The History of Distance Learning

Distance education seems like a relatively new idea to those of us who have been looking for a new way to learn. However, there is some evidence which suggests that this form of education has been around for more than three centuries - with the last century in particular being one of the most significant in allowing companies that provide this service to advance in how they provide information to the students which are involved with their program. In this article, we are going to give you a concise back story to distance learning and its origins.

Really - distance learning as we know it is rather new. It all started with televised distance learning which particularly allowed military personnel to become trained in the different approaches which they might have needed for the World War. Televised material also became a vital element of the service which was provided in schools, with tens of organizations syndicating the same material which was used to train students. As you will know, this might not have been individually responsible for allowing distance learners to obtain courses like it is today - but it certainly was a start.

As we edge towards the end of the 20th-century, it is clear that television was becoming a resource which was more readily available to the general public. As such, there were many different video and DVD resources which were being used in order to allow students to visually learn about the different intrinsic details which might have been associated with their course. This, combined with written assessments that a tutor might proceed to mark, proceeded to form the bread and butter of distance learning as we knew it back then. Written resources would reinforce visual aids in what were the first courses available to the general public without going to a local educational institution.

The history of distance education has come along leaps and bounds in the past few years particularly. Whereas the Internet completely turned this form of learning around in the beginning of the 21st-century, with text-based communication becoming instantaneous and making communication between tutors and teachers more immediate, it has only been in the past few years that a student has been able to realize the full potential of learning resources through the billions of pages of material which are on the Internet. Teleconferencing to discuss things with tutors in live video conversations is possible, and nearly all of the business which is associated with education can be done through the medium of the Internet. In this day and age, even some organizations provide certificates electronically!

It can be foolish for us to try and predict the direction which distance learning is going to take. However, because of the popularity and the practicalities which are associated with this method of education, there is no doubt that more courses are going to become available as more people turn to this method as an efficient way of expanding knowledge to become valid applicants for new jobs.

More Information on The History of Distance Learning

  1. Ben & Jerry
  2. "The Rise of the Telecourse"