Are You fit for Distance Learning?

Distance Learning


In an earlier article which is accessible HERE I explained the details of distance learning.

Now, I will touch upon the fact that not everybody is having the knack of learning skills through distance learning.

Although, the rising travel costs compel students to learn from the confines of their homes, not many people are adept at assimilating information through the distance-learning route.

Some students require constant assistance from a teacher; need an atmosphere of learning, apart from requiring motivation to continue their studies in the face of rising responsibilities. This is why we hear about a lot of students drop out half-way through the course

What is distance learning?

In an earlier article, I have already detailed what distance learning is. However, for those who have not read that article, I am including a short write-up on the subject here. The education sector experienced a revolution in the year 1940, when Sir Issac Pitman administered his shorthand course via postcards.

Distance education also called as Open learning comprises teaching students who are located in remote areas. After Sir Issac’s experiment, many other educational institutes replicated his model and started administering their own courses.

We now have online learning, thanks to the evolution of the internet. Online learning is an extension of distance learning, where the postcards used in 1940 are now replaced by the internet.

What attitude does distance learning require?

Here are the attributes required in a person for him to be complete a distance-learning course, successfully. Given here are the qualities required:


Distance learning requires you to set yourself goals. If you can set goals for yourself and work diligently, without supervision, towards accomplishing the same, then you will be successful in a distance-learning course.

In such a course, there will be no teacher to push you to complete your assignments or study for a certain number of hours per day. You will have to do it yourself.

Avoid procrastination

Online education is not for people who like to postpone their work to a later date. It is only for people or students who like to complete their targets in time.

Such students get the flexibility of completing their work on time and then taking time out from their studies to pursues their hobbies. Distance learning is for only those individuals who are dedicated towards their studies and enjoy their studies.

Some current students say that this mode of learning is not for those students who wish to educate themselves just for obtaining a degree. It is only for those students who are genuinely interested in what they are learning and want to take it up as a profession.

Resist distractions

Distance learning is only for those students who are disciplined and are ready to make sacrifices to learn a new skill. If you are not ready to leave your birthday invitations, social outings, movie viewing, television addiction, etc, then this is not the right mode of learning for you.

This is not to say that you should not attend them at all. However, they should not be given priority over your education. Such events are only to be attended when you have accomplished your scheduled targets for the day or for the month because they tend to take up a lot of your time, at the cost of your education.

Do not require the traditional environment

Some students require the traditional environment of a classroom, a teacher to push him and an atmosphere of education, through which he gets motivated. For example, in a school setting, there are other students studying along with him, which pushes him to study.

Such learners should not take up distance learning or an online learning course. They will not be successful in completing their course, as they will miss the above components in the course.

However, if they are ready to earmark an area in their house as a study area and are also ready to devote some hours on a daily basis to pursue their studies, then they can hope to learn through online learning.

Tune in to comprehension skills

Traditional learning allows you to listen to the teacher’s lectures and take notes, thus assimilating whatever is taught. Then you can read whatever is taught on that day, once you reach home so that you totally understand the same.

This is not possible in distance learning or online learning. In distance learning or online learning, you can only read and comprehend the information provided in the course material.

Although, some online courses provide tutor support initiatives, but they are not as effective as listening to a teacher’s lectures in a classroom. These tutors are only available to solve your queries. You have to do the studying yourself.


In online learning, having a good virus-free computer and a high-speed internet connection is a necessity. If you are not tech-savvy then taking up a course online would be a waste of money.

Such students should look for online learning schools, which offer study centers providing them technology support when they study. Such study centers are located in each city, if the school imparts their online courses at a national level.

NIIT is one such example. They have their study centers throughout the country. There are other such educational institutes offering similar facilities.

Are you actually fit for distance learning: A Conclusion!

A number of foreign universities are collaborating with service providers in India to impart their courses through the open learning model. For example, Future Learn is the first UK based provider of open learning courses.

Its CEO, Mr. Simon Nelson has come to India in order to study the educational landscape here. They are tieing up with a number of universities in the UK, to offer their courses in India through the open learning platform.

This is just one example of an eminent service provider entering India. More are in the pipeline. However, before you get excited, you need to decide:


Contributed by Mr. Harish Desai

Tutor at

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