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Distance Learning Education - Research Paper Example

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There has been a recent explosion in the field of education of distance learning but the history of distance learning dates back to as early as 1728, when Caleb Phillips, who was a teacher of Short Hand method, published an advertisement in Boston Gazette to seek students to whom he would send lectures on weekly basis. (Distance Learning 2007).The Pioneers of distance learning relied on postal services in the 19th century to provide educational opportunities to students who were not able to seek education by attending conventional schools. An Englishman, Isaac Pitman, is regarded has an early pioneer in providing distance education. In 1840s, Isaac Pitman taught Short Hand using correspondence in the Great Britain. The University of London established its Eternal Programme in 1858, and became the world’s first university to provide the opportunity of attaining distance learning degrees to international and national students. In the United States, the concept of extended education through satellite colleges was established in the University of Chicago, by William Rainey Harper, who was the University’s first president. In 1829, William Rainey Harper further promoted education by encouraging the concept of providing school courses through correspondence, an idea that was originally put forward and practiced by Columbia University. In 1911, the Department of Correspondence studies was established in the University of Queensland in Australia. In America, Charles Wedemeyer of the University of Wisconsin-Madison encouraged the use of methods other than the postal service in providing distance education. In the UK, Open universities were established in 1969, which initially provided distance educational courses through radio and television broadcasts and now some of these open universities have attained the status of ‘mega universities’. In the United States, Jones International University was established in 1996 and is the first university to provide all its educational services online. The University is accredited by an accrediting association. Today, undergraduate and post graduate distance education is provided by many private and public, as well as by for- profit and non-profit educational institutions. Following the recent explosion in distance learning, national government authorities such as Quality Assurance Agency in UK and Distance Education and Training Council in the US, have been established to provide accreditation to distance education providing institutions. (Lau et al 2000). Virtual High School: Virtual High Schools or online high schools refer to the institutions which provide K-12 courses, in which the instructor and students are not only separated by time but by distance as well. The instructor provides the course by employing various methods such as multiple course management applications, internet, and resources relating to multimedia and video conferencing. The students communicate and interact with the instructors by using these same methods. (Distance Learning 2004). Types of Online High Schools: I. State Sanctioned Online high schools: In America, online high schools in fourteen states have been sanctioned by the state government and are designated as the State’s own virtual high schools. Such as the Florida Virtual School which in terms of enrollments is the largest virtual school and has been providing online educational services since 1997. Since its establishment the institution has been funded by the ...Show more
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Distance Education History: Unlike traditional educational ways involving a classroom and a teacher, Distance learning does not involve direct confrontation with a teacher and does not provide the environment of a classroom…
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