A timeline from the American Center for the Study of Distance Learning shows that distance learning began in 1840, when an English educator, Sir Isaac Pitman, offered shorthand classes by mail. He would would mail text on postcards to students, and the students would mail their completed lessons back to him. Correspondence courses began to grow in popularity, and in 1858 the University of London became the first college to offer distance learning degrees. In the 20th century, technological innovations made televised, credible college courses, such as New York University's "Sunrise Semester", possible.
Today, more than 3 million people are earning secondary and post-graduate degrees completely online. The advantages include:
- Self-paced learning.
- Access to schools outside of your region.
- Flexibility with work schedules.
- Access for those with restricted mobility.
- No commuting, so you save time and money.
Many people who choose online learning are non-traditional students who work full-time or have young families, so time management is crucial. The Denver Public Library is here to offer support by helping you find full-text, peer-reviewed newspaper and magazine articles using your library card and by sharing tips on locating credible, authoritative information on the web on just about any topic.
You may find it helpful to download a free citation/bibliographic manager such as Zotero, Mendeley, or EndNote Basic. These are used for collecting, organizing and retrieving research from books, websites and articles. You can also use a manager to properly insert formatted footnotes, citations and bibliographies into your research paper.
Finally, check out 21 Study Tips for Online Classes Success, a list of strategies compiled by students.