The Study of Distance Education by Distance Education


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Distance education has become what analysts call a growth industry, and they predict it remaining so for many years to come. The term distance education was formally introduced into the U.S. government’s Educational Resources Information Center (ERIC) thesaurus on October 24, 1983 (Wright & Howell, 2004). One government study reported that distance learning had a presence in only ten states in 1987 but by 1989 it was in all 50 states (Perelman, p. 1992). The most current studies on distance education enrollment trends available at the time of this writing show that this enrollment growth “was a rocket-like 27.64%” for those 71 established distance education programs surveyed for the academic period September 2003 to January 2004 (“The Survey,” 2004). An economic study shows that the “U.S. education and training industry will grow from $2.1 billion revenue in 2002 to $33.6 billion in 2005” (“Six Higher,” 2004).

Original Publication Citation

Lindsay, N. & Howell, S. (2004, September). The study of distance education by distance education. International Journal of Instructional Technology & Distance Learning, 1(9). At http://www.itdl.org/Journal/Sep_04/index.htm.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date



International Journal of Instructional Technology & Distance Learning




David O. McKay School of Education


Instructional Psychology and Technology

University Standing at Time of Publication

Associate Professor