Civil Service aspirants leave exam centres after appearing in Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT) in New Delhi on Aug 24, 2014. Image Source: IANS

Civil Service aspirants leave exam centres after appearing in Civil Services Aptitude Test (CSAT) in New Delhi on Aug 24, 2014.

An Online University Course is a novel alternative in cases

  • When you are physically unable to make it to the traditional one.
  • You could not qualify for a regular course.
  • You are particularly keen on a special line of study; not otherwise available.
  • Cut off from the mainstream because of geographical distance.
  • If you are earning as well as working.

How to go about your choice of best online universities ?

Look up the respective websites of each online university

  • To compare and contrast.
  • Go by the stream of choice; rather than respective reputation.
  • Find out about the council recognizing the respective university
  • The same holds true for the chosen course.
  • Find out the fee structure.

Assess online universities based on certain predefined criteria. Try to assess

  • The respective modalities of evaluation.
  • If the syllabus is vast and all embracing.
  • If the reputation of the course is good enough to help you earn a job.
  • Criteria of admission guiding the respective universities.
  • If the syllabus is exactly the one you are on the lookout for.

Talking to people is a way to get information about online universities. Be in touch

  • With some of its preceding students.
  • Others similarly interested.
  • If there is a general consensus about its benefits.
  • If it's former students could fetch jobs for themselves on strength of the online degree.

Find out

  • If the stream in the offing includes adequate opportunities for research.
  • Its relation to placement opportunities.
  • The relevance of the course in the long run.
  • Long list of universities/courses held online or in distant mode minus the approval of the centralized body.
  • The longevity of the university.

Important things to bear in mind while choosing an online course or online university for a degree.

  • Is the course as good as that offered on regular basis.
  • Is the course following a traditional format or one out of the conventional mode.
  • Always decide from the perspective of future.
  • See if the planning of the program fits into your scheme of things.
  • Is the online university you are considering an established university; does it offers online program alongside of the regular ones.

It is always preferable

  • Choosing university with facilities for both online as well as formalized course.
  • Being a part of the same fold from where you have been studying regularly.
  • Going for a course or university where there is scope for interactive study.
  • Going for a program/university with insistence on assignment centric evaluation; alongside of terminal ones.
  • Opting for those with scholarship facilities for meritorious students.
  • Opting for those operational for quite sometimes, rather than the brand new ones.

You must know

  • Despite being online; some universities adopt interactive approach as well.
  • If there are adequate opportunities for carrying out practically oriented lab or field work.
  • For they matter in respect of subjects relevant to vocational training.
  • They are also relevant to subjects such as physical or life science, geology and botany.
  • There are distance educational programs/online programs with insistence on periodical assignments and ones without it.

Before deciding or finalizing an online university for degree course, be particularly aware of

  • The affiliation details.
  • Sometimes the so called universities/forums providing online courses may not be approved of the centralized bodies authorized for affiliation.
  • In cases of doubts or apprehension connect directly with the University directorate.
  • The presence of middleman bent on earning by misguiding students.
  • A genuinely recognized university/course does not accept the interference of middleman or brokers.

Issues pertaining to affiliation

  • In the Indian context, it is important to know that University Grant Commission authorizes all universities including the ones offering online programs and distance education.
  • Technical as well as vocational courses are approved by the centralized Council meant for authorizing technical education.
  • Teacher's education is approved by National Council for Teachers Education.

Choosing an Online University - How to arrive at the ultimate standpoint?

List out a few options

  • Bearing in mind the aforementioned points, it is important that you list out a preferred category.
  • It is important that you keep an alternative category as well.
  • Preparation of a variable list bearing in mind the factors of cost, expectation, and course structure will help you arrive at decisions.
  • Select the one which offers reasonable blend of factors of your choice alongside of those pertaining to reputation and accreditation.