The pioneer of this kind of education system was the University of London, which started its External Degree Programs in 1858, now known as the University of London International Programs. In this program, students register for a course of their choice and are sent the guides or course outline to be followed every year as long as they enroll for a course. The candidates are then tested for their competence once a year with examinations being conducted by the British Council.
Since technology is extensively being used for distance learning, this concept is now taking a new turn: E-Learning. In this mode, students take their lectures online via multimedia devices and submit their assignments accordingly.
There are two types of technologies being used for distance learning. One is known as synchronous and the other, asynchronous. In synchronous technology, the presence of all participants during the learning session is mandatory. An example would be video conferencing. On the other hand, in asynchronous technology, the presence of all participants at the same time is not required. Examples would be email, audiocassette and message board forums.
Distance education is sprouting due to the extensive availability of technology and the demand for low-cost, high-quality education.
Even if you are a college graduate, you can still improve yourself by distance learning in many areas including business, finance and so on.