Distance-education courses cost a fraction of a regular-university course. However, it is important to remember that a certain amount of basic infrastructure is required before thinking of joining such a course. Here are a few basic resources needed to successfully complete a distance-education programme.
- Smartphone, tablet, laptop, or desktop
It is imperative and desirable to have an instrument to access the online course. Even if the material is downloaded onto a portable storage unit (pen drive or external hard disk), the student should be able to access the same information at a later point of time in the privacy of his/her study place.
A pen drive or an external hard disk,which costs anything from INR 300 to INR 3000, is the most basic resource for distance learning. These devices can be used to download the classes, e-textbooks, and notes and upload all the homework and assignments given as part of the course. Over time, hard copies of the notes or chapters of the textbook can be printed so that the study material readily is available even without a screen.
- Reliable high-speed Internet connection and uninterrupted power supply
These days, a distance-learning course online uses new learning technology. These include mobile/tablet/smartphone-friendly applications, remote videoconferencing, downloading e-textbooks, collaborative online file sharing, and web-based discussion forums.
Most online universities make available classes, e-textbooks, and notes on the college/university website. Internet access and a steady power supply ensure that the classes and notes are not missed by the student.
Even if the course does not involve interaction with mentors/fellow students on a daily basis, students will be required to submit their homework before the set deadlines.
Internet access can be via an Internet centre that offers the right browser and ensures that no malware contaminates the system.
The Internet can also be accessed from a free Wi-Fi zone, such as some cafes, malls, and public areas.
- Computer literacy
Students must ensure that they are sufficiently computer-literate in word processing, e-mail, and web-navigation skills (for online searches).
BBA correspondence courses usually include a computer course that brushes up basic word processing and computing skills. Students are given specific instructions on how to access the sites so that no malware worms itself into the university server.
And now that you’re all set, go ahead and join the course you wanted to do!