Open and Distance Learning are two different terms and methodologies of studies combined into one. Traditional teaching involves studying in a classroom with a teacher’s aid.
Open Learning, on the other hand, is quite different. Like walking to the same destination but with different routes, I suppose. The degree or education you get is the same, but you are an independent scholar with Open Learning. Open Learning is based on independent study and gives students greater control over their Learning.
Imagine a classroom with no students; it sounds incomplete, right? Students, teachers, management, and infrastructures all come together to complete a school. This same school, however, can be conducted without any physical presence. The methodology is called Distance Learning.
The Internet is a fantastic invention that connects us with other people all around the world. Internet technology can connect students from different places and conduct a class without physical presence. While the management and the teachers are present, infrastructure is not needed.
While Open Learning is like a theory, Distance Learning puts this into practice. Open and Distance Learning combines these two terms to make a new form of education readily accessible to all and has greater control over what and when they study.
History of Open and Distance Learning
The ODL (Open and Distance Learning) methodology has significantly increased in practice. Its history dates back to the early 1700s, even before televisions, radio, and computers. The earliest record is in 1728, in Boston, where Caleb Phillips published an advertisement inviting people to participate in distance learning.
Students would be able to learn shorthand (A writing technique faster than standard methods) as they would send their copies to Philips, and he would correct them for them. Later in the 19th Century, students would be taught various study courses in printed format. Based in Chicago, the school would later give classes to the soldiers during World War II as a part of their training.
Later on, with the introduction of television, distance education also saw growth. Educational programs on television made students able to learn at home without going to school. The distance learning sector has grown a lot in the past few centuries, both in resources and technologies. We now have multimedia and many resources to study from.
The Rise of Online Learning
Many people have foreseen the importance of internet education ever since its development. The online learning method was still used, although not as popular. The situation would all change in the year 2020.
The rise of online Learning was quite meteoric. No one had seen it coming, and for a few months or years, online Learning was the most important method to study. The start of the COVID-19 pandemic locked most people inside their homes, and going out wasn’t an option.
It was probably smooth sailing for many during the first few weeks of the pandemic but worry soon set in. Many health, education, and other related issues started to come up, and students had no proper way of studying. Covid was when Online Learning began to boom.
Many institutions believed Online Learning was an essential tool for their long-term growth. Online Learning proved very useful in 2020 due to the pandemic. It was in 2011 that Eric Yuan created zoom for distance learning. While it had users, there was a meteoric increase in using Zoom and other learning apps. People have had their share of experiences with Zoom. Zoom and other online learning apps are still used to this very day.