Distance Learning

Distance Learning

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Term encompassing a broad range of learning events in which the student is separated (at a physical or temporal distance) from the trainer, or other fellow learners. The gap between them can be bridged through the use of different interactive ways of communication, such as technology and/or more traditional delivery methods.

Three main components characterize this type of learning:

  1. There is a separation between learner and trainer which can be geographic, when trainer and learner are in different places, in terms of time distance, which leads to the definition of asynchronous learning.
  2. The form of interactive telecommunication can be various. Traditional distance learning uses printed materials and correspondence between the learners and the tutor, and these techniques can still be used. Modern technology now also allows the Internet to improve this by the use of computer conferencing and other communication between learners and trainers, using voice, video, and course materials on the web, leading to the e-learning techniques.
  3. The connection between learners, resources and instructor permits to the instructor to interact with learners, who can also interact among themselves, involving a two-way communication. Even if learners are connected, the learning group is absent, thus resources must be available and permit learning to occur. Resources should be subjected to instructional design, so that they can be organized into learning experiences.[1]

See also: E-Learning, Asynchronous Learning, Online Learning, Open and Distance Learning (ODL)

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  1. www.webbasedtraining.com (11 July 2008), www.hoyle.com (11 July 2008), www.ohiolearns.org (11 July 2008), Teaching and learning at a distance. Simonson M., Smaldino S., Albright M., Zvacez S., 2009