Distributed education learning environments were initially conceptualized as the extension of traditional classrooms and teachers, usually via lecture formats, to new locations. In addition to correspondence study, which involved a single learner studying with a teacher independently at a distance, the most common form of distributed education throughout the decade of the 1980s was the connection of off-campus learners at scheduled times via electronic technologies such as audio conferencing, video conferencing, or computer conferencing. Very often, especially when utilizing video connections, learners traveled to a central location, such as a community site or an educational center, to access the technology and to meet with other learners.

These traditionally structured and institutionally framed definitions of distributed and distance education resulted in pedagogical strategies that originally focused on ...

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