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TVETipedia Glossary

Find and compare definitions of key terms in TVET


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Distance learning

Distance learning is a mode of delivering education or training programmes remotely. It does not require a simultaneous interaction between the teacher/trainer and the learner.

Also known as e-learning or online learning, it is a form of education in which teachers and students are physically separated. Various technologies such as Skype allow for teachers and students to interact and communicate. Traditional distance learning focused on individuals in remote areas and it used to be via mail.

The learner has been matched with a teacher, tutor, or volunteer with whom he/she has regular interaction with regard to the content of the distance learning curriculum, and who provides support throughout the distance learning experience. Distance learning is characterized by all of the following:

  • A separation of place and/or time between the learner(s) and the instructor.
  • The use of standardized curriculum.
  • The delivery of education or training that employs technology in at least one of the following four categories:
  • Computer Technology, such as the Internet or CD-ROM.
  • Video Technology, such as videoconferencing, cable, satellite linkage, and videotapes.
  • Audio graphic Technology, such as radio and audiotapes.
  • Telephone Technology, such as teleconferencing.
  • Support by a tutor, including help with content and assistance with technology, on line, on the telephone, or in person.

Education and training imparted at a distance through communication media: books, radio, TV, telephone, correspondence, computer or video.

National Research and Development Centre for adult literacy and numeracy (commissioned by the EU), European Adult Learning Glossary level 1, 2011

  • a distance education which is a mode of learning in which students and teachers are physically separated from each other. It is a student-centered, guided independent study making use of well — studied teaching and learning pedagogies to deliver well-designed learning materials through various media. It is sometimes described as flexible learning and distributed learning. (RA 10650) (TESDA Circular No. 062 s., 2020)
  • a formal education process in which majority of the instruction occurs when the students and instructor are not in the same place. Distance learning may employ correspondence study, audio, video, computer technologies or other modern technology that can be used to facilitate learning and formal and non-formal training. (TESDA Circular 121 s. 2020)
TESDA, TVET glossary of terms (online), (accessed 12/2022)

Instructional model in which the teacher or trainer and the learner are physically separated and use various resources and technologies to interact, simultaneously or not.


Distance learning may combine e-learning, online learning, virtual learning, books, audio, video and correspondence courses;

  • distance learning programmes can be combined with classroom instruction: this is called blended learning.
Cedefop, Glossary. Terminology of European education and training policy, (accessed 03/2023)

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