Distance learning

Distance Education Timeline

  • Swedish Correspondence Course

    Swedish Correspondence Course
    An advertisement in a Swedish newspaper in 1833 touted the opportunity to study “composition through the medium of the post.”
  • Correspondence Education

    Correspondence Education
    In 1840, an English educator, Sir Isaac Pitman, taught shorthand by mail
  • Invention of Typewriter

    Invention of Typewriter
    Christopher Sholes was an American mechanical engineer who invented the first practical modern typewriter in 1866, with the financial and technical support of his business partners Samuel Soule and Carlos Glidden. Five years, dozens of experiments, and two patents later, Sholes and his associates produced an improved model similar to today's typewriters.
  • Anna Ticknow

    Anna Ticknow
    In 1873, Anna Ticknow established a society that presented educational opportunities to women of all classes to study at home (Nasseh). Ticknow's Boston-based, volunteer endeavor provided correspondence instruction to more than 10,000 students over the course of 24 years (Nasseh). Communication, teaching and learning all took place through printed materials sent through the mail.
  • International Correspondence Schools

    International Correspondence Schools
    Thomas J. Foster, editor of the Mining Herald, a daily newspaper in eastern Pennsylvania, began offering a correspondence course in mining and the prevention of mine accidents. His business developed into the International Correspondence Schools, a commercial school whose enrollment exploded in the first two decades of the twentieth century, from 225,000 in 1900 to more than 2 million in 1920.
  • Moody Bible Institute Correspondence Department Developed

    Moody Bible Institute Correspondence Department Developed
    Moody Bible Institute, founded in 1886, formed a correspondence department in 1901 that continues today, with a record of over 1 million enrollments from all over the world.
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    Courses via television

    In the early 1930s, experimental television teaching programs were produced at the University of Iowa, Purdue University, and Kansas State College. However, it was not until the 1950s that college credit courses were offered via broadcast television: Western Reserve University was the first to offer a continuous series of such courses, beginning in 1951.
  • First Microprocessor

    First Microprocessor
    The first microprocessor on the market was developed in 1971 by an engineer at Intel named Ted Hoff.
  • University of Phoenix founded

    University of Phoenix founded
    In 1976, Dr. John Sperling, a Cambridge-educated economist and professor-turned-entrepreneur, saw an opportunity—and seized it—to cater to working adults seeking higher education by offering convenient class times at local sites.
  • TCP Invention

    TCP Invention
    By the end of the 1970s, a computer scientist named Vinton Cerf had begun to solve this problem by developing a way for all of the computers on all of the world’s mini-networks to communicate with one another. He called his invention “Transmission Control Protocol,” or TCP
  • Learn Alaska

    Learn Alaska
    The first state educational satellite system, Learn/Alaska, was created in 1980. It offered six hours of instructional television daily to 100 villages, some of them accessible only by air.
  • IBM PC launched

    IBM PC launched
    The IBM PC is launched in August 1981.
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    Huge growth in WWW

  • Western Governors University Founded

    Western Governors University Founded
    Founded and supported by 19 governors to help western states maximize learning through distance education.
  • Blackboard founded

    Blackboard  founded
    Blackboard LLC founded by Michael Chasen and Matthew Pittinsky.
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    Most university's offer online courses

  • NCA accredits first completely virtual online university

    NCA accredits first completely virtual online university
    In March of 1999, the North Central Association’s (NCA) Commission on Institutions of Higher Learning, one of the six regional accrediting commissions,accredited the first completely virtual online university, Jones InternationalUniversity (JIU).
  • The first use of the term e-Learning

    The first use of the term e-Learning
    In October 1999, during a CBT Systems seminar in Los Angeles, a strange new word was used for the first time in a professional environment – ‘e-Learning’.