Myths about Distance Learning

In 2012, more than 90,000 users registered for online education, every month and UP alone accounted for around f or 6000-7000 users (source: meritnation.com) in India. India’s online education market size is set to grow to $40 million in 2017 from the present $20 million. Despite the growing popularity of distance learning, a big section of the academic population, especially faculty members and critics still view distance learning in a different light.

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There are four major myths regarding online education as follows:

Myth: Faculty members will be cut down:

Fact: This is not really the fact. Any education institute will always need a large body of faculty to provide high-value education- whether through the online route or classroom.  The class size for every virtual classroom does not exceed 20-25 students.  Further, faculty members are in high demand sice their services are required to create new courses, revise the old courses and create learning assessment for quality education.

Myth: Online courses are one and the same:

Fact: The context of distance learning does not lend itself only to text- heavy content; it extends to various animations, designs, charts, graphs, real industry examples and case studies which make learning easy and interesting. This way of learning has globally proven to be effective, engaging and beneficial too.

Myth: Online education is not as effective as actual learning:

Fact: There is actually not too much of a difference between online education and regular MBA course.  On the contrary, while a conventional education relies heavily on the faculties, online education one has the flexibility of managing one’s own time, thanks to virtual classrooms and webinars and multi-format methods of learning. This gives the students to indulge in higher education while still on a full-time occupation, which not only makes them adept in industry specializations while working in the same field.

Myth 4: Online degree is not accepted by employers:  Again a point to disagree.  When a survey was conducted to find out what employers thought of their employees who had acquired a degree through online education, they said “a degree earned online is as credible as one earned through a traditional campus-based program. The most important factors in determining the credibility of an online degree were the accreditation of the institution awarding the degree and the quality of its graduates.”

In this highly competitive age, online learning is one of the best medium for all the people. As rightly said by Ram Charan, Stephen Drotter, James Noel in The Book “The leadership pipeline”,  “The more people achieve, the more learning takes place; willingness to tackle new challenges increases as current challenges are met. Fuelled by the rapidly changing nature of work, global opportunities, and on-line learning via internet, people potential changes several times over the course of career. They can and do reinvent themselves.”

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