Education plays a significant role in the advancement of human civilization. Since the ancient period, the technique for learning is continually developing with time is as yet experiencing various changes attributable to the propelling innovations. Traditional education promoted consistent proximate learning at all levels, with the use of conventional learning tools consisting of blackboards, chalks, books and pens. Whereas, modern culture not only does promote proximate education at all levels, but it also has expanded the provisions to hold distance learning for higher studies as well. Distance learning is basically, technology-driven learning, which has been introduced as a recent learning technique with the use of the internet.
In the situation of COVID-19 pandemic, even online learning is contributing to shaping the future educational ecosystem. In this, the students are required to work from home, complete the assignments allotted by the teacher and communicate with them through digital forms such as messaging apps, video calls and discussion boards, etc. It is a method of delivering instructions online and does not consist of any other variations in teaching style from the proximate learning teaching style. However, distance learning is the process of acquiring knowledge without even making in-person interaction with teachers at the regular classes held in the college. This kind of education mainly deals with both undergraduate and postgraduate courses. It also provides various advantages for students:
- It is considerably more economical, and there is no waste of time or other resources in transport for commuting to the college for every class.
- It helps millions of students to full fill their educational aspiration even after high population and scarcity of infrastructures, financial, and personnel resources.
- It offers lots of flexibility to study according to one’s own designed schedule to learn and simultaneously work in any convenient location with the help of internet.
- It saves the slow learners from the pressure which they might feel in regular classes.
- It provides accessibility for those with restricted mobility such as handicapped, injured and elderly, etc.
These benefits of distance learning have led to an increase in the scope of distance learning worldwide, and the extent keeps on developing with each passing day. Majority of the Educational Institutes generally have the provision of Distance Education, especially, Distance learning MBA / PGDM is one of the most preferred courses among students. Therefore, these distance learning courses are not at all discriminated from the traditional college course. The distance learning courses consist of all the same concepts that an ordinary course does. They just differ on the basis of location, interaction and flexibility.
Open, and Distance education has an extensive contribution to the expansion of higher education. It has also been stated by the University Grants Commission (UGC) & All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) that they play a significant role in changing the picture of education in the modern era. Even a circular was also issued by UGC / AICTE in which it was mentioned that the Degrees/Diplomas/ Certificates awarded by Open Universities would be treated as equivalent to the corresponding award given by the traditional universities of the country.
It can be clearly inferred through these notifications that students pursuing degrees under Open and Distance education have similar recognition and value as those issued by regular universities. Therefore, distance learning is definitely an ideal option for those who want to live their dream life, but step out for the sake of scarcity of resources.