Distance Learning utilises: Compact Disks, DVD’s, manuals, work books, television and radio broadcasts and a range of other tools. Distance Learning is an old concept, yet the term is used consistently today with the phrase e-learning .
A useful definition of distance learning is provided by Webopedia:
"A type of education where students work on their own at home or at the office and communicate via e-mail, videoconferencing and other forms of computer-based communication. Due to their accessibility the Internet and World Wide Web serve as the foundation for many distance learning systems which are used to produce a virtual classroom”.
e-learning makes use of information and communications technology to provide innovative ways to learn: If the learner has mobility or health problems that make travel or attendance difficult If the learner has commitments which make it differcult to attend a regular course. At the learners own pace. Enables learning to take place when and wherever the learner is located.
Intranet/Internet via phone line/satellite. Audio Video E- Mail
With increased Internet bandwidth and speeds available, it is possible to broadcast a live programme to anywhere in the world .
Tutors can access other useful visual information, for example, a student who is having difficulties using a printer. The camera on the student's p.c. can be angled down and the tutor can perform a visual check on the equipment, and perhaps offer a solution.
Tutors and students can send large amounts of data to each other at high speed, enabling assessment and feedback at a distance to take place quickly and effectively. Students can enjoy greater learning autonomy as they become the initiators of the contact between themselves and their tutor.
Disadvantages with e-Learning Costs may be prohibitive to some potential users and protracted on-line teaching time. Lack of familiarity with the capabilities and functionality of the technology