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DISTANCE EDUCATION


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DISTANCE EDUCATION


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 elsew




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