So this week we studied blended learning and because I am such a nerd, the historical aspect of this subject really caught my attention. The fact that correspondence courses started in 1728 spoke volumes to me. I have told everyone I have come across all weekend. Not a lot of people, but enough. It may be on the news.
I think that most people know that I work for the Ohio Army National Guard and have for almost 30 years. So I remember my office before computers and computer based training. My first acquisition class was a correspondence course. I got a book to study and my boss got a test for me to take, which I did and barely passed. The military people studied a lot through correspondence courses. I would see these yellow staple-bound books and knew that they were doing military correspondence training. (They weren’t supposed to be doing it their desk, but… maybe that’s why the books were bright yellow, you could not hide them!)
In the early nineties, Congress passed the Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act (DAWIA) which put education and certification requirements on buyers and contracting people within DoD. DAWIA also created the Defense Acquisition University (DAU), where we could get the training and continuing education opportunities required. Early attempts at continuing education consisted of VCR tapes that we would pop in during lunch to learn a new process or just refresh us on an old process. DAU quickly moved to CD’s, and then DVD’s and now have a full library of online continuing education modules to choose from. I guess my point is that they have evolved with the times. If you compare the timeline for the infographic at http://newswatch.nationalgeographic.com/2012/02/23/300-years-of-distance-learning/ with the progression of DAU, I think you will find a very parallel path. Thanks!