Distance Education In The United States: From Correspondence Courses To The Internet

Donald L. CARUTH

Online learning is a descendent of distance education. Online education has a shared history with correspondence learning. In 1873, Anna Eliot Ticknor founded the Society to Encourage Studies at Home. Ticknor's Society established one of America’s first correspondence schools, a distance learning option conducted through the mail. This Society was aimed at the education of women and enrolled more than seven thousand women. Education by mail was a quality approach to provide education for all because it allowed universities to access an infinite number of potential students. Today there are institutions that offer only online courses. At the same time, brick and mortar or traditional institutions offer online courses in addition to their face-to-face courses. A review of the literature suggests that as indicated by enrollment figures, the number of students taking online courses is growing and continued growth can be expected in the future.

KEYWORDS: Distance Education, Online Education, Internet Courses, Web-Based Education, And Correspondence Education.