Online Degrees have become increasingly popular over the past couple of years. Distance Education or Distance learning has been around for several decades and was a popular medium for learners who couldn’t attend traditional classroom learning. However, with the proliferation of the Internet across India and the advent of the latest technologies, Online Degree programs have become an essential and popular alternative.
This article will explore the differences between Online Degree programs and Distance Education. First, let us understand both forms of learning.
In Distance education, the student learns without being present at a physical location of a college or university. The college or university sends the study material through postal mail to the remote learner. The learner goes through the study material and appears at a physical exam center for the exams. There is hardly any interaction among the Distance education students or even the faculty.
Online Degrees provide the benefits of both Distance Learning and the traditional education model. In this learning mode, the learner can study from anywhere and at any time through a learning management system (LMS). The LMS provides enormous flexibility in a virtual environment where study material, recorded lectures, discussion forums, and live interactions with faculty can occur. Assignments and exams are online. The student can be anywhere in the world and complete his online degree.
The differences can be broadly classified as follows:
Online degree programs provide a superior learning environment with recorded lectures and an active discussion forum shared with other learners in the cohort. The learner can listen to the recorded lectures multiple times and clear his doubts with the help of faculty and other fellow learners. Additionally, each week, the learner can have live interactions with the faculty associated with the specific subject.
Due to the lack of LMS, Distance education’s learning environment is severely hampered by the lack of student cohort interactions and live interactions with faculty. There are no mentors to clear doubts that may come up during the study.
Since the online degree courses were developed in the past couple of years, they benefit from newer and more industry-oriented courses. Some of the prestigious universities in India, such as Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham’s Amrita AHEAD Online Degree problem, have developed programs that are more aligned to the needs of the industry, which lead to better career and placement prospects for learners.
With Distance education, learners may need to visit an exam center to write their exams. Online Degree courses provide the flexibility of writing a proctored exam from the comfort of a learner’s home or from anywhere in the world. Latest technologies are used to ensure the exams are proctored correctly.
Through the learning management system (LMS), online learners benefit from networking with other learners in their cohort. This provides a rich environment to network with peers for collaborative learning and exploration of future career prospects. Online courses also invite industry mentors for webinars, and some prestigious universities invite industry experts and adjunct faculty from around the world to provide world-class education.
Due to the lack of interaction with fellow learners and industry experts, the growth and networking would be limited for a learner in Distance Education.
Amrita AHEAD, the prestigious Online Degree program offering from Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, strives to provide a holistic, rich learning environment for its learners supplemented by high-quality industry-aligned programs taught by world-class faculty. Some of the programs at Amrita AHEAD include Online BCA, Online MCA, and Online MBA. A complete list of programs is available at Amrita AHEAD.