Many people think of them as the same and use these terms interchangeably, but there have emerged certain distinctions between distance learning and online learning. More than a couple of decades back perhaps one couldn’t have clearly demarcated the lines between the two, but today with the presence of the internet and social networking sites, the differences can be better analyzed.
So, here is a complete comparison between Distance Education and E-Learning –
Distance Education –
- Even though distance education may sometimes rely on online learning, but the concept is totally different. The term distance learning indicates a different geographical location of the student and its source of gaining knowledge.
- A number of renowned institutions in India offer distance learning courses. These include places like IGNOU, Sikkim Manipal University, Symbiosis Centre for Distance Learning, University of Delhi, etc.
- They use a variety of methods such as posting through courier, the course material which includes text books, digital CDs, etc. Institutes such as IGNOU and Sikkim Manipal University allow students to get a college-like experience by having classes on Saturdays or Sundays for various courses.
- Some institutes offer their courses only via online method thus making it a hybrid source of learning. They also give certificate or diplomas in return upon the completion of the course term by the students.
- A demerit of this mode of education is that often the organizations or colleges have limited seats for some courses.
- The word E- reflects the using of electronic technologies to get education outside of a traditional classroom. Today, it is more associated with the internet or web based learning facilities.
- It can also be used to understand self-learning where a student can simply access any e-learning websites in India or anywhere in the world and choose to study whatever he/she likes. For instance, anyone can learn Algebra or Periodic Table or attempt to solve E-mock papers to test his/her competency.
- It focuses on individual learning and is not a collaborative process. It’s more like a technique than a format. Online resources are needed to make self-driven learning possible.
- E-Learning allows students to get instant report of their performance in online mock exams. This helps the students to track their performance in real-time.
- A huge advantage of this mode of education is that there are no restrictions on seats for most courses. However, some sites may give you a final date to enroll at a cheaper price than their usual premium price.
Some Extra Info –
- One needs to be extremely careful before enrolling in distance education through online or e-learning programs as some of the websites can be unauthentic and may present you fake degrees.
- Do some research and contact the educational institute. Make sure that the program you are seeking admission has full online assistance available.
- Find out about all the programs by going through the prospectus. Compare all the courses and select the one that suits your interest, your key skill, your budget and the duration of the course, and the benefits that you will be getting upon the course’s completion.