1) Open and Distance Learning (ODL) is a general term for the use of telecommunication to provide or enhance learning. Around the world, the academic community is discovering and exploring the Internet, teleconferencing, and related means to achieve an extended classroom or learning experience. Students in Russia are earning degrees from a university in Australia. Primary and secondary-grade students are exchanging e-mail across continents as a supplement to their formal studies. Students and teachers at all levels are taking part in teleconferences and forming associations that would have been unlikely five years ago. A number of world conferences have been held on ODL and many experimental projects are underway.
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The United States Distance Learning Association has its own formal definition of "distance learning":
The acquisition of knowledge and skills through mediated information and instruction, encompassing all technologies and other forms of learning at a distance.
A few of the many educational organizations involved with ODL include:
- The University of Bergen in Bergen, Norway, which offers its own ODL Resource Page
- The Open University at the Institute for Educational Technology in the United Kingdom
- The Virtual Classroom at the New Jersey Institute of Technology
2) Object Description Language (ODL) is a simple language for defining data structures that is used in the United States by the National Aeronautics and Space Adinistration (NASA).
Several somewhat similar languages have been created by other organizations for defining program or data objects. These include an Object Design Language and an Object Definition Language.