Pros and Cons of Distance Learning

Nowadays, we can easily learn almost anything at any time through internet regardless where we are. Distance learning programs are taking the advantage of internet technology that enables us to acquire knowledge at a flexible schedule from any place as long as we have internet connection. While it seems that distance learning provides many benefits to its learners, it may carries some downsides which you should know so that you can take into consideration when deciding to take up a course through internet. Below are the pros and cons of distance learning that you should consider prior to taking a course.

Pros:

Flexibility. With distance learning courses, students can complete their course work from just about anywhere, provided there’s a computer and internet connection. This allows students to work when and where it is more convenient for them without having to squeeze in scheduled classes to an already busy life.

No commuting. Taking a course online can be one way to cut down on costly gas or public transportation. Since students can often work from home to complete their class assignments, both time and money are saved in cutting out the trips to and from class.

Various schools to choose. Even if you live in a community with few or no colleges distance learning allows you to choose from a wide variety of schools to complete your education. You may find online schools that specialize in your particular field or one that can provide a great general education. Either way, your options for education will be greatly expanded.

Affordable costs. Prices for online courses are generally cheaper than their on-campus counterparts and you won’t have to worry about commuting, moving or getting meal plans on campus, some additional benefits to learning from home.

Learn while working. As distance learning can usually be completed on your own schedule, it is much easier to complete distance learning courses while working than more traditional educational programs. Keeping your job gives you more income, experience and stability while completing your degree giving you less to worry about and more time to focus on your studies.

Cons:

Lack of social interaction. If the classroom environment is what you love most about learning you may want to take a step back and reconsider distance learning. You’ll likely get some interaction on chat rooms, discussion boards and through email, but the experience will be quite different than traditional courses.

Format isn’t ideal for all learners. Not everyone is an ideal candidate for online learning. If you know you have problems with motivation, procrastination and needs lots of individual attention from an instructor you may want to think long and hard before enrolling in an online learning program.

Some employers don’t accept online degrees. While a majority of employers will, there are some who still see a stigma attached to distance learning. Realize that your online degree may not be the ideal tool for some job fields or for future learning.

Requires adaptability to new technologies. If you’ve never been one to love working with technology you will probably get a lot less out of an online course than your more tech-savvy counterparts. Make sure you feel comfortable working with computers and with online programs before you sign up for a class.

Not all courses required to complete the degree may be offered online. It makes sense that more practical majors like nursing aren’t offered entirely online, after all, part of the degree is learning to work directly with patients. Find out all the requirements of your degree to see what may need to be completed offline.

Accessible and Beneficial Way of Distance Learning

Distance learning is a respected system of education whereby a person can attain further education without the need of his/her physical presence in a college or university building. Sometimes someone has not been to school or college for a long time or has not been able to take formal education owing to certain reasons. Distance learning is a way of getting needed education from various distance learning institutions across the globe. The variety of content, qualifications and facilities to provide different distance learning courses is enormous. With respected accredited distance learning courses, individuals can change career, get a promotion, gain more security or improve their earning potential in their existing job. Lots of people choose distance education whilst working in order to add to their knowledge, understanding and skills whilst still being employed and earning a salary.

Lifelong Learning

Humans have an inbuilt desire to learn about the world around them, to understand subjects they are interested in and to make progress through that learning process. But there are many students who for various reasons were unable to go to a school or performed poorly when in the traditional education system. Home learning courses can help in these cases because the students do not have to travel but can study at their own pace in the privacy of their own home. The whole range of subjects at every level from basic foundation courses through to respected degrees can be studied through distance learning institutions and colleges.

People of all age groups can and do take advantage of home learning courses, enjoying their time acquiring new and exciting knowledge. Women at home can pursue courses of their choice while taking care of their families and many household duties. It has been a great opportunity for people in remote areas to be educated at affordable prices from good city universities thus improving the likelihood of getting interesting and good paying jobs.

Teaching Methods

The initial way that distance learning courses were delivered was by post. It involved courses being split into small sections and written in an easily understandable manner that the student could absorb and learn from. Whilst this method still exists the internet and advances in technology have introduced many other and more efficient ways to deliver distance learning courses. Videos are used to illustrate and explain the most complex of subjects, podcasts are extremely efficient in conveying less complex matters but the advantage of both of these techniques is that the student can watch or listen as many times as they need to grasp the concepts being conveyed. Webinars are now extremely popular and whilst saving travel time and expense still offer the camaraderie of “class” tuition. Home study courses have become a world-wide phenomenon, available to all, respected by academics and businessmen alike.