What is the Difference between Distance Learning Programs and Correspondence Programs?

Correspondence education is much like (or a part of) distance education. In this type of program the entire course material is provided to the student via postal mail or email. The students are free to choose the learning pace and how they want to finish the course. Distance education is about the bigger picture. Distance education encompasses a whole gamut of educational methods and techniques. It has online classes, models for instructional delivery, and it replaces the brick-and-mortar setup in some ways. Here are some primary differences between the two.

Methods of Delivery

Correspondence education does not involve any interaction between the student and teachers. It is a self-paced learning program that is not really student centric. Correspondence system came into effect nearly 150 years ago in Europe and United States to provide education to those who could not attend the school or colleges. Distance learning covers a lot of things. The students get to interact with the teachers and instructors. They can also communicate with the fellow students. With the advanced internet technologies, distance education is rapidly catching up with traditional education system.


Correspondence and distance learning both offer lots of flexibility to the students as they can choose to learn at their own pace. However, correspondence is a little more flexible than distance learning. While being the part of the distance learning, you may need to be the part of the virtual classroom at any particular time this is not the case with correspondence learning. You do not need to attend any classes and you just have the course material to learn from. Therefore, you can choose your own time.


With evolved internet technologies offering more advanced ways to conduct distance learning programs, it is being recognized and accepted by many employers today. This means that distance learning is always given more preference over the correspondence learning. Employers believe that the student will have followed a better learning curve by being the part of the online education.

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