Russell Baker
University of Tampa rbaker@ut.edu

Raymond Papp
University of Tampa rpapp@ut.edu

Distributed learning presents universities and colleges with the ability to expand their reach into new markets and stay competitive and relevant in this dynamic information-based global economy. Through the effective use of distributed learning tools, location and cost are no longer barriers to earning a degree and enable universities and colleges to reach working adults and international students as well as further penetrate the traditional student market. This paper highlights the evolving transformation of Distance learning models to the evolving technology based distributed learning modes. While each institution has its own mission and goal for distance learning and distributed learning, there are certain things that need to be considered while developing or implementing a curriculum that involves education at a distance. This paper explores distance learning from a macro perspective and suggests some critical success factors that will aid faculty and institutions in distance learning and distributed learning development.

Distance learning and distributed learning and their current platforms have a potential role to play in academic content delivery for educators globally. It can certainly do for higher education what the Gutenberg press did for the Bible. History tells us that until 1450 A.D., books were painstakingly copied by hand, a lengthy process that limited them to an elite few. The combination of movable type, ink and press, however, greatly increased the distribution of the written word. Likewise, capacity in courses at Harvard, Stanford and MIT and Wharton is limited. With Distance learning, however, a Wharton Professor can teach students not just in Philadelphia, but now globally. The Internet and the World Wide Web have revolutionized the way we teach, making...