A History of Distance Education

A History of Distance Education

Wendy Rickman (University of Central Arkansas, USA) and Cheryl Wiedmaier (University of Central Arkansas, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60960-111-9.ch001
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Abstract

Flash-forward to today’s world of instant-access in a technology driven society, where distance education has grown in viability and become a business. Whether provided via a traditional, land-based university or college to earn a formal degree, to complete professional development, or to seek additional certification, or by a for-profit organization or corporation to train their employees and advance their workers’ skills, people can access a well-developed range of educational services through distance education to better their lives and livelihoods regardless of the physical separation between themselves and the sponsoring institution. The main difference between distance education’s beginnings and today’s educational services is the medium used to conduct learning. The postal services may still be used as a secondary mode of communication and print is still a constant technologic tool, but the expanding success of distance education can be attributed to providing education that 1) spans great distances between citizens and educational institutions, both geographically and socio-economically; 2) quenches the thirst for education; and 3) utilizes the rapid advancement of technology (Casey, 2008).

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