Distance Education Is a Growing Global Phenomenon Thesis

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Distance Education is a growing global phenomenon as it has always been, historically speaking. It has begun in the 1900s and today, there exist systems of distance teaching and learning in almost all countries in the world that can be common or unique in form. While most countries relied on printed instructional materials in the early part of 19th century, the advent of information and communications technology in the digital age saw the growth of new forms such as video conferencing, teleconferencing, satellite communication and television broadcasts. Today, the Internet and computer systems play a key role in Distance Education especially in more developed countries. E-learning is seemingly the track of distance education based on recent developments such as creation of virtual universities and implementation of online learning programs, and greater access to the Internet. Less developed countries, however, still depend on print, radio and television as the primary means of communication since they don't have access to "sophisticated technology." But in general, efforts to integrate the new technology in distance education were seen in most economies or at least the interest of applying them.

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Global efforts to integrate distance education among countries geared towards development were seen. Distance educators meet in a World Conference every two years, as well as, regional conferences. There are Consortia that take collaborative effort to enforce distance education strategies as well. International agencies such as World Bank and UNESCO also implement programs supporting distance education in a vision to bridge knowledge gap between rich nations and emerging economies and to employ opportunities for cost-effective program management. And while distance education is embedded in national policies of most countries, to address the growing need of their constituencies, learners now prefer distance learning. As the literature says "...our students tell us that being in such a course is much more interesting than most traditional classes" [p. 257].

TOPIC: Thesis on Distance Education Is a Growing Global Phenomenon Assignment

Establishment of national open universities is the most common trend in so far as institutionalization of distance education is concerned. Many countries set up national single mode, distance teaching universities that greatly rely on videoconferencing, recorded multimedia materials and online communication. Examples of which include the Korea National Open University and the United Kingdom Open University --the premier model of distance education in the world. Because of the success of distance education providers, producing millions of graduates through the years, many conventional universities are now shifting towards dual-mode education provision. It is evident in Australia and South Africa.

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