The History of Distance Learning

The History of Distance Learning

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The history of distance learning can be traced back to the 1890′s. Distance education was then known as correspondence course. This was the era when there was no concept of “media”. There was no television, and the internet was too distant a dream. Sending paper through regular mail was the only “medium” of instruction.

Post World War II

World war II brought major changes to the lives and styles of citizens. The history of distance learning got a shot in the arm when extension courses became popular. While this idea had been popular in the UK for over 50 years, the USA did not discover it until the early 50′s.

The early 70′s were witness to many telecourses developed by various universities. Telecourses, as the name suggests, used to be delivered through television with the program being beamed into the households where the students would take the courses. The assignments were sent by regular mail, and returned by the same mode. It was a time-consuming process.

Arrival of TV

The year 1987 saw the launch of an education channel called M/EU. This was an abbreviated form of Mind Extension University. Hendricks brought in the Discovery Channel as a mode of spreading education through entertainment. The history of distance learning is littered with experiments done by enthusiasts and educationist of various hues. The distance learning world changed dramatically with the entry of the internet.

The internet is responsible for changing the way people perceived life, it brought in the element of interaction for the first time in the history of distance learning. The internet changed this to a dialogue between two or more people simultaneously. Earlier versions of the internet were restricted to text only message exchanges. These modes are slowly being replaced with hi definition and hi resolution video streams. The internet, it seems, was made for distance learning.

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NCC Home Learning

Now it seems that distance learning is becoming increasingly popular and credible.  Learning at home is a realistic option for those who have a busy lifestyle or cannot attend classes. NCC Home Learning provide over 350 affordable, accredited courses, all included in our A-Z course listing here.

Nick Cooper
Nick is NCC's resident blog author and covers a range of subjects, including teaching and health & social care. NCC is an international learning provider with over 20 years’ experience offering learning solutions. To date, NCC has engaged with over 20,000 employers, and delivered quality training to over half a million learners.
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