at 28 regionally accredited colleges and universities offering 145 certificate and degree programs. In another example, the Board of Regents of the University System of Maryland, confronted with space limitations on campuses, mandated that all of its universities encourage students to take at least 12 of their credits outside of the classroom, preferably online.

Further, in Mississippi, an e-learning center sponsored by Delta State University is making college preparatory courses available to students whose high schools are unable to offer them.

Changes in the educational environment are demonstrated by the fact that American high school and college students are signing up for online tutorials in mathematics and science being offered by an educational service that draws on academics thousands of miles away in India. To this end, The Washington Post reported in May that an anticipated 1.775 million college and university students may be enrolled in online programs today.

Current distance learning technologies include but are not limited to voice-centered technology, such as CD or...