Distance Learning in Canada

Online education in Canada can take many forms. One of the oldest and most widely available methods of education [that is an alternative to in classroom study] is distance education in Canada.

Evolution of Canadian Distance Learning

Canadian distance learning has evolved significantly over the years. However it is worth mentioning that this is not a new development in manner of teaching. Indeed, distance learning goes back over one hundred years and more in many parts of the world. The reason for the long history of distance education is pretty obvious when you think about it. Universities, colleges, and schooling institutions used to be located in major urban centers that were often difficult to get to if you weren’t already living in town. Even if you were just 40-50 km out from the area, it would be impossible to commute to the school and back (even harder in winter climates!). So the solution was two-fold. You either board for the school year on campus at the lodging of the school site itself, or you need an alternative way of getting your education. And the answer to that of course was correspondence or distance learning.

The earlier adopter schools tailored courses, then full degrees that could be obtained entirely through self-directed learning. This form of education proved popular as it allowed students to work and study at the same time without relocated to a campus. It also increased the reach and accessibility of education to those living in remote areas that never would have an option for higher education based on geographical hurdles.

Popularity of Canada Distance Education

Canada distance education was not only popular for these reasons, but also a significant factor in a school’s enrollment and financial success.

Theoretically, today we would assume that distance learning would be on the way down as there are more and more schooling options available in more and more areas outside of urban centres. However, enrollment in distance education is actually on the rise thanks to schools adopting continuing education via correspondence studies and other universities and colleges purely dedicated to correspondence education.

As people lead busier and busier lives, distance education is a preferable option as students can parcel out their time more effectively. With the rising cost of education in Canada, students can now work one or more jobs, and fit in their education on their own time through distance learning programs. Remarkably, the level of sophistication of these correspondence programs has increased so much so that now you can obtain graduate level degrees via this method with certain institutions as well.

Distance learning in Canada is here to stay!


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