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Distance leaning, as delivered through information and computer technology, has effectively changed the face of education. Neidorf (2006), while conceding to distance learning's century-long history, maintains that the current format has challenged time and space in previously unimaginable ways, to the extent of extending a liberal arts Western undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate education to learners in remote third word rural villages…
That distance learning paradigms can benefit from the aforementioned is emphasised by Alan Tait, a faculty member at the Open University, UK, whose article is the primary focus of this critique.
Commencing with a historical overview of the evolution of open and distance learning in the United Kingdom and Europe, Tait (2003) identifies transportation technology as having played a pivotal role in the development of the stated phenomenon. A railway system supported by an organised and efficient postal and mail services enabled tutors to guide, direct and educate students across distance. Certainly, as Tait (2003) concedes, the system was fraught with a number of challenges, most of which stemmed from the absence of any form of interpersonal communication between students and tutors. With the evolution of such information and communication technology tools such as the home computer and the internet, open and distance learning became e-learning. Reputable higher educational institutions began to offer courses, degree and certificate programmes over the web.
Within the context of open and distance learning, e-learning stands out as a revolutionary development for several reasons. ...
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