Do you know that you can pursue your masters even from a distance? Unaware of what a distance-learning degree is? Read this article to know all about distance learning degrees.
Before we begin, you must wonder what exactly a distance learning degree refers to? A distance learning degree, as the name suggests, lets you pursue a course or degree from a distance. This is beneficial for those who are unable to pursue a degree physically due to unforeseen circumstances or time restraints.
In the past, online modes of learning were discouraged as it was believed that an online learning model could not offer all that a traditional classroom setup could. However, this notion has changed over time. As of today, most students prefer online modes of teaching and learning. With technological advancements, not only can you attend a degree online within the comfort of your home, but you can also immerse yourself in innovative ways of learning. Online education has transformed due to innovative digital platforms. Here teachers can conduct video lectures, interact with students and students can interact with each other as well. Moreover, the course material, as well as a plethora of information, is accessible to you with a click of a button. Additionally, there are forums where you can interact with your peers, download assignments, and have group discussions regarding a specific subject or course.
Types of Distance Learning Degrees
Now that you are aware of what a distance learning degree is, let us have a look at the various kinds of distance learning degrees. There are four types of distance learning degrees —hybrid distance education, open schedule online education, fixed time online education, and video conferencing. Let us take a look at each type in detail.
Hybrid Distance Education: This mode of distance learning refers to a model wherein students receive a deadline for assignments and exams. In this model, you can work at your own pace and submit exams and assignments through an online portal. You can keep in touch with the instructor regularly and as you complete each exam, you progress to other modules. If you are someone who likes to study independently, then this mode of distance learning is ideal for you.
Open Schedule Online Education: This mode of distance learning refers to a model where you receive set deadlines and instructions to be followed through the course. All the study material, assignments, exams, and any course-related content are provided to you. While an instructor is present, more often than not, they do not monitor you. You are allowed to use your approach to learn the contents of the course and can do so at your own pace.
Fixed-Time Online Education: This mode of distance learning is the most common among students. In this mode, you have to attend an online lecture organised at designated times. You also have to complete assignments within a given time frame and most group discussions take place during online lectures. Unlike hybrid distance education or open schedule online education, if you opt for this model, you cannot work at your own pace. You have to work at a pace recommended by your instructor and have to keep up with the rest of the class. Additionally, interacting with the class is encouraged and there is very little room for exercising your independence.
Video Conference: This mode of distance learning is when you attend a video lecture conducted by an instructor. It is usually led by the instructor only with a couple of group discussions. Various tools such as blackboard, assist the interaction between you and the instructors. There are also separate online platforms for submitting assignments and receiving evaluations. If you are someone who thrives in a traditional classroom setup, then this is the perfect mode of distance learning to pursue.
You can choose which type of distance learning degree to opt for, based on your preferred way of learning. Now that you are aware of the different types of distance learning, let us explore the benefits of distance learning.
Benefits of Distance Learning Degrees
There are various benefits to pursuing a distance learning degree, here are some benefits listed below:
- Global Experience: Since distance learning degrees are conducted online, you are offered an opportunity to interact with students all over the world. This not only creates a diverse learning environment but also provides you with a global perspective (as an exchange of cultural knowledge is encouraged).
- Self-Discipline: Most distance learning degrees, despite being instructor-led, require you to work independently. This will help you develop self-discipline and also help you learn how to use your own discretion. In addition, working independently also helps you creatively engage with the course and use different and innovative approaches of learning.
- Flexibility: Distance learning degrees offer you the flexibility to schedule your courses according to your convenience. You can attend classes from anywhere and at a time that is convenient for you. This is beneficial for those who are working or are pursuing a full-time degree. In a scenario, where you miss a class, you needn’t worry as most classes are recorded. This way you can catch up with other students in no time even if you have missed a couple of classes.
- Cost-Effective: Distance learning degrees are cost-effective. They not only cost less than a full-time degree, but also save you travel expenses that you might have spent on travelling to and from your university campus. And, if you are pursuing that course from another country, then you must already be aware that besides your course fee, you would have to spend on your rent, food, etc. and that could burn a hole in your pocket.
Are Distance Learning Degrees Valued?
A commonly asked question regarding distance learning degrees is if it carries the same value as a full-time degree would. If you are opting for a distance learning degree that is offered by a popular and reputed university, then yes, it would carry the same value as a full-time degree. Hence, before you apply or opt for a distance learning degree, make sure the university or organisation that offers it has credible accreditations or certifications.
All in all, distance learning degrees are extremely beneficial for those who have financial and personal constraints. We have listed the various types of distance learning degrees, how they are beneficial, and if they are truly valued as a full-time degree. Now that you are informed and know more about distance learning degrees, you can begin your application for the same. You can fulfil your desire of pursuing a degree at a university abroad from the comfort of your own home!