An introduction to distance learning requires first, an understanding of the concept itself. While various definitions exist for distance learning, it would be safe to say that distance learning is a mode of education in which the teacher and student are separated in time and place. The concept of distance learning has been around for ages in the history of mankind, albeit the use of the latest technology in the modern era has added fuel to the fire and given distance learning a boost. Distance Learning Tools and Technology Distance learning uses various means and methods to transmit course material and education to students, who could be distributed throughout various parts of the world. In an introduction to distance learning, we would be correct if we said that distance learning seeks to deliver the same traditional classroom experience to students sitting in their living rooms through non-classroom means. Today, distance learning uses various means like regular mail, high-tech tools like the internet and audio-video conferencing to help teachers correspond with students, and vice versa.
Today, a host of synchronous and asynchronous tools are available for individuals who are involved in distance learning. What are the Choices Available? Distance learning courses are ideal for people who do not have the time or the means to pursue a fulltime college curriculum, but have the drive to study further. Distance learning includes undergraduate degrees, professional diplomas and Post Graduate Certificate courses for people willing to learn. From courses in liberal arts, humanities and social work, the gamut of distance learning encompasses courses in business management, technology, public health, law, medicine and accounting as well. To put it in a nutshell, distance learning has something to offer everyone, provided you have the inclination to learn.
Who is Offering Distance Learning? Most reputed universities and colleges across the world are offering distance learning courses to students willing to learn further. The University of Phoenix Online has courses at both bachelor's and master's levels. The South University also offers undergraduate and advanced courses to students online. The Keller Graduate School of Management offers business degrees at a master's level to students. The Independence University - California College of Health Sciences offers certificates and diplomas at associate, bachelor's and masters levels in health education to people thus inclined. This, in brief, has been an introduction to distance learning.
With the latest technologies and tools the world has indeed become a smaller place, and the impact of the IT boom is reverberating in the distance education sector. Today it is possible for a student sitting in a remote corner of Asia, to pursue a Master's degree from the Boston University, thanks to the internet.
Jim Zorn is web master of the Guide to Distance Learrning. Please visit to learn more about online colleges and universities, distance learning degrees, majors and courses offered. http://www.guide-to-distance-learning.com