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Definition Edit

Distance education (or distance learning) is

[e]ducation that uses one or more technologies to deliver instruction to students who are separated from the instructor and to support regular and substantive interaction between the students and the instructor synchronously or asynchronously.

Technologies used for instruction may include the following: Internet; one-way and two-way transmissions through open broadcasts, closed circuit, cable, microwave, broadband lines, fiber optics, satellite or wireless communication devices; audio conferencing; and video cassette, DVDs, and CD-ROMs, if the cassette, DVDs, and CD-ROMs are used in a course in conjunction with the technologies listed above.[1]

Overview Edit

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, it "is a process to create and provide access to learning when the source of information and the learners are separated by time and distance, or both."[2] In other words, distance learning is the process of creating an educational experience of equal qualitative value for the learner to best suit their needs outside the classroom. Distance education courses that require a physical, on-site presence for any reason including the taking of examinations is considered to be a hybrid or blended course of study.

This emerging technology is becoming widely used in universities and institutions around the globe. With the recent trend of technological advance, distance learning is becoming more recognized for its potential in providing individualized attention and communication with students internationally.

Distance learning today can take many forms and is defined by federal law and regulation as education that uses one or more specified technologies (e.g., the Internet or audio conferencing) to deliver instruction to students who are separated from the instructor and to support regular and substantive interaction between the students and the instructor.[3]

References Edit

  1. Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, Glossary. See also 20 U.S.C. §1003(7).
  2. Honeyman & Miller, "Agriculture Distance Education: A Valid Alternative for Higher Education?: Proceedings of the National Agricultural Education Research Meeting" 67-73 (1993).
  3. 20 U.S.C. § 1003(7) and 34 C.F.R. § 600.2.

See also Edit


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