Distance education or distance learning is a mode of delivering education and instruction, often on an individual basis, to students who are not physically present in a traditional setting such as a classroom. The Distance Education program me was launched in the year 2004 to extend the benefits of its high quality innovative, and value-based education to all sections of society and to foster empowerment and economic development. Distance education is less a philosophy and more a method of education. Students can study in their own time, at the place of their choice (home, work or learning centre), and without face-to-face contact with a teacher. Technology is a critical element of distance education. If an institution is deliberately selective in its students, it has more flexibility with regard to choice of technology for distance education. It can for instance require all students who wish to take a distance education program to have their own computer. It cannot do that if its mandate is to be open to all students.
The modern use of electronic educational technology (also called e-learning) facilitates distance learning and independent learning by the extensive use of Information and Communications Technology (ICT), replacing traditional content delivery by postal correspondence. Instruction can be synchronous and asynchronous online communication in an interactive learning environment or virtual communities, in lieu of a physical classroom. The focus is shifted to the education transaction in the form of virtual community of learners sustainable across time.
One of the most significant issues encountered in the mainstream correspondence model of Distance Education is transactional distance. Transactional distance results from the lack of appropriate communication between learner and teacher. This gap has been observed to become wider if there is no communication between the learner and teacher and has direct implications over the learning process and future endeavors in Distance Education. Distance Education providers began to introduce various strategies, techniques, and procedures to increase the amount of interaction between learner and teacher. These measures e.g. more frequent face-to-face tutorials, increased use of Information and Communication Technologies including teleconferencing and the Internet, were designed to close the gap in transactional distance.