An Example of Correspondence Education
If you’re interested in pursuing an education, you might be wondering about correspondence education. This type of education, originally called “postal coursework,” was first introduced to the public during the 19th century, when professors would mail out assignments and projects to students, who would then return them for grading. Today, most correspondence courses take place over the internet, though some institutions still offer classroom-based courses. While the postal origin of correspondence courses is still relevant, most modern distance education courses are conducted over the internet.
The first widely documented example of correspondence education is a course offered in 1728 by Caleb Phillips in Boston. Phillips published an ad in the Boston Gazette offering to teach shorthand through letter exchange. This correspondence course represents one of the first well-documented examples of distance learning, and it revolutionized accessibility to students in all corners of the United States. Today, there are only a few examples of mail-away courses available, but the model has become increasingly popular as the Internet expands its use.
In addition to the telecourses, the asynchronous recording and playback technologies have found their way into the homes of learners. Metropolitan colleges have made use of audiotapes and videotapes as supplements to correspondence course materials. Some even produced specialized courses. CD-ROMs contain audio and video files, as well as data files. These CD-ROMs are affordable, durable, and easily mailed. These technologies have been the backbone of distance learning for decades.