Bruce Spencer VOL. One of the benefits claimed for post-secondary distance education is that it removes "barriers" to learning and is, therefore, "open"-as suggested in the title of the British distance learning university the "Open University" or British Columbia's "Open Learning Agency. Social purpose education, which leads to an enhanced participatory democracy, has been pushed to the margins of the purposes of traditional "western" distance education. It can be argued that, given the internal institutional constraints of delivery-centred distance education institutions and systems, distance education on its own cannot remove all barriers and become truly "open" and "accessible.
8 Important Characteristics Of Adult Learners
Barriers towards participation in adult education and training
Distance education or long-distance learning is the education of students who may not always be physically present at a school. Today it involves online education. A distance learning program can be completely distance learning, or a combination of distance learning and traditional classroom instruction called hybrid  or blended . Massive open online courses MOOCs , offering large-scale interactive participation and open access through the World Wide Web or other network technologies, are recent developments in distance education. One of the earliest attempts was advertised in This was in the Boston Gazette for "Caleb Philipps, Teacher of the new method of Short Hand ", who sought students who wanted to learn through weekly mailed lessons. The first distance education course in the modern sense was provided by Sir Isaac Pitman in the s, who taught a system of shorthand by mailing texts transcribed into shorthand on postcards and receiving transcriptions from his students in return for correction.
Student engagement is a concept often discussed in education and an abundance of research exists on the topic. Generally, student engagement tends to be viewed as the level of interest students show towards the topic being taught; their interaction with the content, instructor, and peers; and their motivation to learn and progress through the course. Online learning presents new challenges when compared to a traditional classroom because students are separated from their instructor by a computer screen. How can we engage our students in the content, learning activities, and assessments?
The expanding field of adult learning encompasses the study and practice of utilizing sound instructional design principals, technology, and learning theory as a means to solve educational challenges and human performance issues relating to adults, often occurring online. Online Education and Adult Learning: New Frontiers for Teaching Practices disseminates current issues and trends emerging in the field of adult e-learning and online instruction for the design of better products and services. This advanced publication provides theoretical understanding of the essential links between authentic learning, social psychology, instructional design, e-learning, online education, and various additional methods of adult learning. A Brief History of eLearning.