By: Maryam Shahid
Education has no boundaries. The concept of distance education and E-learning has been deliberately implemented in this era of Covid-19 but it’s not a very new concept. Pre covid world was also all about the introduction of distance learning especially for the people who can’t afford traditional means of education and had to get education by spending flexible hours of their day.
A huge number of courses are being offered globally to encourage students to adopt an innovative way of learning that is just according to their feasibility and available to all.
How did it start?
The concept of distance learning was being introduced in 1800 with the establishment of the US education system at Chicago University by educating pupils in a remote area. After that with the passage of time and the advancement of technology, the era of the 1990s revolutionizes the whole concept by introducing computers and the internet's role in education.
Types of Distance learning
Synchronous learning :
This learning includes the mentor and pupils are indirect contacts while learning having a virtual classroom.
This type of learning refers to the learning in which weekly or monthly deadlines are to fix and both mentor and pupils don’t have to be available at the bounded time but can communicate in other means of email etc.
Time bounded course learning :
In this type of learning the pupils have to log in to their portals for study at an exact time and the course study is available just for a limited allocated time.
Technology-based learning includes that the pupils have to show their presence once in a while at some computer lab.
Pros and Cons of distance education:
The biggest benefit of being enrolled as a distance learning student is to be seen in this COVID-19 world.
The risk of contracting and spreading a virus has been sufficiently decreased by the means of online learning. Many students enroll in more than one course because of easy enrolling.
It’s easy for students to support themselves by doing part-time jobs.
The hours are flexible and easy for all. Along with it, the expense of online courses is almost free or low concerning traditional classroom learning.
Students are not held accountable often in terms of their studies.
Sometimes lack of communication leads to overwhelming and procrastination.
Students miss the on-campus life mode.
Universities offering online courses:
There are various world-renowned universities and websites offering both free and paid courses in terms of both STEM fields, Business management, and Media communications. Like Coursera and Udemy etc. Fatima al- Fihri Open University is also among one them and is a platform working for students to get opportunities in terms of paid online courses and make them able to learn necessary skills for leading a practical life.
Keywords: Distant learning, Distance education, COVID-19, technology, Fatima al-Fihri.