“Without the proper technologies used or appropriate interaction, courses could be declared as correspondence courses…with financial aid implications.”
Russ Poulin, Deputy Director, Research & Analysis
WCET – WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies
Current Correspondence and Distance Education Definitions
Correspondence course: (1) A course provided by an institution under which the institution provides instructional materials, by mail or electronic transmission, including examinations on the materials, to students who are separated from the instructor. Interaction between the instructor and student is limited, is not regular and substantive, and is primarily initiated by the student. Correspondence courses are typically self-paced.
(2) If a course is part correspondence and part residential training, the Secretary considers the course to be a correspondence course.
(3) A correspondence course is not distance education.
Distance education means education that uses one or more of the technologies listed in paragraphs (1) through (4) of this definition to deliver instruction to students who are separated from the instructor and to support regular and substantive interaction between the students and the instructor, either synchronously or asynchronously. The technologies may include—
(1) The internet;
(2) One-way and two-way transmissions through open broadcast, closed circuit, cable, microwave, broadband lines, fiber optics, satellite, or wireless communications devices;
(3) Audio conferencing; or
(4) Video cassettes, DVDs, and CD–ROMs, if the cassettes, DVDs, or CD–ROMs are used in a course in conjunction with any of the technologies listed in paragraphs (1) through (3) of this definition.