Distance education, distributed learning, elearning, blended learning — whatever name it goes by, distance learning is on the rise all over the world. Technology has closed the gap for thousands of learners who, in the past, might have been bound by geographical location or physical limitation, or have simply had to prioritize other demands on their time. And it has given talented educators, no longer restricted to teaching a single face-to-face classroom at a time, an opportunity to reach a broader student base than ever before.
It’s a thrilling time to be in the business of educational technology. Here’s a sampling of the research out there on the web:
- BellSouth report on the Costs and Funding of Virtual Schools
- U.S. National Center for Education Statistics numbers on distance learning at the postsecondary level and undergraduate enrollment in distance learning programs
- Evaluation of Evidence-Based Practices in Online Learning, from the U.S. Department of Education
- United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA) Research Center
- A More Connected Future: Outcomes of the Distance Education Review, New South Wales Department of Education and Training
- Canadian Institute of Distance Education Research (CIDER)
- Twitter feed of the Swiss Centre for Innovations in Learning (scil) (in German)
Here are a few Wikispaces features that might help you set up or expand a distance learning program in your own school, district, or university:
Guidelines around distance education vary by country, state, and/or province. Your local department of education should have information on distance learning.