Distance education has four primary characteristics that distinguish it from traditional education. First, institutions carry out distance education and it is not defined as a self-study or learning environment that is non-academic (Simonson, Smaldino, & Zvacek, 2015, p. 31). Second, being separated due to geographical location is a primary component of distance education. Third, telecommunications enable learners and teachers to connect with each other. Fourth, is composed of teachers, instructional resources, and students (Simonson, Smaldino, & Zvacek, 2015, p. 32).
Telecommunications refers to e-media, and communication occurs at a distance (Simonson, Smaldino, & Zvacek, 2015, p. 33).
Grenville Rumble (1989) defined distance education as a process where there is a teacher, at least one student, a curriculum or course of study that the teacher is qualified to teach, and where a contract exists between teacher and student (Simonson, Smaldino, & Zvacek, 2015, p. 34).