Difference Between Open University vs. Distance Education

Main Difference

The main difference between Open University and Distance Education is that Open University is a university which gives the plan of open admissions, distance and online learning programs, and Distance Education is a method of learning where the students are not present in person at the site.

Open University vs. Distance Education

Open University is a university which gives the policy of open admissions, distance, and online learning programs. It assists or helps the students to study, while they are on the job, as it does not require students to study at a specific time. And distance education is a mode of delivering education, in which the origin of information and the students are not physically present, as they are apart from either by time or distance or even by both. In an open university, there are no associated or affiliated colleges and composes of only study centers and institutes; on the other hand, in distance education; the university can either be an Open University or traditional university. Therefore, various colleges affiliated to the traditional university. Open University based on imparting higher education to those people who cannot take admissions in the traditional university, whereas Distance Education was founded with the purpose to allow access to education to those who are unable to attend the regular colleges.

Comparison Chart

Open UniversityDistance Education
Open University is a university which provides the policy of open admissions, distance, and online learning programs.Distance Education is a sort of learning provided by various universities to students who are not present in person at the site.
Purpose
Open University based on imparting higher education to those individuals who cannot take admissions in the traditional university.Distance Education was based on the purpose to allow access to education to those who are unable to attend the regular colleges.
Nature
It is a kind of University.It is a kind of education way.
Colleges
In an open university, there are no associated colleges and includes only study centers and institutes.In distance education, the university can either be an open university or traditional university. Therefore, various colleges affiliated to the traditional university.

What is the Open University?

An Open University is a university which provides the policy of open admissions, distance and online learning programs. The students provided with the study materials for various courses through the study centers and online. The Open University schemes the studies so that students can complete them as long as working. There are no basic educational demand or age of consent for Open University studies.

Purpose of Open University

  • Maintaining professional skills
  • Spending a gap year productively
  • Launching a new career
  • Learning about different disciplines
  • Experiencing the joy of learning and gaining new insights

Open University Facilities

  • The flexibility of choosing a program independent of your age
  • The flexibility of not attending class
  • The flexibility of on-demand exam
  • The flexibility of time frame

What is Distance Education?

Distance education also called e-learning, and online learning, a form of education in which the main elements contain physical separation of teachers and students during instruction and the use of various technologies to help student-teacher and student-student communication. Distance learning traditionally has concentrated on nontraditional students, such as full-time workers, military personnel, and nonresidents or individuals in remote regions who are unable to attend classroom lectures. An increasing number of universities provide distance education opportunities. Distance education, like any education, sets out a learning group, sometimes called a learning community, which is composed of students, a teacher, and instructional resources.

Characteristics of Distance Education

  • It is not a self-study or nonacademic learning environment. The institutions may or may not provide traditional classroom-based instruction as well, but they are eligible for accreditation by the same agencies as those employing traditional methods.
  • Geographic separation is inherent in distance education, and time may also separate students and teachers. Accessibility and ease are important advantages of this mode of education.
  • Interactive telecommunications connect individuals under a learning group and with the teacher. Most often, electronic communications, such as e-mail, are used, but traditional forms of communication, such as the postal system, may also play a role.
  • Distance education establishes a learning group, sometimes called a learning community, which is composed of students, a teacher, and instructional resources i.e., the books, audio, video, and graphics.

Key Differences

  1. Open University provides open entry for admissions through distance and online learning programs. On the other end, Distance Education is a type of learning program provided by various universities to those students who are not present at the site.
  2. There are no colleges related or associated to an open university, whereas the distance education provided by either an open university or a traditional university; therefore, various colleges associated with the traditional university.
  3. The main objective of an open university is to provide education to those who can’t take admissions in the traditional university, i.e., working-class people or those living in the remote areas. On the other side, the primary purpose of the distance education is to allow access to education to those who are unable to attend the regular colleges, i.e. students can study at their place and at any time.
  4. The major difference between the Open University and the Distance Education is that an open university is a type of University while the distance education is a kind of education mode.
  5. In an open university, education is provided only in a distance learning mode, whereas the distance education provided by an open university or a private university or a regular university.

Conclusion

In conclusion, by open universities, hundreds of degree and diploma courses provided in respective fields like undergraduate, postgraduate and masters. And in the distance education mode, well equipped with learned faculties, where millions of students get the education. However, both of these systems suffer from pros and cons, but it’s all about how you take it as, either a boon or a bane.

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