Distance Education Timeline

This is a history of Distance Education.  

Enjoy!

Amy Gretencord

**All images were retrieved from Google Images.

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1855
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Pitman Shorthand Training Program

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The first course for an instructional delivery system was the Pitman Shorthand Training Program on stenographic practices.  Secretaries from the United Postal Service would complete exercises and mail them to the Phonographic Institute (Cincinnati, Ohio).  After completion, the secretaries would receive a certificate.

1873
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Society to Encourage Studies at Home

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Established by Anna Ticknor, this network of women teaching women provided educational opportunities by way of using the postal service. 

1881
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Chautauqua Correspondence College

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This correspondence program was developed by Willian Rainey Harper in Chautauqua, New York.  This program led to New York's authorization of correspondence courses. 

1890
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Colliery School of Mines

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This early distance learning was an instructional delivery system to teach mine safety.  The home study course was established by Thomas Foster who was seeking to facilitate miners pass a safety exam.  Years later, the institution name changed to International Correspondence Schools of Scranton.

1892
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University of Chicago

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This was the first formally established distance learning program in the world.  University of Chicago was established by William Harper and Richard Moulton.

1921
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First educational radio license granted to University of Salt Lake City

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Students were now able to listen to their instructors on live radio instructions.  Educators did not have to rely just on correspondence as a communication medium.

1934
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First educational television medium by University of Iowa

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In 1934, instructional medium was now available by television.  The University of Iowa aired courses for distance education students via television.

1964
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Articulated Instructional Media Project

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Created by the University of Wisconsin and funded by the Carnegie Corporation was the first to investigate ways to use multimedia for the independent learner.

1978
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Bulletin Board System

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The first Bulletin Board System was launched by Ward Christensen and Randy Suess. This enabled students to send email messages and communicate information more freely as compared with previous communication mediums.

1993
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First fully accredited online university

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Jones International University was the first fully online accredited university by the Higher Learning Commission.  It provided five bachelor and twenty four master degree programs. 

2008
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MOOCs

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Massive Open Online Courses provide open access to educational courses online to anyone.  Some examples include Khan Academy and Coursera.



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