What is Distance Learning?

The traditional school set up has the student going to a campus and attending class with his or her classmates. They then interact face to face with their instructor. But in recent years we have seen how the concept of education has evolved. These days one no longer has to go to a campus in order to learn. With the rise of the Internet as well as closed circuit television any student can take on a subject without actually leaving the confines of home. This is what is referred to as distance education, using a combination of objective examinations, audiovisual lectures, and scheduled meetings with instructors.

While a type of distance learning has been in existence for decades, called correspondence schooling, these programs were usually limited while accreditation was always in question. Usually this form of education entailed worksheets, study materials, and objective tests among the students. Then someone from the correspondence school periodically gives grades to mailed-in examinations. Eventually the student will receive a certificate of completion. However in this kind of set up there is little to no interactivity between the instructor and the student.

But through time we have seen the improvements made by colleges and universities in their distance education programs. In the past schools relied on having a series of videotaped instructions plus one final examination. However this set up revealed the need for more interactivity. Now, modern distance education focuses on real time lectures as well as regular online exercises. Instructors are also encouraged to be objective in treating emailed questions, in the same way they exercise objectivity dealing with a traditional classroom set up.

Usually older individuals avail of distance learning education courses. Those who do not have the time and money to commute also avail of distance learning courses. Usually class lectures come in video tape as well as CD-Rom to allow the students to choose the most appropriate time for them to study. Also, distance learning subjects are accredited. As such a student taking up an online English class has the similar number of writing tasks as that of the student going to the campus. However the distance learning student is allowed to submit reports or assignments through email.

Distance learning is indeed a very practical and good way to gain a degree. Learn how you can enroll in a course through the Internet or through admission departments of certain schools.