Advantages of online degrees over distance education
The twenty-first century has witnessed a radical advancement in technology. Right from taking care of your daily necessities to gathering information on any topic, they are done marvellously well with just the click of a button. Such advancement in technology compels digitization in the space of education as well.
The two very frequently used terms, online degree programmes and distance education, are often misinterpreted as the same. Both options provide flexibility to the learner, however, they have a fair share of differences, which will be discussed in this article.
Here is everything you need to know to help you make the right decision.
What is distance education?
Distance education, often called distance learning; is a mode of imparting education to students who are not physically present in the class. This means the students and the teachers are physically separated by geographical distance. Location does not hold any significance when it comes to distance education. For example, a student staying in Mumbai can pursue a distance BBA degree from a university in Delhi.
In such a form of learning, teachers and students communicate asynchronously by exchanging printed or electronic media. It is more of a self-paced programme.
There are a few distance education programmes that require a student to be physically present in class during specific times, like attending workshops. Such programmes are a combination of distance learning and traditional classroom learning and are also called hybrid, blended, or correspondence courses.
What are online degree programmes?
Online learning is a form of education wherein the student is provided with a stupendous amount of flexibility. The students can choose to study when they want and from wherever they want. This programme is meant for those looking to earn their degree entirely online without needing to attend a traditional campus setting. With the advancements in technology, there are various options available to the students from taking a degree programme in BCA or BBA to taking a master’s degree online. Today, some of the best online MBA programmes are provided by reputed universities.
Online degree programmes vs distance education
In the case of online degree programmes, all resources relating to the programme are provided online which gives the student easy access, enabling them to create a study timetable that fits their routine.
Distance learning often makes use of the postal system to send the required study material.
Online degrees provide a virtual learning environment where the student can interact with other fellow learners through discussion forums, with instructors through email or weekly Q and A sessions conducted. It provides them with peer support that plays a vital role in motivating them and gaining a better understanding of the topic. Moreover, it provides an incredible opportunity to network with people from diverse fields, some of whom could be their potential business partners.
Distance learning is not that interactive but a self-paced programme. Here the student is provided with the material and is expected to study on their own and submit the assignments once completed. It thus results in little to no communication between the instructor and the student.
An online BBA degree will have much more interaction when compared to a BBA correspondence course or BBA distance education.
Online degree programmes through their virtual interactions conduct real-time learning. However, the same is not applicable for distance learning education. Real-time learning has the added advantage of clearing doubts through discussion sessions or discussion forums. With distance learning, a student does not have a mentor to guide him throughout the programme duration.
Online programmes, as the name suggests, are conducted entirely online. This provides students with the flexibility to study as per their comfort and convenience. It also gives an added advantage to the working professionals to pursue their education along with a full-time job.
Distance learning or hybrid learning could require the student to be physically present during specific times, especially for exams.
Why pursue an online degree?
An online degree is a great option to save money on your education. Since it does not require you to move to a different city or country, you save on a lot of unnecessary expenditures. Moreover, you will save on the programmes itself, as it is much cheaper than regular degrees.
This provides a remarkable opportunity for a student to learn from wherever they want. From working professionals who take frequent business trips to students staying in remote places, online degree programmes provide a great opportunity to earn a degree.
Away from the classroom
Some people find that the classroom setting is not for them. This could be suited for even those who never enjoy conventional learning. Working professionals can make use of this online programme to pursue a UG or PG degree without leaving their jobs.
Degree duration is the same
The time duration for online programmes is the same as the traditional learning programme. This provides a student with the added advantage of learning slowly and not in a hurry.
Online learning provides students with the opportunity to connect with various industry experts and build meaningful relationships with them. Networking with mentors and industry experts is often neglected but has great importance since they have the ability to provide insights to the students and guide them on the right path.
Better time management
Online learning requires students to plan their timetable, allowing them to manage their time more effectively. Giving them time to work, study and also focus on their other interests. Time management is one of the most important soft skills and is highly appreciated when working for a company.
For anyone looking for a learning option different from traditional classroom education, online degree programmes provide a great opportunity. This lets you make use of advanced technology and have interactive learning when you are not in a classroom.
Manipal University Jaipur, an established leader in the field of education and research provides online degree programmes for students from across the globe. Some of the postgraduate programmes offered by MUJ are the online MCA programme and an online MBA programme.
Explore more online undergraduate and postgraduate programmes on the website.