Distance and Online EducationFor moms out there ready to go back to school it is highly likely you will choose to complete your education all online, correct?  Whether you are getting a distance education degree or an online education degree, you may be curious at what the differences are, if any.  Your first thought at this point may be: “aren’t these considered the same thing?”  In some cases yes they are, but I was pretty surprised to find out that there are slight differences since both titles are used interchangeably at times.  How so?  Let’s break it down so you can see where I am coming from.

Distance Education Degrees

Distance Education: “A method of teaching in which the students are not required to be physically present at a specific location during the term.” (Word IQ)

Distance Education has come a long way throughout the years.  This type of college learning is available throughout multiple locations.  Distance Education is relevant to students who may not be able to participate in any on-site programs which may be available within online education degree programs, especially locally.  Forms of distance education include but are not limited to: Correspondence courses (Independent Study), CD-ROM education, etc.  These methods of learning were the primary choices before the advancement of computers and technology.

5 Advantages to Distance Education Degree Programs

The following advantages are according to Jhon McGee over at sopperarticles.com.

  1. Availability and Portability
  2. Choices and Cost
  3. Flexible course materials
  4. Greater technology tools
  5. Global opportunities

*Historical Tidbit:”The history of distance education could be tracked back to the early 1700s in the form of correspondence education, but technology-based distance education might be best linked to the introduction of audiovisual devices into the schools in the early 1900s.” ~Michael Jefferies: Assistant Director of Educational Services, IHETS

Online Education Degrees

Online Education: Online education allows for more subjects of study available to students.  Though online education originated from the college level, it is now available for Pre-K through 12th grade.”

If you are searching for a broader range of courses and degree programs,  then online education programs are the way to go.  All of your coursework can be completed online without any hassles.  The nice thing about online education programs is you can do your work at home at any time or even at work if you are operating under a tight schedule.  The main sources of communication between professors and students are usually email and forum discussions. According to the office of distance learning at dl.pvamu.edu.com, “online degree programs have become recognized as the legitimate form of education.”

5 Online Education Degree Programs

  1. Kaplan University
  2. Saint Leo University
  3. Everest University Online
  4. American Intercontinental university
  5. University of Phoenix

*Check out a complete list of online schools and degree programs here on classesandcareers.com

Before reading this post did you know or understand the differences between distance education and online education?  The misconception that many people have, (me being one of them) is that distance education is usually just completed all online.  Obviously, there are other forms as mentioned above.  Because we have become so technologically advanced those other forms aren’t as popular which makes it easy to think that distance education programs is equal to online education programs.

What approach are you currently taking?  Distance Education or Online Education?  Please share your experiences with either or both if applicable.


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