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Distance Learning Resources

About us

The Global Distance EducationNet is a product of the Education Group of the World Bank's Human Development Network. It is managed by the Task Force for Bridging the Digital Divide through Education. 

What is it?

The Global Distance Education Network is a set of information management tools designed to provide current and accurate information about distance education and training from around the world.


Who is it for?

These tools are intended to serve the World Bank's client countries, public and private organizations, and individuals interested in using distance education as a means of human development.


What makes it distinctive?

Global Distance EducationNet has five distinguishing characteristics:

1. Focus on distance education
Primarily concerned with the design and implementation of national, state or institutional systems of distance education, defined as all education in which the sole or principal means of communication between teacher(s) and learner(s) is through technology.

2. Targeted
Explicitly targeted on the needs of developing countries and their policy makers, educational decision-makers and practitioners.

3. Both comprehensive and selective
Global Distance EducationNet contains a carefully screened selection of readings, related databases, and reports of good practice.

4. Dynamic
Suggestions from partners and contributors will be reviewed and will replace existing items when considered relevant.

5. Multi-lingual
In addition to English, items will be provided in other languages, beginning with Spanish and Chinese.



The Network is a product of partnerships with leading distance education institutions and educators. The Network’s principal source of documents on distance education is the International Centre for Distance Learning, (ICDL) headquartered at the U.K. Open University. Other partner and associate member institutions, providing current materials from Latin America, Asia, Australia, Africa, Canada and Europe, include institutions with proven capacity and commitment to knowledge management in distance education. Institutions invited to become initial partners are:

South African Institute for Distance Education (SAIDE),

Commonwealth of Learning,

International Centre for Distance Learning (ICDL) of The Open University,

Centre for Research in Distance and Adult Learning (CRIDAL) of The Open University of Hong Kong,

Indonesian Distance Learning Network,

Universidad Estatal a Distancia (UNED).

The American Center for the Study of Distance Education at the Pennsylvania State University and Communications Development Incorporated (CDI) provided development, design, and related services for the core site of Global DistEdNet.


How it works

Global Distance EducationNet will scan the global environment, collect literature, case studies and other information relevant to distance education and development, make selections from this collection, and make them available via the Internet. An editorial group comprised of representatives of the Partner institutions will exercise oversight on the selection of these items. The editorial group consists of:

Dr. Michael Moore
The American Center for the Study of Distance Education
Pennsylvania State University

Vigny Alverado
Universidad Estatal a Distancia (UNED)

Gajaraj Dhanarajan
Commonwealth of Learning

Nick Farnes
International Centre for Distance Learning (ICDL)
The Open University

Olugbemiro Jegede
Centre for Research in Distance and Adult Learning (CRIDAL)
The Open University of Hong Kong

Nicky Roberts
South African Institute for Distance Education (SAIDE)

Arief Sadiman
Indonesian Distance Learning Network

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