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The California Distance Learning Project's definition is: "Distance Learning (DL) is an instructional delivery system which connects learners with educational resources. DL provides educational access to learners not enrolled in educational institutions and can augment the learning opportunities of current students. The implementation of DL is a process which uses available resources and will evolve to incorporate emerging technologies."
From a 1995 article by by Virginia Steiner on the Distance Learning Resource Network (DLRN) Web site: "Distance Education is instructional delivery that does not constrain the student to be physically present in the same location as the instructor. Historically, Distance Education meant correspondence study. Today, audio, video, and computer technologies are more common delivery modes."
From the Distance Education: A Consumer's Guide...What distance learners need to know, published by Western Cooperative for Educational Telecommunications: "Distance education is instruction that occurs when the instructor and student are separated by distance or time, or both." The Guide continues with other practical information for the potential distance education student.