The evolution of technology and the numerous and varied educational institutions, each providing a number of courses or degrees, has led to a confusing variety of terms in the field of distance education – distance learning, e-learning, online learning, virtual education, blended learning, flexible learning, etc.
What do they all have in common and in what way they are different? If you’re considering pursuing an online course or a distance learning degree, you will first need to understand what each type of learning offers. That way, you can make an informed decision and avoid any mix-up.
Definition of online and distance learning concepts
e-learning can refer to the situation where the interaction between the students and the teacher is done online. Basically, the students receive the training and are taught through an online medium, even though the teacher may be in the same building with them. It is simply students’ and teacher’s choice for instruction.
2. Online learning
In online learning, the key element is the use of internet and is described as the learning experience that is realised with the use of some technology. Online learning can encompass both e-learning and blended learning, as it generally refers to the idea of using online tools for learning.
3. Distance learning
Although distance learning is understood and is often used as a synonym of the online learning term, it was initially introduced in order to attract students from all over the world. Universities are offering distance learning degrees dedicated to everyone, as long as they meet entry requirements and qualifications. So it became possible for students from Europe for instance, to easily attend an Asian college without the need to travel.
4. Blended learning
Blended learning is a combination of learning at a distance and the traditional on-site learning (in a classroom). Basically, students will have a (more or less) fixed schedule where they will have to attend a part of the classes at the educational institution and for the rest, they can make their own schedule, attend the rest of the classes and do their coursework and assignments online.
What does ICA provide?
ICA has been conveying its motto “Work and Study at the same time” which itself explains that work-study balance can be achieved easily via distance education mode of learning. ICA provides its learners the opportunity to attend lectures during the weekend only for a day. In other days learners can stay home and study their study materials. The distance mode of learning is targeted towards the working class people to whom time management is a very essential key of operation.
In other words ICA has opted for ODL to educate its learners. It gives its learners freedom of education in different ways:
Freedom of time: ICA facilitates its learners with study materials which he/she can access at any time. While ICA provides assistance to its learners on a weekend there is also is a flexibility for the learners to make time for consultation with the teachers over free time. One can even contact the teachers over email and phone for help.
Freedom of Pace: ICA does not require anybody to complete a programme of study within a set of time. Instead, learners can learn in their own pace and learning path that is needed to be followed for the programme.
Freedom of place: In courses such as MBA student won’t necessarily have to attend any classes to complete the degree. Students who choose to go abroad for various purpose can find a study center and continue their studies and even appear for exams.
Open to Everybody: ICA is open to every programmes it offers. For a Master’s programme if somebody who has a professional degree that can be marked equivalent to a Bachelor’s degree applies, he/she will have no problem being accepted. Also there are certain vocational professional trainings one can join even without prior education expertise i.e one does not need to have certain grades in their secondary or high school.
ICA is making people aware about how learning can go together with academia. ICA has a motto “Work & Study at the same time.” ICA is working very hard to educate the nation and it is there to make sure that education is not just limited to a certain creed of people.