Despite offering a wonderful solution to the needs of working professionals, most students are sceptical about whether they should get enrolled in a distance course or not. This is primarily due to the fact that there are many misconceptions about distance education.
Distance learning programmes have gained an unfair reputation that the degrees offered are not at par with traditional degree programmes. Furthermore, many people even believe that distance programmes do not offer high-quality teaching opportunities and thus, do not cater to the larger career goals of students.
However, contrary to these beliefs, there are many universities that offer magnificent learning opportunities to students by means of technologically-advanced learning management systems and quality self-learning material.
Not just this but now UGC has placed distance learning degrees at par with regular degrees. Shocking, right? Today, we are going to debunk many such myths that surround the scope of distance learning.
Let’s Discuss These Myths and Debunk Them
1. Distance Courses Cannot Help You Land a Good Job
Most people believe that distance and online degrees have no value in the job market. However, it is not so. While universities that do not have any accreditations will not help you land a job. But the universities that have received rankings and accreditations from national and international accreditation bodies such as UGC, AICTE, WES, QS I.Gauge, etc. have the same acceptance in the job market as conventional degrees.
2. Distance Courses Prevent Students from Networking
One of the biggest reasons why students don’t want to go for a distance learning programme is because they think that it restricts them from socialising with their peers and professors and thus, offers no opportunity for networking. On the contrary, webinars, seminars and expert sessions constitute a major part of most distance learning programmes. Furthermore, students get access to the alumni portals that enable them to connect with the various alumnus of the university and expand their professional network.
3. Distance Learning Fails to Adapt to the Unique Needs of Each Student
Most people think that distance courses are restricted to recorded lectures and self-learning material, failing to meet the unique needs of each individual. This could not be farther from the truth. Distance learning courses are specially designed to adapt to the unique needs of each individual. They offer students the flexibility to learn at their own pace and offer many opportunities to get their doubts and queries addressed in the form of Personal Contact Programmes and virtual classrooms. Furthermore, the learning management systems provide them with access to relevant assessment material which helps them track their progress.
4. Does Not Offer Extracurricular Development
College is a crucial time for individuals as it brings them opportunities to groom and enhance their personalities. This is why most students do not want to go for distance courses as these programmes are perceived to be isolating and devoid of any co-curricular activities. However, this is not true. Today, most universities offering distance education provide many extracurricular opportunities. For instance, Lovely Professional University provides students with the option to visit campus and participate in all the on-campus events. Similarly, Panjab University organises sports meets, cultural fests and writing workshops for students enrolled in their distance learning courses.
5. There are No Placement Opportunities in the Case of Distance Learning
Not getting good placement opportunities is one of the major reasons that hold students back from opting for a distance learning course. But if that is your reason to not go for a distance learning programme, then you need to think again. Today, there are many universities such as Chandigarh University, Amity University, etc. that offer placement opportunities to students by means of virtual job fairs. Some universities even offer necessary career development services to their distance-learning students.
6. Distance Degrees are Not Actual Degrees
One of the common misconceptions surrounding distance learning programmes is that their degree does not hold the same value as a regular degree. In September 2022, UGC released a notification that places distance and online degrees at par with the regular courses. Thus, you don’t need to worry about whether your degree will hold any value or not.
7. There is No Teaching Support in Distance Learning
It is beyond doubt that higher education demands a lot of focus and hard work. Students often struggle with understanding the course material and need constant support. In regular courses, this support is offered by classmates as well as faculty members. But is it possible in distance courses? You will be surprised to learn that most universities offer support rooms and helplines to students that are available 24*7. Yes, you can call anytime you want and get your doubts sorted.
8. Distance Learning Faculty are Not Actual Professors
A common misbelief that students have is that distance courses are generally taught by faculty members who are not well-adept to teach regular courses. However, this is not the case. There is no difference in the teaching faculty of distance and regular courses. Both the modes of learning demand the same level of qualifications and skill set. If anything, distance learning faculty is technologically smarter than regular faculty.
9. Study Material is Too Easy
There are hundreds of thousands of students who graduate from distance learning programmes every year. But how is that so? The learning material must be so simple that students don’t need to study much while preparing for the exams. The truth is that distance learning provides students with opportunities to assess their knowledge by means of interactive quizzes and assignments. Students are also assigned relevant project work so as to apply the knowledge that they have gained during the course.
10. Distance Learning is Only Meant for Management Programmes
While most distance universities offer management courses, it is important to note here that distance learning is not restricted to just MBA. Presently, there are distance learning courses available across all domains. You can opt to pursue a BA, BCom, BBA, MBA, MA, MSc, or pretty much any other course you want. In fact, now it is possible to even pursue a PhD through the distance mode of education.
Other than all the above-mentioned benefits, a distance course also helps you to become technologically more resilient and inculcate self-discipline. It also enables you to pursue education while still working. If you have any other misconceptions or doubts in your mind, you can comment below and we will be happy to answer them for you.
Kamaldeep Singh is an accomplished digital marketing specialist, and has been associated with the education industry since 2022. With a flair for knowledge, he finds joy in learning and sharing insights on education, technology, digital marketing, and self-care through his writing. He is passionate about cars, tech-gadgets, and loves long drives.