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Distance learning is a means of remote learning where the students need not undergo the face to face teaching sessions. This means that the students do not interact with their teachers or fellow students in person. The students attend the classroom sessions via the internet and emails, The students can also interact with their teachers through postal mails. Earlier distance education included correspondence courses where students took learning classes via postal service.
Nowadays, with the digital revolution, distance learning is all about online learning. With the advent of Worldwide Web and online courses, distance learning programs have taken a big jump. Many students are opting for online classes where they can actively interact with the teachers through e-learning or virtual classrooms, live satellite broadcasts, chat rooms, web conferencing and message boards.
Distance learning courses have become increasingly popular for the students as well as working professionals. Distance training is important for students as they can learn new skills and also helpful for professionals who want a change in their professional careers.
Many established academic institutions offer distance learning courses and are utilized by students around the world. Distance learning is offered in various fields like business, finance, public relations, hospitality, healthcare, leadership and management.
Distance learning courses include Certificate and Diploma courses, short courses. Undergraduate and postgraduate courses.
In the distance learning courses, a comprehensive curriculum is prepared by the in-house academic department that includes case studies and theoretical knowledge. Students can interact with the faculty and clear their doubts via live classroom sessions or online chats. Some distance learning courses have flexible time slots as well as scholarship programs for the students.
In India, there are many universities that offer distance learning programs
These include the National and State Open Universities. Besides this, there are important Distance Educational Institutions at the National level that offer educational programs. These are Central Universities, State Universities, Deemed to be Universities. Along with this several State Private Universities also offer Distance education courses.
Stand-alone Institutions of the National level that offer Distance courses include Professional Associations, Government and Private Institutions.
Let us now take a look at the top Institutes offering distance courses in India:
There are MBA programs offered by some of the important Institutes. These programs help the working professionals to focus on their career and learn new skills simultaneously which adds to their credentials.
Premier distance learning institutes offer courses that fulfil the dreams of the students and assist them in building a successful career. The course material is structured in such a way that it helps the students to maintain a work-life balance.
Several courses are designed for the working professionals that make them ready for a career change and improvises on their professional skills in different domains.
Indira Gandhi Open University(IGNOU) has one of the largest distance learning programs in several courses which are affordable and easy to enrol.
Bachelor of Arts( BA)
Master of Arts(MA)
Masters Courses are provided in a variety of disciplines like Economics, Political Science, Anthropology, Sociology, Library and Information Science.
Diploma and Certificate courses - Mental health, Library Science, Disaster Management
Check out the list of distance courses offered by other open Universities which have been approved by the UGC
Mumbai University- BA, B.Com, B.Sc, MA( Economics, Education, English, Political Science History, Sociology), M.Com, M.Sc ( Information technology).
Uttarakhand Open University- M.Sc( Botany, Chemistry, Mathematics, Zoology, Physics)
Jamia Millia Islamia University- BA(Arts)
Amity University (Noida) - BA, BBA (Bachelor of Business Administration), B.Sc( Information Technology), BCA(Bachelor of Computer Applications), MCA(Master of Computer Applications), MBA(Master of Business Administration)
Madurai Kamaraj University - BA, B.Com, BCA,BBA, MA,MCom,MCA,MBA, MA(Library and Information Sciences)
Reputed International Universities offer distance learning courses in the following areas:
Most of the distance courses offered by international universities are self-paced and help individuals to explore fascinating subjects. It assists the candidate to become well versed in a particular subject matter and make enriching career choices.
Distance learning courses have eligibility rules which the students must comply before taking admission to the different courses. The admission criteria to distance programs are much relaxed than the regular courses.
Before applying for distance education programs the students must check the eligibility criteria. Only if the eligibility criteria is fulfilled, the students can apply for admission to distance learning programs.
Eligibility Criteria for Distance Undergraduate Course:
If the students want to get admission in the undergraduate distance learning courses like BBA, and the Diploma courses, they are required to meet the following criteria:
Eligibility Criteria for Distance Postgraduate Course:
Candidates applying for postgraduate admission to distance learning programs like MBA, PGDM or Certificate Postgraduate courses have to fulfil the following criteria.
The selection of the candidates to the undergraduate distance learning programs depend on the course for which the candidate has applied. Some colleges opt for admission tests while other colleges admit students based on merit and previous performances. For postgraduate degree courses or MBA, the colleges take entrance examinations or enrol students on the basis of their national level competitive examination score. Usually admission to distance learning programs is conducted on a first come first serve basis or on merit.
For B.Ed, the eligibility and last qualification for the distance course are as follows:
Which is better, distance course or regular course
The digital revolution has popularised distance learning courses. Use of computers, tablets, laptops and even smartphones have made distance education easily accessible to everyone. In many instances, distance education has replaced the traditional education system where it is not possible for the candidate to attend regular classes. Easy availability of study materials online and interactive doubt clearing sessions with the instructors have made the distance education programs even more popular.
However, the good old classroom sessions can never be beaten as this provides a wholesome studying environment for the student. In a classroom, students can interact with their peer groups and engage in group discussions on a particular subject. There is also efficient communication between the students and teachers which provides an ideal environment for education.
Let us now find out which is better distance course or regular course.
Classroom learning offers wholesome growth for the students. Classroom learning helps the student to engage in diverse group activities and interactive sessions. This also includes group discussions, brainstorming with peers, meetings and presentations which make the student confident and ready to face greater challenges in future. It prepares the student to face the professional life by inculcating skills, personal development along with subject matter expertise.
However, classroom learning has its share of drawbacks like restrictions in syllabus and timings, competitive environment that adds to the stress level of the students. Also, classroom learning is expensive and not all students can afford it. Classroom courses have fixed timings which the candidate has to comply with. This builds pressure on the students and limits their extent of learning.
The distance learning courses have more scope for the students because it saves both time and money for the students. Candidates can opt for the different courses sitting in the comforts of their homes. The mode of learning in distance courses is self-paced and students can also engage in other productive activities.
Distance courses also provide study materials online which is a huge advantage for the students. Apart from this, the students can engage in online doubt clearing sessions, quizzes and online examinations. Tests are conducted online and students are freed from travelling to exam centres. Moreover, distance learning is affordable and can be opted by professionals who want to add skills to their credentials.
However, distance learning has disadvantages because of the lack of communication which is an important attribute for the growth of the students. Distance learning does not contribute to the personality development of the students in terms of language and etiquette.
Distance learning is gaining huge popularity among the students as well as working professionals due to its easy accessibility, affordability and flexible learning schedules. With advancements in digital transformation, distance learning is going to the in-demand form of education among students and professionals.
Current research reports have suggested that distance learning methods have been a more sensible approach to education. Distance learning has been fruitful for the students who cannot travel to physical classrooms or have financial problems in pursuing a full-time course.
Few important instructions for the distance mode help a student avail the maximum benefits of this platform.
The distance learning program is becoming rapidly popular as it connects the students and educators in a unique way. Innovative learning styles, affordable education options and flexible time schedules have made distance learning gain an edge over the traditional classroom courses. With the rising popularity of the distance programs among the students and working professionals, the number of distance courses are increasing every year.
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