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Distance Education: Current Issues and Future Implications

19 Pages Posted: 8 Nov 2011 Last revised: 19 Aug 2014

Date Written: November 8, 2011


This paper will explore the current state and literature regarding distance education in higher education. The US Department of Education reports, “In the 2006-2007 academic year, institutions reported an estimated 12.2 million enrollments in college-level credit-granting distance education courses” (US Dept of Education, 2009. p.3). With the steady rise of access to education, programs have been developed at most institutions to remain competitive and prepare to accommodate an increase of adult learners and students in remote locations. However, with quick growth, critics have questioned everything about distance education. Problems with quality, support services and developing new learning techniques to engage and encourage learners in a completely online setting have been at the forefront of the debate. This paper will review the successes and challenges associated with online learning and provide a basis for future implications of how higher education can embrace and promote distance learning.

Keywords: distance education, technology, academic integrity, higer education access

JEL Classification: I20, I29, O30, O39

Suggested Citation

McCann, Erin Jennifer, Distance Education: Current Issues and Future Implications (November 8, 2011). Available at SSRN: or

Erin Jennifer McCann (Contact Author)

Independent ( email )

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