Difference between Distance Education and Correspondence Courses
“Thanks to the possibilities of distance learning, time and geographic space are no longer meaningful barriers to learning. Through distance learning, we bring experts to students and build a world community of learners studying important subjects in their own time and in their own vill'ages and cities. We celebrate that reality as well as future exciting
Dr. Richard Hezel, President & CEO, Hezel Associates and USDLA Board Member
What is difference between distance education and correspondence courses?
What I understand further is that correspondence courses are done to acquire a certain qualification whereas distance education by electronic media is more flexible towards learner's objective and may or may not be for award of an added qualification.
The typical correspondence course involves the exchange of teaching materials between a student and teacher geographically remote from each other. The student obtains a textbook locally, and lesson plans, lecture notes and problem sets are sent by the instructor to the student. The student sends completed assignments back to the instructor for grading, and exams are administered by a proctor local to the student.
Traditionally, a correspondence course could work no faster than the mail system. Actually things sent by mail are more synonymous with correspondence course.
With improvements in technology, communication has become virtually instantaneous.
Lecture notes and problem sets can be distributed by email or posted on a web site. Even textbooks can be distributed in electronic form as PDF files.
For DE, the material is specially designed to build a surrogate teacher to guide the student to learn. A number of activities and feedback mechanisms are included and a component of distance teaching is included as well.
You might remember the feedback that I had shared on my Maastricht assignment 2 months ago- a typical example of distance teaching.
MERLOT Journal of Online Learning and Teaching / Vol. 2 / No. 1 / March 2006
Moderators: Dr. Praveen R Singh, Dr.Navneet Kaur, Dr.Maya Jamkar
Faculty: Dr.Tejinder Singh