Should we be Allowing Technology to Remove "Distance" from "Distance Education"?

  • Richard Fisher


Some researchers suggest that the rapid evolution of increasingly sophisticated e-learning technologies, in combination with synchronous delivery, have resulted in the death of distance education. This paper distinguishes traditional distance education from e-learning, on the basis of geographical separation of teachers and students, no online access requirements, and the historical rationale for distance education. These and other factors, including relative costs, point to longevity, rather than an early demise for this form of distance education. Education for sustainability (EFS) is used as a cautionary case study to illustrate the ways in which e-learning may not adequately serve the goals of EFS as well as traditional distance education. Caution is urged in the further development of e-learning policies to ensure that they distinguish traditional distance education on the basis of its ongoing, special value to learners.


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How to Cite
FISHER, Richard. Should we be Allowing Technology to Remove "Distance" from "Distance Education"?. The New Zealand Annual Review of Education, [S.l.], n. 18, july 2008. ISSN 1178-3311. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 27 oct. 2020. doi:


Distance Education