Strategies to Select a Distance Learning Program

Distance learning is gradually becoming a very popular educational option these days. One of the major reasons behind it is the interest of working professionals and non-traditional students to pursue a course and earn a degree. Also, the flexibility of the courses offered is an additional reason which attracts working people towards these programs.

Nowadays, more people are enrolling into distance learning courses; but, while doing so they need to be cautious. Every distance education program doesn’t provide high quality education, in fact, some of them are fraudulent. Many institutions are taking undue advantage of this increasing demand and are offering courses that are sub-par or not accredited. Hence, it is very important for an individual to conduct thorough research before selecting one such program.

Factors to Consider

While taking up a distance learning course, it is very important for any individual to take into account various factors. Simply selecting any random course will not be beneficial for them. It requires proper investigation and advice from experts on how to select the perfect program. People should contemplate the following factors before going for any distance education course:


People should always make sure that governing bodies accredit a distance education course. This is because accredited educational institutions adhere to high education standards and ensure quality education to the students. Institutions should be eligible only if they meet the accreditation standards by governing bodies like NAAC, UGC, AICTE, and so on.

Students should make sure whether a distance learning course or institution is accredited. They should check whether professional organizations associated with that particular field of study are hiring the pass outs of that very institution or course, or recognize that institution as accredited. For example, if students want to pursue distance LLB or LLM programs, they should make sure that bodies like the Bar Council of India, and other related bodies accredit the course or institution that they are choosing. Such accreditations will provide individuals an extra edge when they pursue for jobs after graduation.


If students pursue their distance studies from an institution which has poor reputation in terms of education and placements, they will be at a disadvantage while seeking for job opportunities after graduation. Students should not completely rely on a program’s website or brochure to determine its reputation.

If possible, they should visit the campus or arrange a meeting with the program’s alumni to get further information about the course they are considering opting for. Students can also consult the concerned authorities to inquire whether any complaints have been filed against the institution. Further, communicating with professionals currently working in the industry and the institute’s alumnus can also be helpful. Individuals can also research on the internet and read magazine and book reviews for further information on specific programs.

Quality of Education

While selecting a distance education program, the most important thing that individuals should consider is the quality of instruction they will receive. A good education program will contain various subjects which will focus on overall development of the student and well-rounded education. To gather more information about specific classes, students should interact with instructors, academic counselors, and department heads, who can give them a clear picture of the course offered. They should be prepared with specific questions that they can ask the course counselor or the faculties.

Students should always ensure that the course they plan to take up is related to the career field they want to pursue. Selecting a course which will improve one’s writing, analytical, and organizational skills will be beneficial to them. Such a course will ensure they excel in diverse fields, which is usually the demand of employers. Also, they can enquire if the institution provides good internship programs. Experience gained during internships can help a lot while seeking job after studies.

Methods and Technologies

The quality of distance learning courses depends on how it is imparted. Some courses provide students recorded lectures on DVDs. Many offer teleconferencing sessions, while others provide online classes. Students should gather information about the available student support programs and instructional facilities before selecting a course.

Information about the Teaching Staff

The success of students and the quality of any educational program depends on the quality of the teachers. The lack of dedication on the teacher’s part can be detrimental for the development of the students. Devoted teachers can play an indispensible role towards the career development of the students. If teachers conduct live online class sessions for the students, it will be helpful for them as all their doubts and queries regarding the subject matter will be resolved. Before being enrolled for distance courses, students should confirm whether the classes that are being taught are taking place live, or if they are just pre-recorded video files. It is important for students to gather sufficient information about individual teachers and their qualifications before joining the program.

Career Development Services

It is very important for any educational institution to provide effective career enhancement programs and services. These services enhance a student’s skills, assist them with placements, and pave their way towards a bright career. Before enrolling with any particular institute, students should gather information about the particular institution’s graduate employment rate. Moreover, they should ask the concerned authorities of the institution about the available services like career counseling, placement opportunities, resume preparation, and so on.

Selecting a suitable distance learning course is crucial for any individual. In order to make sure that they select the right course for their career advancement, students should conduct detailed research and gather proper information. This will assist them in opting for the best distance education program for their overall development.

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