Axia College University Material
What is Distance Education?
The Traditional Model
How far away do you live from the nearest college or university? Assume that you live fairly close,
maybe just down the road. How much would it cost you to attend? Assume that it is fairly
inexpensive, even free for local residents such as you. Do you have the luxury of devoting your
full time to receiving a university education? Assume that you do.
We have just described a very rare person—a person who has easy access to an education, low
educational expenses, and all the time he or she needs to complete that education. Few people
today fit that description, yet this dilemma has been the case throughout much of history. Access,
funding, and time have always impeded many learners from receiving an education, such as a
college degree, a certificate, or courses taken for personal enrichment.
Historically, education has been provided solely within the walls of schools and universities.
Education was structured to serve a privileged few and, therefore, failed to meet the needs of
prospective learners who could not dedicate their lives to attending school.
Characteristics of Distance Education
Nobody sat down one day and thought, “I’m going to provide access to education for more
people.” Instead, various entrepreneurial-minded people gradually devised solutions to the
obstacles of location, cost, and time to allow prospective learners to receive an education. Many
of these ventures became part of what we now call distance education. Today, learners can avoid
the obstacles naturally inherent in traditional education by taking classes via distance education
Obviously, distance education permits a learner and a teacher to be in different locations and use
technology to engage in educational tasks. As an Axia College student, you are part of this
movement. Axia is an entirely online college with students and faculty spread across the globe.
With access to distance education, learners are now able to receive an education at a pace that
is convenient to them. In other words, distance education makes it possible to receive an
education without devoting one’s full time to it. Again, this describes many Axia students who
work full time or have busy family responsibilities, yet can take courses at their own pace and
gradually earn their degrees over time.
Many of the same technologies that permit learners and teachers to be in different geographic