The introduction to the section is on this page, with other information in the separate sections in the left hand side navigation.
Distance learning describes educational situations where students are remote from the host institution, whether on-line or not. It covers a range of situations from complete distance learning where students never visit the institution at all, to those where students may be at the university for extended periods of many months but have the majority of their course time at a remote location.
Distance may not mean great geographical distance, since distance learning students could be local, but the term also refers to remoteness from the activities and processes that on-campus students are normally engaged in, both academic and social.
Providing Distance Education requires a particular set of issues to be addressed so that the learning experience is equivalent to that for campus-based students who might take a similar programme of study. Indeed, the overarching issue of distance education for many people is whether or not the standards of provision and performance are comparable to traditional education.
That this is not intrinsically impossible is well shown by the Open University that has led the way in at-a-distance provision in the modern era.
Particular issues of real practical importance when planning distance programmes are covered in the sections found on the left hand side.