Significance of Distance Education....

Distance education allows students to study remotely without frequent face-to face interaction with a teacher in the classroom but some programs require occasional face-to-face interaction at set intervals.
Students can avail various courses like Bachelor's Degree, Master's Degree, Post Graduate Diploma, Diploma, and Certificate Courses via Distance Education. So, students can advance their skills day-to-day with pertinent distance education courses in this competitive world.
Students previously had no good option to pursue two degrees simultaneously but now it had made possible through the distance mode or combination of Distance Education courses.
Some of the course combinations are, One degree and one diploma/ PG diploma/ Certification course, One PG diploma and one diploma / Certification course, one diploma and one Certification course, Two PG diplomas, two diplomas, Two Certification course.
Distance education learning have made education more accessible and fulfilled the Motto “education for all" globally.
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The History of Distance Learning - Globally :

  • In mid 19th century, Correspondence education, the initial form of Distance Education, developed in Europe and later on expanded to the USA, and other nations.
  • Firstly, Sir Isaac Pitman, a British attributed innovative concept of “Distance education”, commenced teaching his revolutionary short hand writing method in English-language via correspondence education in 1840.
  • In UK, The University of London, established distance education programs initially in 1858.
  • In USA, Illinois Wesleyan University began distance education programs in bachelors and graduate degrees without actual presence of students in the classes in 1874.
  • By the year 1900, Correspondence education became more famous; along with popularity a few problems arose in excellence and fair practise. Hence, in the year 1926, the National Home Study Council (NHSC) was established in order to monitor and rectify such issues.
  • In India, Higher Education Institution (HEI) initiated the form of Correspondence programs in 1962, in response higher education obtained ever-increasing demand which not even seen in the Traditional education system. The Delhi University accepted School of Correspondence Courses and Continuing Education in the year1962. Accomplishment encouraged, the Education Commission in between 1964-66 to recommend the enlargement of correspondence education for various reasons. Consequently, to introduce correspondence courses in Indian Universities, UGC (University Grants Commission) formulated guidelines.
  • In UK, establishment of Open University in 1969 encouraged various countries to deliberate on the latest idea and its efficiency in producing higher education highly accessible, more flexible, and innovative to students. In early seventies, India was one among those countries who considered the possibility of establishing an Open University. This perceptive influenced other universities such as Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Open University, university of Mysore and Andhra University to accept open admission procedures with relaxation in formal education qualification to make eligible for undergraduate and post- graduate programs. This seems to be a small innovation but driven towards more accessible to higher education for diversified types of people, especially who not even completed school education.
  • Government of India intended to establish Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) in 1985, via an Act of parliament which should be responsible for identifying and supporting standards of Correspondence education and managing coordination in between various distance education institutions inclusive of open universities around the country and additionally working as university for distance education programs.
  • From hardly a bunch of students' enrollment in the year 1962-63 in correspondence education increased to approximately 65,000 students in 1975-76. Later on correspondence education associated with conventional institutions which rapidly raised growth in distance education enrollment of students. According to Distance education bureau - UGC statistics around 4 million students enrolled in 2017-18 to acquire distance education degrees. Hence, 25% of students are getting accessed to distance education yearly in India.
  • In India, many eminent institutions embraced distance education learning programs to reach the students' expectations whoever had deficient sources to attain higher education via formal education. Confines in conventional education system induced students to obtain distance education because of its pliability. They are acquiring distance education because of its convenient sources such as low cost, quality education, study while working are a few major advantages of distance education. Therefore, these prospects led distance education to become popular in India.
  • Distance education at universities provide Bachelor’s, diploma, post graduate diploma, certificate and Master’s degree programs for learners from various backgrounds like working adults looking for career upgrade, idle people to acquire knowledge along with degrees, and young adults looking for eminent job placements.
  • In distance education, universities have 1 or 2 application deadlines for admission on the rolling basis throughout the year, which offer students a maximum of 2 opportunities in a year to enroll in their degrees. Students are no need to worry about admission deadlines because of distance education pliability; they can start their application process whenever they are ready.

Learning Pliability:

Distance education has accomplished outstanding flexibility for students. So students can attain their distance learning courses via remote access from their comfort zone i.e. work place, home, while travelling . Students stay individual and strengthen themselves to arrange their own pace of study. Additionally, students develop their time management skills by arranging their learning schedule.

How distance education adopted technology up-to-date:

As we are experiencing the third decade of the 21st century, each passing decade replaced technology which means from radio, television, computer to smart mobile in hand. Distance education adopted each technology version to improve communication in between teachers and students. In present day, students and their professors communicating face to face with help of online platform. With the help of internet broadband, distance education learning modes as well changed from printed text material, audio/video cassettes, floppy disks, compact disks to finally E-learning via online mode.

Online learning sources:

  • There are specific universities that offer distance education courses via online mode as well; universities such as Mizoram University, and Aligarh Muslim University et cetera, they are very ease to access and pursue the desired courses.
  • Nowadays students can attain their tutorial support via online sources like Virtual learning, digital classrooms, and video conference et cetera and these sources are accessed via electronic gadgets like smart mobile phones, tablets, Laptops and desktops et cetera. They can access their study material as well through E-learning source with help of electronic gadgets. Certain universities offer study materials, tutorials, and exams through online platform. At some universities, students are provided with E-learning or printed text materials, and tutorials through online mode or recorded videos and exams at universities’ authorised centers only.
  • Students can follow distance education curriculum via online platforms like virtual learning, online lectures, webinars and these offer face to face interaction between students and professors.
  • In order to avail online Distance education learning classes ensure to maintain quality sources such as internet broadband, computer with updated software tools version. Online learning sources are easy to use, instant, and reliable.

Upgrade career with distance education:

Students can frame distance education programs in many positive ways based on their requirements. Distance education degree not only support higher education but also helps in their career aspects instead of being just a degree replacement.

Distance education programs can advance fresh job starters knowledge instantly as well as impress their CV which helps them to acquire jobs easily in the competitive job market. Working employees can upgrade their skills with distance education degrees without interruption in their jobs. People intended to alter their careers; distance education degree is a versatile tool. While working simultaneously they can progress themselves with pertinent courses for better opportunities with being able to earn and pay for their expenses and make smoother transition once better opportunities in their hands.

Combination of online and on-campus study:

Distance education is offered with online and offline tutorials by pertinent universities. If university is being unable to provide online tutorials then students must attend on-campus tutorials at set intervals. In case of online tutorials as well students must attend on-campus for some courses' practical tutorials which can't be offered via online mode.

Affordable at cost:

Distance education courses fees are affordable compared with conventional education. While tuition fees do not vary that much, but additional expenses are excluded by studying at their own pace.

Distance Education Degrees are accredited by Employers:

Distance education certificates are accepted for state government, central government, and multinational companies’ employment because all distance education programs are approved by Distance Education Bureau (DEB- UGC). Even private sector employers are encouraging their employees to pursue higher education via distance education to upgrade skills and expertise in the job.

How to register for distance education:

  • Distance Education Bureau (DEB- UGC) has stipulated eligibility requirements that may vary from university-to-university based on universities mode like Open University, central university, state university, deemed to be university, and private university.
  • Students have to ensure with universities’ information centers or through authorised information centers regarding admission registration deadlines, mode of the examination whether online or offline, course material available form because all of these may vary between universities.

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