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The Improvement of Education at a Distance

The first type of education at the distance came in the form of correspondence.

Between 1918 and 1946, more than 200 transmission licenses were issued to the educational institutions. Radio became a part of the educational system, and it is used especially in the isolated, poor areas. Television then soon followed, evolving through the 80s when the boom of cable and satellite TV occured. The invention and development of the computer allow the stocking of course on CD-ROMs that allowed for multimedia content : text, images, sounds, simulations. The internet is the next step, that of breaking the distance and allow the bilateral communication.

In the first form of education at the distance, the interposed medium between students and teachers would be in writing. Such the technology as typography (for multiplication) and mail (for distribution) are being used. The first analogical technology used in education are the radio and the television that offered a uni-directional medium of communication. For most of the 20th century, the education at a distance meant correspondence courses and then, in the 60s-80s, synchronous communication become possible via satellite video conference system. The significant changes occurred with the development and the raise of the internet. Now that technology become more than just an compensator for the distance, it refresh the ideas of a classroom. The all educational process is revolutionized while the nature of social interaction between those involved in it is changed as well.

The educational process involves several important actions: teaching- that refers to the development of a course, the stocking of course material and the delivery; seminar – that includes supported browsing of the course materials, ongoing test, the stimulation process  and the motivation maintenance; verification – that refers to the evaluation of the course; and administration – that refers to the enrolling, school record, issuing diplomas, etc. In the case of e-learning, the education at a distance is mediated by information communication technologies, all these processes can be automated and managed by a program, the Learning Management System (LMS) .

The function of LMS should include: authoring, the classroom management, competence management, knowledge management, personalization, mentoring functions, chat and discussion forums. Learning with the help of LMS can save time without affecting the quality of the actual learning, minimize the costs, provides adequate methods of delivering the courses, an individual instruction as well as overal better results that the traditional methods. Research has shown that employees who take a continual instruction courses with learning management systems will become more productive. They become more stable in the workplace and more willing to satisfy the customer needs.

Education at a distance take every step gradually. Although by correspondence, radio and TV are still used to educate in some parts of the world, the peak is at the LMS level, and this is the most effective method overall.

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