The primary university to propose degrees for distance learning is the University of London. It established its External Programme in the year eighteen fifty eight. The context to this innovation is based in the sense that the institution was not restricted to a particular religious denomination.
In US, William Rainey Harper, the first ever president of the University of Chicago, come up to an idea of extended education. In the year 1892, he virtually encouraged the idea of correspondence school programs in a wide range of community in or der to successively promote the importance and in need of education. This is an idea that was recognized and adopted by Columbia University.
In spite of the marvel of the World Wide Web in conquering the loopholes that are associated with boundaries, there are still two modes of delivery of distance education. These are the synchronous and asynchronous learning.
In the synchronous learning mode, all of the participants need to be present. In connection to this, it has also resemblance with the traditional classroom methods in spite of remote location of the students. A timetable is a very important tool in organizing the instruction. Some of the examples of synchronous learning include video conferencing educational television and web conferencing.
These distance education tools also come with support features for asynchronous learning by the student as they are also provided with the avenue of listening to recording of the synchronous sessions. The use of immersive settings is also widely applied to enhance the efficiency of distance education. Another approach that is used in synchronous learning is the application of robot proxies such as those that enable the participants to attend sessions.
On the other hand, asynchronous learning is a kind of learning environment where in the students is given the chance to have an access with the materials according to the flexibility of their schedules. Also, it is not a must that they are together. The oldest method that has been used in this mode of delivery of distance education is the mail correspondence. In this scenario, audio recordings, board forums, video materials, fax and the like are used.
However, it is also possible that the modes of delivery can be integrated. There are already lots of courses offered in campuses-based schools and open universities. This is done in order to further enhance the essentiality of the distance education practices. This mixed approach is also dubbed as blended learning.
In addition, distance learning can also be carried out with the help of an interactive radio instruction as well as online virtual worlds, webinars, digital games and webcasts. Apparently, the application of media and psychology has evolved in many aspects of learning. Each of this has expanded into vital academic fields that also come along with degree programs offered in universities.
The fast pace spread of films around 1920 and radio in 1930 has paved the way to their application in distance education. As of 1938, there were at least two hundred city school programs, twenty five state boards of education and multiple numbers of universities and colleges that have realized the use of films and radios in their programs.