Precautions You Must Take Before Applying for any Distance Learning Degrees

by - September 27, 2016

Precautions You Must Take Before Applying for any Distance Learning Degrees

There is a great range of information available for distance learning degrees, but the issue is that so many people are attracted to wrong information which eventually lands them on the wrong hand. I believe that you should be bothered about where and how to get a distance learning degree?” Your assumed question is not out of place. So many people have missed out on this very crucial information, they keep groping for information only to land their hard-earned money in the hands of internet fraudsters and scammers. It is high time you stopped throwing your hard earned money to folks who care little of what you need.

Inasmuch as most of the information you need about distance education are all online, it will be imperative for you to know that it is still very possible to have a direct encounter with the organisers of the programme. I think this is the safest means anyone can take. But since as the name goes “distance” is the issue here, I will try to make the available steps you need to get yourself acquainted with the necessary information. Also, know that the information here will be most beneficial to those trying to enrol into the distance education program of universities. Many of the top universities in the world have adopted this programme and it is a great sign of improvement and ascension towards academic excellence and human development.

Distance Learning Degree: Any Difference from the On-Campus Programme?

distance education 
 I don’t think there are any much difference here, the program, the material and even the certificate are not so different. Although I can’t say there is zero difference, in other words, passing through distance education can still have its own hectic moments, so don’t think that running away from the regular four walls of the university learning and embracing this other one will give you the whole time in the world to recreate. Sadly, there are still works and assignment. Hey, I just used ‘sadly’ shouldn’t have used that right?

Anytime you make up your mind to enrol for a distance education program, it will require almost the same procedures you will ordinarily take where it to be that you are enrolling in a regular on-campus program. In some universities, there is an added advantage to those enrolling for distance education over on-campus learning; application regarding distance education programs may be submitted more regularly than for on-campus learning programs. However, for a regular Masters program, for instance, there are maximum two deadlines for submission and two enrolment sessions for each year in a distance education Masters program. There might be four or five deadlines for submission dates and admission sessions per academic year. For a few programs, you may even join all year around! This, of course, gives you the opportunity to be admitted and somehow make the whole procedure of the application considerably flexible for the student. So the program considers pretty much the time factor and regulation of its students.

Now let me say something about the things you really need to know before enrolling in any distance education program.

• Beware of Scammers

Sadly, this is so. The internet is stuffed with a lot of fake sites and identities that if you don’t really take the time to investigate and research, you may fall into the wrong hands. Good a thing, almost all the world class universities have their websites or academic portals where students or prospective candidates can easily scoop information from. But that is not to say that you should dive into any site that bears the name of a university. I know this may be very daunting to do, but I may pretty much be linking to those genuine sites in this blog so that you can easily access them through this weblog.

 • Take your time

That doesn’t sound specific right? Okay, let me be clear. Don’t just enrol into a program you know you have no passion for. Nigerians are fond of enrolling in what they call ‘the lucrative courses’, you will simply run dry along the way and you see your GPA evaporating like methylated spirit. Take your time to search for online courses that you can really do better in, not in the sense of ‘those-easy-courses, no! Understand that not everybody can be in a particular course, choose a course that will spark that genius in you and I bet you, you will see yourself coming back to the master’s program – specifically for the undergraduate program. Coming to the other programs like Masters and PhDs, it is taken for granted that at least you should have known your bearing by now, so just swing in with what you are good at.

How to identify which distance learning degree suits you

Looking at the state of our country and the saddening economic crisis, you may want to frown at anything that will add to the list of your unfunded budgets. So let me help you out here.

 Let me reiterate what I have already said earlier in this post; It is very crucial that I say this, be very cautious and alert when enrolling into a distance education program through the university websites. Some university websites have been hacked and many people build fake university websites. So, in no way should you pay money to any private individual or persons soliciting for payment before enrolment. Our universities are pretty much close to us and I recommend you visit the university if possible.
That aside, now how can you identify the best distance education program suitable for you?

  • Accreditation

 Nobody wants to waste money and time studying in a program that will yearn no certificate or worthy recognition in the society. I believe you don’t. The present circumstance in Nigeria is that there is a countless number of qualified applicants looking for university admission who fail to gain admission into the country’s universities. Hence, to update the practice of distance education with the rest of the world, NUC (National University Commission) takes care to evaluate and stipulate a code of conduct to streamline the act of distance education program. Based on this, only university accredited to offer degree programmes (who have prior stated and applied to the NUC to run the program) shall be permitted. Universities are to specify the course and programmes they wish to offer, and so there may be limited courses available for the online learning program. 

  • Flexibility

The main reason distance education is much preferred is the fact of its flexibility. It gives you ample opportunity to choose and programme your studies to suit your schedule. However, some universities differ in their flexibility and this is what you should check out before applying. Although the program is online, but there are certain periods when you may be required for a one-on-one meeting with your instructor. So you should check the distance of the university from your place of residence. You ask yourself, “Can I be able to travel this distance without any injury to my regular work?” Also what you should check is the semester flexibility. If the university has a fixed semester program, then there wouldn’t be much flexibility because it will require your time at a fixed period. If you are a busy type, then such university may not work for you even if it is located close to you.

  • Individual support and service

This is similar to what we know as ‘customer care service’. Learning online can somehow pose some difficulties, especially with regard to meeting up and answering your questions and making things clearer. So, what you should very much try to do is to look at their personal support program, how do they respond to students? Some online learning programme can give you the opportunity of meeting your instructors and communicating directly to him/her. Again, make sure to know whether the instructions and online lectures are given ‘humanly’. When I say ‘humanly’ I mean a kind of communication that has the real attribute of a person to person communication. Some programmes can look more like robots, only dishing out information without caring about the students’ comprehension, so better check this out. Programmes of this sort should have a standard communication system, and so you should be able to know whether they answer questions immediately or within a specified or irregular span of time. Not replying messages and questions can be really demotivating and frustrating. And so to be on the safe side, check it out.

  • Learning material and the study environment

For distance learning instruction, the nature of the study material and the computerised learning environment are much more essential than for regular studies. An interesting learning environment with varieties and interactive assignments, recordings, tests and so on can enhance your study achievement significantly. So as to stay in contact with your fellow students, numerous online learning conditions offer a social platform and a virtual university atmosphere that empowers you to cooperate and bolster each other. Numerous distance education organisations offer free test lectures. This can help you to get acquainted with the distinctive learning situations and to choose, which one fits best to your own preference.  

  • Tuition Fees

I’m pretty sure that you might be wondering before now, “But what about tuition?” I intentionally brought it to the end. However, tuition fees in distance education are pretty much cheaper than the on-campus program. There are no stipulated fees that every university must collect rather it all depends on the program of a particular university. Hence you need to ascertain whether such can go well with your budget. Although it is cheaper, other things can cause the fees to rise a bit, consider the extra costs, like traveling to the on-site meeting and also the accommodation fees, and also take note of the study materials and other extra-tuition fees.

In conclusion

The information here is not all there is but with this, you can have enough information concerning the particular learning environment and to choose, which one best fits your schedule and preference. Again, it is not the one that offers easy courses, but the quality and accredited ones. 
Do you think there are things we didn’t give a clear answer or you need more clarification, please drop your comment and in no time a response will pop in?

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  1. I think that scammers in this field shall be punished as the students suffer a lot after being scammed not just economically but also most of them are caught in depression.