Distance learning means there is no physical interaction or face-to-face communication between students and teachers at the time of giving instruction.
This learning involves the use of various technologies that facilitate communication between student and teacher or student and student. When distance teaching combines with distance learning, it forms distance education.
The other terms used in distance learning are e-learning or online learning, virtual learning, etc. There is a slight difference in all the terms related to this type of learning. Online learning or e-learning involves the internet as a medium. In virtual learning, primary or secondary school students can attend the classes online. In correspondence education, the instructions are communicated through the mail.
Earlier, the focus of this kind of learning was mainly on nontraditional students. As military personnel, full-time workers, and individuals living in remote areas cannot attend lectures in the classroom.
Different universities provide opportunities for the same. The University of Phoenix is one of the earliest who adopted distance learning.
There is a mutual benefit of this kind of learning for students as well as Universities.
This type of learning is not self-study. It is by the institutions. In this type of learning, there is no time and geographic restriction. This type of learning helps in forming a learning community.