Distance education is widely defined as the provision and learning process when the learner and the source of information are separated by the distance, time or both. If one of this learning takes place on site for any reason (including examining), learning is called “mixed” or “hybrid” learning.
Internet has provided continuing education through faster distance learning and easier for distributors and students. Over the past two years, the education sector has seen a significant increase in the importance and impact of virtual university.
Approximately 1 undergraduate student in North America are registered at at least one online learning, a continuing education class and 1 out of 20 are now enrolled in a program of online education degrees. The courses range from the most basic instruction to master’s and doctoral programs.
Accreditation levels vary considerably. Some of the “institutions” of online education are nothing more than fraudulent “graduate milagines” receiving no supervision. But in the United States, an institution may not use the term “university” without government accreditation.
The technologies used in the provision of distance education are divided into two groups:
1) Synchronous learning technologies
2) Asynchronous learning technologies
Synchronous learning technology resembles the traditional teaching of the class in that all participants are “present” at the same time and there is a defined calendar. Technologies used for synchronous learning include Internet technologies such as VoIP, live broadcast and videoconference and broadcast technologies, including television and radio (traditional and satellites).
Asynchronous learning technology allows students to access Evergreen courses and exams on their own planning using the Internet. This, of course, allows greater flexibility, but also allows procrastination.
Synchronous and asynchronous distance education is often combined. Internet can blur the distinction between these two distance learning methods.
The development of distance learning technologies includes computer games, three-dimensional immersive environments (3D) and virtual worlds,
which can be broadcast in real time and / or downloaded and engaged via a local hard drive.