Do You Know What is the Difference Between Online Learning and Distance Learning

  • BY Saurav Anand

  • Aug 9, 2021


Distance learning vs. online learning What's the difference? What is Distance Education?

A distance education program is one where students receive education from a remote location. Non-traditional educational approaches are designed to allow students who are unable to attend on-site classes to pursue their education. A degree program can be completed online, through correspondence, through a CD-ROM, or any other method.

Students used to receive and submit coursework by mail before the invention of the personal computer (PC). The number of distance learning methods has increased in recent decades due to technological advancements. When all students must attend the same course simultaneously, it is considered synchronous distance learning. Asynchronous education, which is common in online courses, allows students to complete the course on their own schedules without having to follow a rigid schedule.

What is Online Degree?

Distance education encompasses a variety of programs including online degrees. The Internet can be used by PC owners or those with Internet access to earn an online degree. From the comfort and convenience of their homes, students can take advantage of online courses. The best candidates for online courses are working professionals, who cannot dedicate the time to full-time, on-campus studies.

Various fields, including nursing and business administration, offer accredited online degree programs. This type of program involves online coursework and electronic communication between students and faculty. Students submit their coursework online and interact with other students and faculty via email. As online degree programs have grown in popularity, they have been recognized as legitimate ways of completing your education.

Both online and distance learning require similar online learning tools, but their similarities end there. Geography plays a major role in distance learning. The method is more important in online learning. In any blended learning classroom, online learning is key. The engaging student is a key component of the blended learning classroom. In addition to all of the other wonderful resources you use in your classroom, your students will appreciate the opportunity to learn independently through online learning.

The difference between online learning and distance learning is that 0nline learning is not a replacement for a teacher, nor an online school or course. Rather, online learning is an important part of the successful modern classroom

Distance learning and online learning are two buzzwords commonly used in these discussions.While both of these methods of teaching rely on the user using computers or devices, they differ in certain ways.

Throughout this article, we will explain the key differences between online learning and distance learning, including

  1. What is the difference between the two?
  2. What is the advantage of each?
  3. Can there be any drawbacks?

Furthermore, you'll discover whether a digital curriculum is an appropriate solution for implementing online or distance learning for your program.

1. What are the differences between distance learning and online learning?

Both online learning and distance learning require similar online learning tools, but that's about where the similarities end.

Distance learning and online learning differ primarily in three ways:

  • Location
  • Communication
  • Objectives

Locational differences

  • Distance learning is distinguished from online education by its location.
  • The coursework and assessments for online learning (also known as eLearning) can be completed in a classroom setting with a teacher.
  • Students work at home online through distance education while their teachers assign work and check their progress electronically.

Interaction differences

  • Since your students are located in different places, the way you interact with them varies.
  • Your students and you will interact regularly in person while learning online. The reason is that online learning is also used along with other teaching methods as part of blended learning.
  • There is no face-to-face interaction between students and teachers in distance learning. Your communication will likely be facilitated by messaging apps, video calls, and discussion boards.

Differentiated Intentions

  • Distance learning differs from online learning by the teaching strategy that is adopted.
  • A variety of in-person teaching methods can be used in conjunction with online learning. This is a way to provide your students with varied learning opportunities in your classroom.
  • A distance learning program is one that provides instruction exclusively online, not as an alternative to a classroom setting.
  • Let's discuss the advantages of online and distance learning now that you understand the differences.

2.  Advantages of Online and Distance Learning

Online learning and distance learning are both viable and effective teaching strategies. However, they each have their own distinct advantages for both teachers and students.

Advantages of Online Learning

Online learning provides three major benefits in the classroom. To start, online learning is an excellent way to increase student engagement when used as part of a blended learning technique.

Blended learning involves using a variety of instructional resources and teaching methods in order to deliver content in multiple ways. Second, using online learning tools makes it easier for you to differentiate your instruction.

When using tools like digital curriculum, you will have more flexibility and control for differentiating your lessons -- without having to put in extra time during evenings and weekends.

Finally, when you use online learning you’ll find that it saves you time with planning and grading. That’s because many digital curriculum tools do the heavy lifting for you by providing ready-to-use lesson plans, instructional materials, and assessments. Many online learning tools also automatically grade those assessments and post them to your teacher dashboard. Talk about a time-saver!

Advantages of Distance Learning

In comparison to online learning, distance education offers unique benefits. The first is that distance learning can continue without interruption, regardless of weather conditions or pandemics. As a remote instructor, these types of disruptions don't affect your classes as much as they would in an in-person setting. Furthermore, distance learning allows students greater flexibility in working at their own pace and reviewing their assignments as needed. Having flexible course access is also important for students who may have irregular work schedules since they can access course material at a time that meets their needs.

You now know what distance learning and online learning can offer, now let’s examine the pitfalls.

3. The disadvantages of distance learning and online education

Distance learning and online learning both have flaws, as does any educational method. Because both online and distance learning relies on digital resources, many of the disadvantages of each are similar.

What are the problems with online learning?

Three major challenges can arise when online learning is used.

     1. Students must be able to access technology in the classroom on a regular basis in order to take part in online learning.

If your students don’t have regular access to computers or other devices during school, it will be tough to truly implement online learning.

  1. In terms of screen time in the classroom, another issue raised by online learning is the issue of screen time.

You will definitely encounter problems with increased screen time if you use online learning start-to-finish in your daily classes.

Even when using online learning on a regular basis, you can find ways to reduce screen time if you strike the right balance.

Online learning can also introduce the possibility of cheating when students use digital tools.

  1. Across the country, cheating is a major issue, and students often use technology in order to cheat.

Digital curriculum resources won't prevent students from cheating completely, but they can help reduce cheating.

What are the Problems with distance Learning?

There are several drawbacks to distance learning, we will look at the four main problems to be aware of.

  1. First and foremost is, it’s not feasible for students who have no access to technology. Distance learning requires modern gadgets, in other words, Distance learning fully relies on students learning remotely from computers or tablets. if the students have no access to such devices, he or she cannot continue studying.

  2. Secondly, in distance learning, you cannot keep a track record as it is difficult to keep tabs on whether your students are actually learning or paying full attention, you cannot check on your students on a daily basis. As to you can never know what your students are up to and what is going on, on their screens as you would in the classroom.

  3. The third problem of distance learning is that it can make cheating even easier than online learning.

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