In the past 20 years in the United States, distance learning has played a rapidly increasing role in the professional development of knowledge workers and other skilled members of the workforce. This shift in education for work has directly impacted the formal and informal professional development of educators, trainers, instructional designers, military personnel, and other professionals invested in career-based education and learning. In degree-granting, postsecondary institutions alone, trend reports reflect consistent increases in student enrollment in online courses (from 1.6 million students in 2002 to 6.7 million students in 2011) as well as steady growth in online enrollment as a percentage of total enrollment (from 9.6% in 2008 to 32% in 2011). Corporate reports and government and military publications emphasize the increasing role of distance ...

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