Concept of Distance Learning
Distance learning (education) is a modern system of non- formal education. It is imparted through correspondence or postal courses, contact, electronics media like radio, television, video and audio cassettes etc. and other audio - visual aids.
Different terms used for distance learning are :-
a) Distance Education
b) Distance Teaching
c) Open Education
d) Open Learning
e) Open School
f) Open University
g) University of the Air
h) University without Walls
i) Tele University
j) Out of School Education
k) Correspondence Learning
l) Correspondence Teaching
m) Correspondence School
Distance education is the method of learning at one's own pace in one's own time, without the boundaries of the formal class room and without the formal presence of the teacher.
Need and Importance of Distance Education
The concept of distance learning has emerged in various advanced countries of the world. The following points highlight the need and importance of distance education :-
1) Explosion of knowledge
There is explosion of knowledge because of rapid scientific and technological developments. The formal system of education on account of its rigidity and high cost, finds it difficult to incorporate new changes speedily as desired.
2) Population Explosion
Unprecedented growth rate of population has resulted in the corresponding increase in students. The formal education system serves a selected and limited number of students.
3) Varied Needs
Distance learning is needed to satisfy the varied needs of varied students.
4) Earning while Learning
Distance education is especially needed for those who want to learn while learning.
5) Desire to Improve Qualifications
There are many people who want to improve their education qualification while they are in jobs. Distance learning provides opportunities to such people to improve their qualifications.
6) Geographical Isolation
People may be geographical isolated because of distance or because a communication system has not been developed.
7) Social Isolation
People may be socially isolated or disadvantaged due to financial, physical, emotional or family circumstances.
8) For Different Ages
Distance learning can be used to teach people of different ages and to teach courses from a wide range of discipline areas.
9) Universal Education
Distance learning is needed to achieve the cherished goal of the nation for universalization of education.
10) Democratic Aspirations
Distance learning is needed to meet the great demand for democratisation of education from those sections of society that are neglected.
11) Self - Improvement
Distance learning is needed from the point of view of self-learning and self-improvement of an individual who , otherwise is deprived of receiving proper education.
12) Boon for In - Service Aspirants
Open universities is a boon for in- service aspirants. They can improve their educational qualifications and by doing so, they can brighten up their chances of promotion.
13) Easy Access
It provides opportunities to large number of people who had previously been denied such opportunities.