What is Distance Education

Today two terms that are being used almost inter-changeably are ‘Open Learning’ and ‘Distance Education’and they are often combined to be known as Open and Distance Learning (ODL). Open learning is aphilosophy and Distance Education is the mode used for translating it into reality as the two arecomplementary to each other.Distance Education (DE) is an umbrella term which describes all the teaching learning arrangements in which the learner and the teacher are separated by space and time. In fact it is a mode of deliveringeducation and instruction to learners who are not physically present in a traditional setting of a classroom.Transaction of the curriculum is effected by means of specially preparedmaterials (self-study (learning)materials) which are delivered to the learners at their doorstep through various media such as print,television, radio, satellite, audio/video tapes, CD-ROMs, Internet and World Wide Web etc.

Also atechnological medium replaces the inter-personal communication of conventional classroom basededucation that takes place between the teacher and the learners. Communication between the institution,teacher and learners is mainly through electronic media (telephone, interactive radio counselling,teleconferencing,videoconferencing, chat sessions, email, website etc) and also through postalcorrespondence and limited face to face contact sessions held at Study Centres that are set up by the DEinstitutions as close to the learners’ homes as possible.

Advantages of Distance Education

Study from Anywhere, Anytime

The best thing about the distance education is you could learn it from anywhere and at anytime. It does not matter in part of the country you are living you can join the course and start learning.Even if your course is offered by an international school you could easily get access to course material if you are a citizen of a different country.

Flexibility of Time

Normally, distance education offers flexibility of time. It gives complete freedom to choose your own time for taking up the course.If you do not have time in day then you can learn at night or some other time because only thing that you need is a computer with an internet connection. You do not need to go in person and submit anything. Time is the most important thing and you could save it through joining distance learning.

No Commuting

I hate commuting. If you are opting for a distance education then you do not have to commute in crowded buses or local trains. As I said earlier, you need a computer with an internet connection in your home. Entire college would be in your bedroom and you do not have to go out.Commuting is the most difficult part because you waste a lot of time, money and more importantly the energy. No one likes commuting for long hours.

Many of Schools and Colleges to Choose

There are many schools and colleges now that offer distance education. Hence you will not find any problem in finding a college. You could choose a college which is best for you. In India, IGNOU is a great universities for offering distance education. Although you do have to attend few classes in a week but it gives you real flexibility. Similarly there are many other colleges & universities like IGNOU where you can join and get your education distantly.

Lower Costs

This is another great advantage of distance education. The total cost that you incur for joining Distance College is very less compared to joining a regular college.If you are from a poor background then you could easily afford the distance college. Moreover, the fees for certain courses are in distance learning are very less compared to learning in a full time normal college. Hence, if you feel you have shortage of money then you could get quality education at low price.

Learn While Working

You can learn or pursue your college while you are working. As I said earlier distance education offers complete flexibility of choosing time. The distance learning is not going to conflict with timings of your day job. You could work all day and study at night or vice-versa. Therefore if you are a working professional then you could choose distance education without affecting your 9 to 5 job. Moreover, it is really good for the housewives who can learn sitting in their home.