Distance learning or distance education is a mode of delivering education, often on an individual basis, to the students who are not physically present in a classroom like traditional arrangement. Distance learning provides access of learning when the source of information and the students are separated by distance and time or both. Distance learning does not require your physical attendance rather than youre physical on site presence. Distance learning universities generally aim at large scale interactive participation and open access through the web or the other online network technologies. The distance learning facility is a recent development in distance education.
The idea of distance learning was first introduced in the early 18th century in Europe. The teachers used to apply new methods of short hand, who sought their students who wanted to take education through weekly mailed lessons.
Although the advance of the internet expands the boundaries, distance learning technologies are classified into two modes of deliver. They are synchronous learning method and asynchronous learning method. In the synchronous learning system, all students are present at the same time. For this reason, it resembles like traditional classroom teaching method though the participations are located remotely. This system requires a time table to organize by the authority and the learners. Instructional television, educational television, video conferencing, web conferencing etc. are the examples of synchronous learning system as are web based VOIP, telephone, live streaming, internet radio, direct broadcast satellite etc. Some online meeting software such as Adobe Connect helps to facilitate the meetings in distance education course.
In asynchronous learning system, learners access the course materials on their own schedule to get better flexibility. Learners are not necessarily needed to be together at the same time unlike the synchronous learning system. Mail correspondence is considered as the oldest form of distance learning. Mail correspondence is an asynchronous delivery technology. Examples of asynchronous learning systems are fax, voicemail, print materials, video and audio recordings, email, and message board forums etc.
Distance online universities can expand access to education and training for both business purpose and general purposes as the flexible time scheduling structure lessen the effects of many time constraints facts. Furthermore, there is the potential for expanded access to more experts in any particular field of education to other students from diverse social, economic, cultural, geographical and experimental backgrounds. The population at large becomes more interested and involved in lifelong education rather than the normal institutional schooling age; institutions can be benefited with a financial point of view.
The main obstacle for effective distance learning programs are like the unreliable technology and domestic distractions as well as the program cost of students, inadequate contact with teachers and so on.