Is Distance and Online Education the Future of Education?
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Is Distance and Online Education the Future of Education?

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Is Online Education the Future of Education?

Online education is not a new concept in our education system as the concept of online learning started when computers came into being. The era of technology or computers started in the industrial revolution and the history of online learning can be traced back to the 1960s. In 1989, the University of Phoenix started giving education with the help of the Internet.

The University Phoenix was the first institute to offer a complete online education and the university used to offer both bachelor’s and master’s degrees via online education with the help of the internet. Now the use of the internet has grown manifolds and people across the world are in touch with technology in any way.

As the use of the internet is increasing the significance of online education is also increasing leaps and bounds. Currently, Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) is the largest university in India to provide online distance education to more than 7 million students and the lectures are mainly online.

The market of online education is so vast and it has increased even more especially after the pandemic of 2020. When students were unable to go out then only technology helped them. Online learning is taking an edge over traditional learning because it offers plenty of advantages and the biggest advantage that online education has is the advancement of technology.

Why Distance Education?

Distance education is the education where students need not be present physically in classrooms as they can attend classes virtually. In the beginning, distance education did not have the option of online learning, and distance universities used to operate from mails.

But now distance education and online education are one and the same thing as universities have started providing online lectures in the distance mode.

However, there are still many students who resist taking admission in distance courses because of certain misconceptions regarding this form of education. Here is the rundown that will help you in knowing distance or online education closely:-

  • Accessible to everyone:- The biggest advantage of online distance education is that you can get access to any course from wherever you want. All you need to register yourself in the particular course of any distance university and then either sign up for printed study materials or get SLMs online. There are plenty of universities that offer online lectures with the help of modules and apps. Students from any place in the world can take the advantage of online learning if they have an internet connection or any electronic gadget like Smartphone or Laptop. Hence online learning has increased the percentage of people pursuing higher education in India as now they don’t have to choose between learning and earning.
  • Flexible timing of lectures:- People sign up for distance education because of a lack of time to devote to regularly scheduled classes. Hence online distance education is the solution to this problem and helps students in attending lectures whenever they want. There are universities that provide both live and recorded lectures to students so that they can learn at their own pace. This trait of online distance education is helping working professionals immensely.
  • A cost-effective way to study:- There is no doubt over the fact that traditional learning or classroom learning can hit your pocket hard especially if you are studying in a private university. It is also true that a lot of students had to give up the idea of higher education right after graduation because of the lack of money. But this is not the case now as distance education is affordable and way more cost-effective than classroom teaching. Students also get the option of installment payments while paying the academic fees which means they do not have to pay their entire fees in one go.
  • No limit on admission:- Regular courses have limited seats and the population has outnumbered the available number of seats that the universities have. Hence, the competition is much worse and it results in high fees and only limited students can enroll themselves in regular universities especially those which are famous. But do not worry, students can now get an enrollment at top universities in whichever course they like. Distance education teaches a large chunk of the population and provides them both quality education and a valuable degree.
  • Customized learning:- As we know that online distance learning provides flexibility in education and lets the students study at their own pace. Apart from this, students get the advantage of different modes of learning, they can either learn from virtual classes or ebooks available on the portal or can even sign up for the printed ones. Also, there are universities like IGNOU which offer offline classes on weekends, and hence it is up to the students which mode of learning they are comfortable with.

Rise of Online or Distance Learning

The market size of online education has grown by leaps and bounds as technology is enhancing and becoming the pioneer of growth. The market size of distance education is growing immensely for a decade as more and more people are coming in contact with technology and the outbreak of COVID-19 forced people to continue education from online mode.

The amalgamation of technology and education is opening up different opportunities for people. Now people can easily learn new skills with the help of the internet and can even get a valid and recognized degree to show their credibility.

The rise is not only in the number of students but also in the number of universities providing distance learning courses. In the beginning, there were few universities that used to offer online distance education but especially after the 2020 pandemic of COVID-19 many universities became online. Apart from distance universities, there are also several platforms that provide short-term courses online, for instance, Udemy, Skillshare, Coursera, and others.

Final Words

Online education cannot replace traditional teaching entirely, but it is a valuable alternative to education for those who cannot get a formal education. Still, there are plenty of students who are unable to trust online distance education and this is because of the prevailing myths regarding distance learning. But as technology is improving more and more universities and students are showing trust in online education.

Online Education the Future of Education (FAQs)

Can Online education be the future of education in India?

Yes, it can be because the prevalence of distance education has increased manifolds after the outbreak of COVID-19. Top-tier universities have started providing a plethora of courses via online mode. IGNOU which is the largest distance university in India is providing distance courses to more than 7 million students.

Which are the top online distance universities?

Currently, there are plenty of universities that are providing education via distance mode. But some famous universities are Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies (NMIMS), IGNOU, University of Delhi, Chandigarh University, SV University, University of Mumbai, etc.

Can I do a science stream from distance mode? 

Yes, there are courses like M.Sc, B.Sc that are available in distance mode. But B.Tech is still not available in the distance mode entirely as distance B.Tech is not approved by UGC. However, students who are working can still do B.Tech by enrolling themselves in B.Tech for working professionals and the classes will be held in the evening.

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