Distance education dates to at least as early as 1728, when "an advertisement in the Boston Gazette...[named] 'Caleb Phillips, Teacher of the new method of Short Hand" was seeking students for lessons to be sent weekly.
The University of London was the first university to offer distance learning degrees, establishing its External Programme in 1858.
The first catalog of instruction films appeared in 1910 and in 1913.
instructional media were introduced into many extension programs by 1920 in the form of slides and motion pictures just as they were in the classroom.
Recent developments in technology in distance education provided a wider range of teaching functions and a higher quality of learning, lower costs, greater student control, more interaction and feedback for students .
By the year of 2000, more than 80% of off-campus and 10-20% of on-campus instruction would take place through telecommunications.
Distance Education Modernization Project: The Project aims to provide a full range of quality courses for secondary school graduates who lack access to conventional universities by setting up a national network of tele-centers and affiliated facilities in existing schools.
In Ontario , Canada the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities established the elearnnetwork.ca in 2007 to provide access to students in small and rural communities across Ontario who wanted to pursue college or university courses from their community by distance education.
A virtual learning environment (VLE) is a system that creates an environment designed to facilitate teachers in the management of educational courses for their students, especially a system using computer hardware and software, which involves distance learning.