Distance Learning allows learners to study in a place away from a main place of teaching. It is widely accepted in Education and is used for a range of purposes including teaching those who have been excluded from class to allow people to take courses at institutions miles away from their home. In recent years Distance Learning has moved on with MBA programmes now being available, one of the most advertised is from the University of Liverpool. The open university in England is one of the largest providers of distance learning. Distance learning courses are often subject by learning communities that are facilitated by technology. Examples include the use of online forums, skype, chat and social media. The Home Learning College is the UK's leading home learning provider. Distance learning often allows learners to progress at their own pace and fit in study around other commitments. Assignments and course are completed at home and then submitted to the educational organisation for marking. Courses from establishments like the Open University are widely respected. Developments in e-learning have supported the growth of distance learning and the 2 are now widely linked.
This increasingly popular way of learning takes many forms. The oldest, and still very much in use, is the correspondence course. You can study almost any subject by correspondence; at its simplest, it just involves receiving homework and instructions by post and sending them off for marking. The Open University has developed this concept to the point that people now can do a complete degree course without leaving their homes except to take national exams. Now there is often much more technology involved in correspondence courses; for instance, assignments may be put onto a disc and emailed to the tutor, and there are whole courses such as touch typing which can be contained in one piece of software. The principle remains the same, though. A new variant of distance learning is online tuition; here communication with the tutor is through videoconferencing methods such as a webcam. Student and teacher can thus communicate face-to-face if they wish.