In this type of education students miss out on interaction with colleagues and instructors, but that can be made up by the help of contact courses and online video and audio conferencing, where they can find validation or refutation of their perspectives and clear doubts.
Distance education is mainly offered by the central Open Universities regulated by the Distance Education Council of India. There are 14 open universities in India at present like Indira Gandhi Open Nationbal University (IGNOU), Dr B R Ambedkar University, Karnataka State Open University, Nalanda Open University, Yashwantrao Chavan Open University, Osmania University to name a few.
These open universities also have educational centers in various states of India. In addition, most Indian states have their own distance education institutes as well, which have increased the penetration of distance learning further
One can pursue both diploma and degree courses through distance education. There are some diploma courses that run for six months and some that run for a year.
Some of the diploma courses that can be done through distance learning include diploma in computer programming, diploma in creative writing, diploma in applied electronics and many other specialized subjects.
Some institutes also offer Diplomas and advanced diplomas. Degree courses include Bachelor of Commerce, Bachelor of Arts, and Bachelor of Science to many other professional and vocational subjects like banking, insurance, finance, management and others.
Many institutes also offer advanced certificate courses through distance learning that can be pursued alongside one’s full time degree course.
A reason for this could be the steep rise in the course fee to do an MBA, so the option of doing it through correspondence becomes a more rational choice. Another could be to diversify one’s education portfolio or get a double post graduation. Apart from MBA, other post graduate degree programs include M A (History, Sociology, Political Science, Social Science, Philosophy, and Psychology). M Sc, M Com and several others.
Online education is an advanced component of distance learning. The technological innovation and Internet boom have brought many courses to the desktop, for example learning a foreign language has become so easy because of institutes offering online lessons for the same. But there is a fine line of difference between online education and distance education. While online courses give immediate feedback due to online interaction between students and teachers, distance education doesn’t have any such student teacher interaction. It may have only a week long guidance session in case the students need some clarifications.
It is noteworthy to observe that distance education is catching up very fast, not only in rural areas but equally so in cities. For those who cannot manage to attend a full time course, have lesser study options or want to diversify their qualifications and skill set, distance education is a great way as it allows the person to study in his own way and own time. Most importantly, distance education has helped more people to equip themselves with education and not miss out on the opportunities that life throws their way!
The virtual classroom facility in Distance Learning Program is a fantastic medium for learning from Oxford, IIM faculties at convenient time like after returning from office or on weekends. It reaches the masses where classroom methodology can never reach, for e.g. a student would get the same quality of education in Patna or Kanpur as in Mumbai. The students range from undergraduates housewives to people who have taken retirement. Management through VCF facility in DLP has refined career options and made it very affordable and convenient.