What Is Distance Education?

Distance education delivers classes (live or pre-taped) to students in their home, office, or classroom. It is higher education, continuing education and business. As the cost of delivering quality education increases, institutions find that limited resources prevent them from building facilities, hiring faculty, or expanding curricula. They are using distance education to maximize resources and are combining their assets with others to produce programming. Distance education is offered internationally, nationally, regionally, and locally over all forms of conferencing technology.

Distance learning is expanding and examples of it are increasing dramatically. Fewer than 10 states were using distance learning in 1987; today, virtually all states have an interest or effort in distance education. Distance learning systems connect the teacher with the students when physical face-to-face interaction is not possible. Telecommunications systems carry instruction, moving information instead of people.

Distance education places students and their instructors in separate locations using some form of technology to communicate and interact. The student may be located in the classroom, home, office or learning center. The instructor may be located in a media classroom, studio, office or home. The technology at distant locations are important and affect how interaction takes place, what information resources are used, and how effective the system is likely to be.

Challenges which faced the early users of distance education are still with us today. If distance education is to play a greater role in improving the quality of education, it will require expanded technology; more linkages between schools, higher education, and the private sector; and more teachers who use technology well. Teachers must be involved in planning the systems, trained to use the tools they provide, and given the flexibility to revise their teaching. Federal and state regulations will need revision to ensure a more flexible and effective use of technology. Connections have been established across geographic, instructional, and institutional boundaries which provide opportunities for collaboration and resource sharing among many groups in the pooling of students and teachers, distance learning reconfigures the classroom which no longer is bounded by the physical space of the school, district, state or nation.

The key to success in distance learning is the teacher. If the teacher is good, the technology can become almost transparent. No technology can overcome poor teaching which is actually exacerbated in distance education applications. When skilled teachers are involved, enthusiasm, expertise, and creative use of the media can enrich students beyond the four walls of their classroom.

The interchange of ideas requires different communication methods than in conventional classrooms: information technologies are predominantly visual media, rather than the textual and auditory environment of the conventional classroom, the affective content of mediated messages is muted compared to face-to-face interaction, and complex cognitive content can be conveyed more readily in electronic form because multiple representations of material (e.g., animations, text, verbal descriptions, and visual images) can be presented to give learners many ways of understanding the fundamental concept.

Why Doing Distance Education?
You can usually also set your own pace of study.
It is your decision as to when and where you study.
It doesn't matter where you live – you can gain a degree from anywhere in the world.
As with a full-time degree, students may find that they gain useful, transferable skills, such as planning and research.
A distance learning course often costs less than a full-time degree.

Types of Distance Education
Distance education institutions usually employ various different methodologies for educating the students. These institutions use different types of distance education courses to help the students. Distance education courses are actually exist in various types such as,

1. Distance Education via Video Conferencing
Distance education institutions often employ video conferencing for educating the students. For this motive, video conferencing software with high quality like ezTalks Cloud Meeting are being used, and this ensures your with flawless communication and enhances the experience of both students and the faculty. Thus, in distance education video conferencing plays a vital role. But, you may not aware about the benefits of learning via ezTalks Cloud Meeting.
Getting in touch with educators- Usually, Traditional classroom lacks various resources but these resources can be expanded greatly with the help of amazing video conferencing tools like ezTalks. This helps to connect with experts or educators outside the classroom to explore their experience from any part of the world.
Communication with neighboring schools- ezTalks also helps and assists many e-schools to communicate with each other. Since, this communication with other school students will help students to gain different insight and perspective about varied things. It also fetches and helps you to know how to collaborate with other people and improves your interaction skills.
Enhances Personal learning Experience- Video conferencing enhances one-to-one interaction with faculty and paves a way for the teachers to plan their lessons. Students can attend their missed classes via Video Conferencing and helps them to stay update.
All this benefits prove that this distance learning is immensely useful for the students to enhance their knowledge.

2. Synchronous and Asynchronous Distance Education
Literally, Synchronous indicates “at the same time" and similarly Asynchronous indicates not at the same time. Synchronous Distance education demands live communication by online or teleconferencing or else by sitting in a classroom. Asynchronous distance education possess cluster of weekly deadlines.
Synchronous distance education is usually less flexible and unsettles student's life to a larger extent. It also facilitates larger sum of interaction between professors and students. Asynchronous distance education provides students with the freedom to work as per your own will. Students can have more interaction with other students.
In Asynchronous distance education, assignments and projects are focused more because that fetches more time for the students to concentrate on their work. Degree Programs like legal assistant, healthcare administration, educational media design, marketing and advertising functions well in this format.

3. Open Schedule Online Courses Students are allocated with greatest sum of freedom with open schedule online courses. This comes under the category of Asynchronous learning where students are given with internet based textbooks, email and bulletin boards to finish their course work. Initially, the students are provided with a set of deadlines to complete their work and permitted to work in their own pace. Open scheduled online courses are extremely valuable for the students who love to work independently.

4. Hybrid Distance Education
Hybrid distance education is actually the combination of asynchronous and synchronous learning in which the students are subjected to follow the specific deadline to complete their work. Students are permitted to complete assignments on their own time and submit those assignments via online forum.

5. Computer Based Distance Education
In computer based distance education, students are required to meet in classroom or computer lab at a specified time every week. Students are not provided with an open schedule in this type of distance education.

6. Fixed Time Online Course
In today's scenario, Fixed Time course is the most common types of distance education. As the title indicates that these courses are online but the students need to log-in to their learning site at a designated time. The format of this course remains synchronous because it requires mandatory live chats in some cases.
Distance education is formulated just to help the students to complete their education with cent percent involvement and interaction. In present scenario, distance education is of various types to help the students. This course depicts about what is distance education? Why distance education is being formulated and what are the types of distance education? Thus, distance education educates the student who feels difficulty in completing their preferred course.

Distance courses and Program

Associate's degrees can typically be earned in two years and require an average of 60 hours of course credits. The programs generally require a set number of general education requirements in areas like math, science and humanities. The rest of the credits are made up of courses in the selected major and electives. Online associate's degrees are offered in a wide range of fields, including:

  • Accounting
  • Early childhood education
  • General studies
  • Hospitality management
  • Allied health
  • Graphic design

Distance learning bachelor's degree programs typically require around 120-140 hours of course credits. Students complete general education requirements, in addition to electives and courses in their selected majors. Both Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts degrees are available online, along with other degrees, such as a Bachelor of Business Administration. Areas of online study include:

  • Computer science
  • Public administration
  • English
  • Criminal justice
  • Aeronautics
  • Communication
  • Film
  • Art history
  • Electrical engineering

Online Master of Business Administration, Master of Arts and Master of Science degree programs are common. Most require students to have previously earned a bachelor's degree. Many online programs are designed with the working professional in mind, allowing for flexibility with the program. Programs are offered in many areas, including: Business (both MBA and MS options)

  • Education
  • Technology
  • ESL
  • Nursing
  • Construction management
  • Emergency management and homeland security
  • Engineering
  • Legal studies

Even doctoral and Ph.D. degrees can be earned through distance education, though they are less common than the other levels. However, as with all online degree programs, students should carefully consider the reputation of the educational institution and check its accreditation with the U.S. Department of Education. Doctoral programs usually focus on in-depth study and research in a specific area. Common areas for online doctoral degrees include:

  • Education
  • Business
  • Psychology

For students who are interested in pursuing their education online, there are a multitude of options available to them, especially at the undergraduate and master's level. Students who want to pursue a doctoral degree can find some options online, though their options will be more limited.

  • Arts & Humanities
  • Building & Planning
  • Business & Management
  • Computing & IT
  • Design
  • Education, Childhood & Youth
  • Engineering
  • Environment & Development
  • Health & Social Care
  • Health & Wellbeing
  • Languages
  • Law
  • Mathematics & Statistics
  • Medical Sciences
  • Nursing & Healthcare Practice
  • Psychology & Counseling
  • Science
  • Social Sciences
  • PGDM
  • Technology
  • Abroad Distance Courses & Program
  • Natural Sciences & Mathematics
  • Business & Management
  • Social Sciences
  • Humanities
  • Education & Training
  • Medicine & Health
  • Computer Science & IT
  • Engineering & Technology
  • Environmental Studies & Earth Sciences
  • Arts, Design & Architecture
  • Applied Sciences & Professions
  • Law
  • Hospitality, Leisure & Sports
  • Agriculture & Forestry

Distance learning may also offer a final opportunity for adolescents that are no longer permitted in the general education population due to behavior disorders. Instead of these students having no other academic opportunities, they may continue their education from their homes and earn their diplomas, offering them another chance to be an integral part of society.
Distance Learning offers individuals a unique opportunity to benefit from the expertise and resources of the best Universities currently available. Students have the ability to collaborate, share, question, infer and suggest new methods and techniques for continuous improvement of the content. The ability to complete a course at a t pace that is appropriate for each individual is the most effective manner to learn given the personal demands on time and schedule. Self-paced distance learning on a mobile device such is a smartphone provides maximum flexibility and capability.