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Before you Go for the ‘Distant’ way of Learning, Know whether it is A Boon or Bane for You!

With the introduction of MOOCs, distance education has gained new heights.

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Students studying at Starbucks. Wikimedia Commons

November 22, 2016: Since 1737, when the first attempt to distance learning course was advertised by Caleb Philipps, teacher of the shorthand method, to help students learn through weekly mailed lessons, distance learning has evolved dynamically because of the advancement of technology in the world of online education. Many students bounded by financial barriers and time constraints are able to access education in their chosen field. Recently, Google data suggested that online education providers are accessed more than the traditional campus universities.

However, distance learning isn’t for everyone. It requires a great deal of self-discipline and determination. But people who are unable to attend residential schools because of other commitments, distance learning is a flexible alternative.

edx logo. Wikimedia Commons
edx logo. Wikimedia Commons

“Distance learning means literally that: learning from a distance,” says Doreen Gough of UNISA. “Distance learning students receive their study material either through the post, or online. They submit assignments through the post or email and receive them back marked.

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“Students in this form of study sometimes have to buy their own prescribed books if they aren’t included in the package. The institutions which offer these courses will have their own arrangements regarding admission to examinations and where students should write these examinations.”

Before applying, one needs to know if the distance learning is the right choice for them. Here are few pros and cons of distance learning course that one must carefully examine before applying.

Pros:

  1. You can start a distance learning course whenever you need them. You don’t need to wait for the college’s semester schedule. There are no set time classes. You decide your pace and your degree plan.
  2. The variety of opportunities that distance learning provides cannot be matched. Millions of courses are there for you just a click away. Also, these courses are cheaper than the traditional campus courses as there are no accommodation problems.
  3. Though some distance learning courses provide an in-class environment, there are many other courses in which you control your learning environment.
  4. Distance learning courses are better for students who learn better through experimental exercises or are language-challenged or introvert.
  5. You can continue with your job while studying a distance learning course.

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Coursera logo. Wikimedia Commons
Coursera logo. Wikimedia Commons

Cons:

  1. If you believe in personalized teacher’s attention, then online education is not for you.
  2. If you are not computer-savvy and are afraid to learn some new technologies, online education will give you a hard time.
  3. Though you can interact with classmates using discussion groups, chat rooms and emails, there are no offline get together.
  4. Though online help is provided, students are expected to complete their assignments on their own. They have to find their own resources.
  5. One of the most important parts of the college is the experience, the college spirit. None of this is possible with distance learning courses

The advancement in distance learning is accompanied by a great number of scams. The students pay a lot for the degree which is not even worth the paper it is printed on.

Anytime you open the spam folder of your Gmail account, you can see a number of emails offering certificates, undergraduate degrees and even PhD programs from different institutions. The problem is that how should one tell the difference between the beneficial ones and the worthless ones. This is an important task in your life, and you don’t want to be scammed. Make sure you check that the school has accredited online PHD programs.

Blended learning logo. Wikimedia Commons
Blended learning logo. Wikimedia Commons

Universities that provide distance learning courses expect students to take time and complete the course with dedication and hard work. They require a lot of self motivation for a long period of time. So, if someone is offering you a degree or a certificate that does not require any dedication from you can be a diploma mill.

Diploma mills are the institutions that exchange degrees for money without asking any proof of course mastery or any substantive testing or coursework from students. These institutions are illegally running all across the globe.

With the rapid increase in the usage of internet throughout the world, diploma mills are becoming more difficult to track. It is very important to thoroughly check the accreditation before choosing a program as at first glance these institutions look legitimate.

Prepared by Diksha Arya of NewsGram. Twitter: @diksha_arya53

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Here’s How Online Degree Courses Has Brought a Learning Revolution in India

Online Certifications have brought an educational revolution in India

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Online Learning is very helpful for everyone to acquire skills.

Internet is now the unorthodox way to achieve things. Everything that once was gained through attending courses and classes is now available on your computer. Even seminars are held on the internet. No matter what your passion or hobby is, it can be achieved through the internet. The Internet provides different sites and videos on various topics.

It has made life simple by making it accessible through a click. It has created self-taught people. Different archived contents are now available for everyone to access. After so many revolutions created by the internet, it is also getting involved in academics. Now students can graduate through the internet via online certifications.

Online Certifications are offered by many websites and colleges. These courses need a computer with a steady internet. Online degree courses are like a regular class with flexible timing and without conventional classrooms. A country where  4 percent never attend school, 58 percent didn’t attend primary schools, 90 percent didn’t complete secondary school, and only 10 percent attend colleges, these online certifications are the best way to earn a degree. With the presence of online courses, students now will be able to complete their basic education.

Here’s how online degree courses has brought a learning revolution in India-

 

  • Online courses have made it possible for students to access world-class teaching. Due to financial or other issues, people cannot attend colleges. Most of them want to pursue their dream but are unable to. These online courses can become an easy way to access the experience of rich education they needed. They can also interact with different teachers to get their doubts clarified.

 

  • Physically or mentally disabled people need a special way of approach. They cannot go through the conventional classroom system to get their graduation. Many specializations and online degree courses are also available to them. In these, the faculties are experienced to provide the students with the extra patience and care they need. With careful teaching process, brilliant students can also emerge from them.

 

  • In the traditional way of learning, institutions offered a limited number of courses. Therefore, a student was bound to choose any one from them whether he or she liked it or not. With online degree courses, that is not an issue any more. These courses offer a wide variety of courses. This, in turn, allows the students to choose any course depending upon their liking.
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While some of them are learning these courses to quench curiosity, others have high ambitions and often look up to India-born CEOs of top companies. Pixabay
  • Every student has a different pace to grasp the knowledge provided in the class. The college also has a certain number of the semester. During these stipulated time period exams are also conducted. Some students lag due to the time they take to understand a topic. Online courses provide flexible time so that a student can completely understand a topic. This course duration can also be adjusted with the student. They can complete their courses at their own pace without any time bound.

 

  • Students are also encouraged to interact with their faculty and peers. They are made to work on projects which introduce them with the real world required skills. With the use of the internet, they can simultaneously research and share their ideas. Students also get to interact with equal minded people with different skills and knowledge. Sharing their experience with each other will help them to grow exponentially.

A newly drafted New Education Policy 2019, which will be completely implemented by 2035, will add another revolution to the online courses.

26% believe that online bachelor’s degree is as effective as conventional learning through an affiliated college, and 37 percent believe that online graduate degree is as effective as conventional learning through an affiliated college. Online course, is the best opportunity for the people who due to some issue are unable to attend college and want to explore the job opportunity available under that particular course.

It also encourages the student to participate in the session. Due to the lack of physical interaction with the teachers, the students have to participate in the session to clear their doubts. The student can interact with the teacher through message, email, or video chatting.

India is a country where only 10 percent of the students attend colleges. Maybe due to lack of financial or moral support. For them, online degree courses are an opportunity to explore their field of interest for a job or higher studies.

Online courses also changed the classroom experience. Earlier to attend classes, the student had to travel long distances, and in some cases, they had to travel to another country or state to get their degree.  But with this facility, they can get their degree and knowledge from anywhere they feel comfortable.

Course Materials
This article also teaches you about ‘Why students must not spend more on their Course Materials’.

In addition to this, they are exposed to a large number of peers having different skills and knowledge. Some colleges also provide hybrid courses, especially for major subjects.

Future of online courses

This is the beginning of the implementation of online degree courses. Many people are also unaware of the availability of courses like these, where there is no worry to travel a long distance and bare the living cost. The students can live in their native and get their degree. Keeping people informed about these courses will attract more and more students to apply for these courses.

With the development of technology, education is getting interesting. These courses make it easily accessible to the students. These will be easily available on the mobiles and tablets. The student can complete his/her assignment or study anywhere they want.

A person needs education and experience to achieve their goals. Without a teacher or a guide getting these experiences is difficult. Online degree or Online Certifications is a revolution for those who want to pursue their dream but can’t. Another major advantage is the projects students work on for their semester. Classroom studies do not always provide the real-world experience needed. The projects that are assigned to the students are based on real-world problems.

Like any other regular class, assignments are also given to the students for practice. They have to complete it at a particular time. Then the students can ask their doubts to the teacher. Online courses bring the real class experience to the computer screen.

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In addition to that, they can also ask their teacher about their doubts and can get answered properly. Most students hesitate to ask questions in front of the class. Here they get the personal space they needed, and now they can ask their doubts freely.

These are the ways how online degree courses have brought a learning revolution in India. Though this is the beginning, they have a long way to go. Online Certifications can get fully implemented until 2035, according to the new education policy. This will surely raise the literacy rate of the country and also increase their overall employability. It will also increase the GDP and skill workers count. Basically, it will help to develop the country as a whole.

Online Certifications have brought an educational revolution in India. Earlier people refrained themselves from education due to some problems, but as education became more easily available, more and more people are interested in learning. It is the path to follow to make everyone literate or at least have basic education.