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Distance Education in Computer Science

  1. J. Mark Pullen,
  2. J. Goodlett McDaniel

Published Online: 16 MAR 2009

DOI: 10.1002/9780470050118.ecse937

Wiley Encyclopedia of Computer Science and Engineering

Wiley Encyclopedia of Computer Science and Engineering

How to Cite

Pullen, J. M. and McDaniel, J. G. 2009. Distance Education in Computer Science. Wiley Encyclopedia of Computer Science and Engineering. 978–958.

Author Information

  1. George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 16 MAR 2009


The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools defines distance education (DE) as a “formal educational process in which most of course instruction (51% or more of instruction and interaction among students and faculty, as measured by contact hours) occurs when students and instructors are not in the same location. Instruction may be synchronous or asynchronous, including mixed delivery formats”. Distance education extends access to students who trade off the ability to participate in a traditional classroom setting against time saved by not commuting to class. DE is especially appealing to students who need a long time to travel to class, whether that is because of long distances in sparsely settled areas or because of traffic congestion in densely urban areas. Because of their high familiarity with computers and the fact that most information in the disciplines already exists in automated form, students in computer science and computer engineering find themselves among the “early adopters” of DE. The technologies and methods involved are broadly applicable, so they form an interesting application study in these disciplines as well as an important emerging mode of technical education.


  • synchronous distance education;
  • asynchronous distance education;
  • blended;
  • delivery;
  • learning management system