Distance learning includes both formal courses that may be part of a university level program of study and courses that are taken for personal enrichment. In addition, continuing education courses for professionals are often available on various distance learning platforms.
At present, online distance learning is being met with a great deal of acceptance and even acclaim by students, education authorities, and employers alike. It allows for virtual contact between students and educators, as well as between fellow students, and the best online distance learning programs include extensive online libraries as well as archives of lectures and discussions for constant review. For the most part, online distance learning has replaced older correspondence courses that relied on written material and audio or video media to present lectures and other instructional programs.
Academic, technical and trade programs are now available via distance learning, and these encompass every level from instruction that is aimed at obtaining a technical certificate to intensive post doctoral study. Subjects offered include everything from automotive and appliance repair to post-doctorate finance programs. Non-degree programs include language training, as well as personal enrichment courses that cover everything from sushi preparation to advanced graphic art and photography.
Distance learning is both a substitute for and an addition to traditional methods of education, and it is found everywhere from the home and the classroom to the executive office and the boardroom. Virtual communication with actual educators is a convenient and efficient reality thanks to the Internet and modern communication devices.