Introduction to Distance Learning

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Distance Education is defined as an educational process in which for the majority of the time, the learning occurs when the teacher and learners are receiving and giving instructions at the same remote side from each other.

Open University refer to ‘an organizational activity based on the use of teaching materials, in which the constraints on study are minimized either in terms of access, or of time and place, pace, methods of study or any combination of these’ (Periaton 2000 :13)

One of the oldest Distance Education Universities is the University of South Africa, which has been offering correspondence Education courses since 1946. There are now many similar institutions around the world, often with the name Open University.

Nowadays there are many private and public, non-profit and for profit institutions offering degree programs and courses through Distance Education. Levels of accreditation vary from one to another. Some institutions offering distance education have received little outside oversight while some may be fraudulent diploma mills. An institution may not use the term “University” in many other jurisdictions without accreditation and authorizations by national government.

The delivery systems most commonly used today are based on video, audio, and computer technologies. These technologies have been adapted to transmit information in unexpected form; for example, visual images via telephone lines. A variety of such adaptations not only help to make the transmission between lectures and students lively, but it also help to transmit large chunk of information in the shortest possible time to each and every part of the world.

The purpose of carrying out this research is to find out how the distance learning student coping. There are pros and cons of distance learning, but contrary to popular belief, the advantages actually far outweigh the disadvantages.

The single biggest advantage of distance learning via...
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