Distance learning provides a number of alternative approaches. One form, often described as Distance Learning, is effectively a type of part-time programme. Infrequent but regular attendance is required and there are time schedules and group involvement. The content and quality of these programmes is dependent upon the local delivery and the quality of the local student group. Whoever is offering the course and however prestigious they are, this is a critical aspect to probe. True Distance Learning basically involves conventional home study, supported by a variety of aids and Tutorial support. High quality Distance Learning MBA programmes, although sometimes dismissed as correspondence courses offer a lot of advantages.
Most programmes offer a realistic level of time flexibility and can be studied in remote locations and even if you move during the course. They provide access to acknowledged centres of excellence and one of the features you should look for is that the same course is delivered in the home territory. Distance Learning is available for all levels of skill and knowledge, whether training or education. Distance Teaching is probably the best for practical skills, when detailed feedback on performance and performance improvement is required. Distance Learning is very effective for courses leading to professional qualification or degrees. It is most relevant when you require access to a large body of knowledge and feedback on assignments, presented as written reports, is appropriate. There are a wide variety of Distance Learning courses, of both types, offered by UK institutions.
A critical question of how you can assess the quality of MBA Distance Learning programmes. Where possible look first for equivalence. Some UK Universities, like Durham, offer their MBA programmes through a variety of routes. Although the process is different the end result is the same. For a Distance Learning programme the course offered is defined by the course material and is therefore open to inspection. All students should get the same experience so check most carefully that the same programme is offered in the institution’s home territory, this is one of the strongest indicators of a quality programme. Access to these programmes is probably more realistic for relatively isolated students. Independent guidance can also be given by professional institutions or organisations such as AMBA or professional institutions, who represent the participants view impartially.
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