Students celebrate after CBSE Class X results were declared in Bengaluru on June 3, 2017. Image Source: IANS

Bengaluru: Students celebrate after CBSE Class X results were declared in Bengaluru on June 3, 2017.

Distance learning programs are becoming increasingly popular. With the globalization of education, online degrees as an effective tool of distance learning are calling the shots. Indian as well as overseas universities have heaps to offer as packaged options for distant learning. But before paying the piper, it is important that your pick the different packages to pieces. There are factors to evaluate on different counts before hitting the right chord of study in course of distance learning.

Earmark a few programs while plunging into the prospect of distance learning

  • Obviously your choice will be taking care of career as well as academic goals. So set aside a few university options as well as program options keeping career & academic goals in the backdrop.
  • Whether your course of preference centers on a foreign university or that of a national one, it is important to keep in mind the factors of time, cost of the program, its curriculum contents and long as well as short term benefits. Prioritize a few programs on the basis of the mentioned factors.
  • Jot down the relevant necessities and procedure of admission. List out the procedural details, the items of necessities other than that of personal computer &internet facility. Some online course options may well necessitate the use of channels necessary for chatting and video conferencing.
  • Keep in mind that the maximum time limit for most distance learning programs have a flexibly stretchable time. But then it cannot be stretched beyond a stipulated time. So note down the relevant time frame, to what extent loss of time can be availed & its effect on the credits earned.
  • Last but not the least, find out if the learning program is recognized, and duly take note of the forum or technical body recognizing it. As an Indian student, if you are opting for Bachelor’s/Master’s program in distant mode from any of the Indian university, it should be approved by U.G.C

Options to consider from learning standpoint, before finalizing application for distance learning

  • Having noted down the time frame, do take note of modalities regarding the timely submission of online assignments.
  • Assess the approximate time necessary on your part for self studying and carrying out other interactive sessions, because interaction by means of online process &attending contact classes will have an important role to play in distant learning program. Keeping all these in mind, you can have a schedule/time table chalked out.
  • Do consider if the shortlisted courses or university options have different channels of interaction, because in the absence of the same, you may have yourself left in the lurch.
  • It is important to check, if you will be able to combine heckles of distant learning alongside of those involving your professional &personal life.
  • It will be wise to judge the long term supportability of the course content- whether you will be able to stay in touch with your instructors and co student group and if so to what frequency you will be able to reach out to your course instructors, mentors and peer group because they will have supportive roles to play, in respect of learning and advancement. It is an important incentive for boosting learner’s confidence involved in distance learning. In this regard it is also important to take note of the kind and nature of feedbacks the course is likely to provide for.

How to check the relevant details of the shortlisted courses of distant learning

  • As you find yourself in the course of cherry picking, it is imperative to see if the relevant websites and channels of postal communication are sufficiently informative.
  • Regarding timeliness and quality of delivery, it may be difficult judging the standards of respective universities. But, the layout of respective websites and their timeliness of response in respect of preliminary enquiries can prove to be effective pointers.
  • In case, you are reliant on the postal mode of communication, timeliness in the delivery of prospectus & the details included in the same can help you assess respective efficiency of different course contents.

Distant learning & career

  • In case, you are already into a career, find out if the organization you are working for recognizes the course/university offering it.
  • See if it will really cater to your learning base. If skills or inputs provided by the center of online learning will be applicable to your relevant professional field.
  • Take into view if the course in question can add to your professional base. You can also go in for programs relevant to employment sectors, other than yours as that will add to your employability.
  • Bearing in mind the mentioned factors, handpick the one that is worth your hard earned savings.