Throughout history, access to quality education has been an issue for many individuals. There are a variety of reasons which may have contributed to the accessibility issues including race, economic status, health conditions, and the general geographic region where a person lives. These barriers have historically prevented many people from receiving equal educational opportunities.

With advances in technology, distance education is emerging as a formidable opponent and could potentially even the playing field in terms of educational access. In order to determine the viability of this method of delivering education, a historical evolution of distance learning (DL) was explored. This extensive literature review provided an introspective analysis of the types and components of distance learning. It also revealed the strengths and weaknesses, as well as the factors associated with considering distance learning as a means to increase the accessibility to education.