Distance education (sometimes referred to as correspondence learning) has been around for over a century in the United States, but recent developments in the nature of online learning over the internet have increased exponentially. While only a few institutions (such as the University of Phoenix) conduct all of their educational programs over the internet, more and more mainstream institutions have integrated these educational approaches into their curriculums over the past few years. As part of its core mission, the Sloan Consortium is designed "to help learning organizations continually improve quality, scale, and breadth according to their own distinctive missions." The activities of the Consortium are quite broad, and include publishing the Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks (JALN), conducting surveys and leading forums on online education, and hosting conferences and workshops. The site contains a great deal of this type of material on its site, including the full-text of the JALN, and a rather compelling survey titled "The Quality and Extent of Online Education in the United States, 2002 and 2003."
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