Avoiding the Quality/Quantity Trade-Off in Distance Education
The promises of distance education to provide high-quality educational pro-grams that can be undertaken anywhere and at any time are not new. Similar promises were made early in the 20th century by correspondence study programs. These programs failed to realize their promises because they were confronted by a fundamental trade-off between quality – personalized education – and quantity – the widespread communication of the message to large numbers of students. When higher education confronted this trade-off, they opted to choose the quantity model. That choice eventually led to a widespread dissatisfaction with the quality of correspondence education.