In distance learning educators usually deliver education and instructions to an individual or many students. The students may not be physically present at the same time as in a traditional classroom. They may even be miles apart. Students access learning material at different times and at different geographical locations.
In distance learning, students have the advantage in that they can go over a lesson several times. This rarely happens in traditional schools. Students do their assignments when they are less fatigued or physically tired. It is not unusual to find a student sleeping in a traditional class.
A student may work during the day and do school work during the evening. Furthermore a student on the night shift can attend school at his/her convenience during the day. A student can even choose to attend school during the weekends. Thus Distance learning provides great flexibility in learning.
Much of what is known about distance learning started in University of London that granted degrees by correspondence. At first many people were skeptical about the degrees. Gradually people came to accept them to be equivalent to degrees earned by those who attended the traditional classes as the knowledge and skills gained were comparable.
In distance, learning students used to receive reading materials by mail. They would study and send answers for the assignments to their instructors by mail. The instructors would grade the answers and provide feedback to the student by mail. It took a long time time to complete a cycle. Some courses were sometimes delivered on radio but the process was slowed down by the feedback..
Today, distance learning is much faster because of the internet. People do not have to wait for weeks or months to receive learning materials by mail. Learning materials can be accessed online.
Online learning is a type of distance education.
Anyone who is capable can now study courses such as Pharmaceutical Regulatory Affairs, Clinical Research, Medical Devices, Chemistry, Biology, English Language and many other courses from the comfort of their homes .Even courses that require listening, speaking and reading such as English language can be studied online. Through a combination of Audio lessons and specialty software students, can now learn English language Online.
Research shows that there has been a rapid increase in the number of students enrolled for online courses because of the convenience it provides to students and teachers. A student from China or India can take a course in a Canadian college online. The student does not require a visa and will graduate with the same certificate or diploma as resident Canadian students. Schools, colleges and universities all over the world are adding distance learning courses for their students.