What would you prefer: off-campus or distance education? These terms are frequently used as synonyms, and indeed, there are some overlaps. However, there are differences, too. Let us have a closer look at both these ways to study and check in what aspects they are similar and what are differences between them.
Off-Campus Education Is for Students Who Combine Study and Practical Experience
Let us start with a more common education type - off-campus education. While it is frequently used as a synonym for distant education, the main idea behind it is different.
People who already work somewhere can and sometimes are required to continue their studies or to take a new course to get a new qualification. While they shall also work, they cannot visit lessons regularly. Thus, universities and colleges have special sources for them.
Materials are provided online or/and offline (partly). Students work on their own and send the “proofs” of their advances: term-works, tests, course-works, and whatever else is required. In many cases, it is possible to use the services of a professional essay writing company, such as Smartwritingservice.com.
For control purposes, students might visit the university premises within a specified term to take additional courses and pass tests. For the mentioned period, their employers give them a paid vacation for study purposes.
In this case, the company is normally interested in the further education of a specific student. Thus, both sides are responsible for the student’s development:
In the case of off-campus education, a student usually works, and he/she might visit the university from time to time. Two parties are responsible for the education of such a student: its employer and the university.
Distance Education Is for Students Who Don’t Have an Opportunity to Visit the College
The case with distance education is different. In this case, students also study and live at home, just like the students who study off-campus. However, the main difference is the reason why students don't visit the university physically.
Distance learning courses have been developed for those students who, for some reason, cannot go to a university but still have a wish to get a proper education. For example, it might be the case with remote areas where people cannot pay for their kids. Another option is when a student lives in a different country but wants to get a diploma from a prestigious college; however, the student cannot move to the country where the university is located.
Distant courses are significantly cheaper than, say, on-campus studies. And in some cases, they can be offered for free to promote education in remote areas where people are poorly educated.
Students who study distantly get all the materials online. For these purposes, many technologies can be used. Some universities upload all the materials on a special platform where they are allocated in specific sections. Students get login data, and they can use the materials for their study purposes.
In many cases, materials are sent via email. This is more time-demanding for tutors; however, the practice is still there.
In the case of distant study, students might never come to the university where they are studying or where they have completed the course. While in some cases, online consultations are provided, in most cases, students have to work on their own and just to submit their works and tests to get assessed and, finally, to get their diploma. There is nothing surprising in the fact that the diploma is also sent to the residence address of a student.
A Quick Comparison
Off-campus and distance education are pretty similar and frequently used as the same. However, the terms differ one for another. One of the major differences is the reason why a student takes up one or another option.
In the case of off-campus studies, the student usually works and needs the course to move on in his/her career. While in the case of distance education, the student cannot visit the university and thus, decides on a course distantly.
An off-campus student is still controlled via tests, projects, works, which have to be submitted within specific deadlines. Also, such students are obliged to visit a university for tests.
A distant student is also controlled; however, the control level is significantly lower. Such a student might never visit the university building; everything is done and sent online. For this study type, incredible motivation and time-management skills are needed. Considering that many distant students are from poor countries or remote areas, interruption in studies is possible. For them, the course might be extended, or courses with flexible deadline options might be provided.
Thus, whether you can choose off-campus or distance education depends on many circumstances. First of all, your employment status impacts your decision and the decision of the university. If you are employed, you are entitled to off-campus studies.
If you don’t work and cannot go to a selected university, you can opt for distance learning.
For the second option, the main factors that will impact your success in studies are your motivation and wish to study. Here is no employer or a possible promotion to motivate you. Thus, your choice will depend on your life situation.
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