The History of Distance Education

Timeline created by jenweinm
In History
  • Sir Isaac Pitman: 1st correspondence courses

    Sir Isaac Pitman: 1st correspondence courses
    "In 1840 Sir Isaac Pitman set up the first organized correspondence courses in England" ~
    The development of correspondence courses could be considered the original form of distance education. Though technology was not in place for online learning, correspondence learning made it possible to participate in courses that were not geographically close via the postal service.
  • Chautauqua

    History of Chautauqua
    The Chautauqua movement began in 1874 as a means for traveling to teach and share information to people across the U.S. This could be considered one of the earliest forms of Distance Education as people were being exposed to speakers and information they would have otherwise not had access to.
  • Evolution of Technology and Teaching

    Evolution of Technology and Teaching
    Video Link This video gives a great comprehensive overview of how technology has evolved and influenced distance education over the decades.
  • First Intructional Films Appear

    First Intructional Films Appear
    "The first catalog of instruction films appeared in 1910 (Reiser, 1987)" ~ Though computers may not be around for another few decades, films were a significant addition to distance education as they provided a new means of learning besides text books. Information could be shared on a wider scope due to the ability to capture information in film format.
  • Instructional Film Sample

    Instructional Film Sample
    Video Sample Click on the link to check out one of the earliest examples of insctructional film. This exemplifies visual aides developed to enhance distance learning. "This is an educational film that... was produced in the 1910's ." ~
  • Thomas Edison

    Thomas Edison
    Thomas Edison predicted that "books will soon be obsolete in the schools as it is possible to teach every branch of human knowledge with the motion picture.“ ~ Perhaps Thomas Edison was predicting the evolution of distance education? We have certainly seen an increase in variety of teaching tools vs. just sticking to the books.
  • 1st Educational TV Station Launched

    1st Educational TV Station Launched
    Full Article
    "Flash back to June 8, 1953. KUHT (now HoustonPBS) was minutes away from broadcasting its formal dedication as the first educational television station in the country to go on the air. "
    ~Geneva Collins, 2003
  • Distance Education Expands in Britain

    Distance Education Expands in Britain
    Click Here for Additional Details on this School The British launch Open University with the goal of extending educational opportunities. Courses are "conducted by various means, including television, correspondence, study groups, and residential courses or seminars held at centres scattered throughout Great Britain."
    This could be an inspiration from that of Isaac Pitman's first correspondence school.
  • Distance Learning Programs Take Over

    Distance Learning Programs Take Over
    "The majority of higher education institutions in the United States have distance learning programs (NCES 1997)"
    ~ This is a significant thing to note as it can be considered the tipping point of when online learning became a large contributor to distance education. The journal continues on to note that distance education comprises up to 14% of the undergraduate population.
  • 1st Accredited Online University

    1st Accredited 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 International
    University (JIU)." ~ This is significant because current usage of distance education is typically an online format. This university pioneered the online classroom for Higher Education.
  • E-Learning Term Coined

    E-Learning Term Coined
    "In late 1999, the term “e-learning” was coined...its benefits - in particular the anytime, anywhere access to learning it enabled, as well as the opportunity to learn at your own pace." ~Jane Hart, This term is significant because e-learning is becoming increasingly important in making higher education accessible and encompasses the majority of methods being used to reach students outside of the traditional classroom.
  • Online Learning Evolution

    Online Learning Evolution
    Full Article "By 2004 at least two million higher-education students in the U.S. were engaged in distance education" ~S. R. HILTZ and M. TUROFF This is a significant fact as it shows the trends that are occuring in higher education with regards to technological advancements.