Distance learning is largely gaining popularity simply because it allows people, who cannot enroll for a class in a college or university, to take up a course. Working people highly benefit from such courses, as they can brush up on new skills to enhance their career further, without compromising on their full-time job. Whether you want to look for a big change after getting tired of working at the same old traditional job or you are passionate about studying but cannot do so due to several household responsibilities at your shoulders, distance learning is at your help. Though there are several other benefits of distance learning courses, some factors can negatively affect the success rate of such courses. Thus, it is best to first analyze the programs that interest you the most considering that they fit into your life, job, and career needs, before you opt for undertaking them through distance learning. Read through the following lines to know the different advantages and disadvantages of distance education.
Distance Education Advantages
One of the primary advantages of distance education is the high flexibility that it provides to students. People, who find it difficult to attend a traditional institution, such as stay-at-home moms, people working full-time or members of the military, are highly benefited through distance learning. There are several educational programs that allow such people to continue their work along with their education, easily-fitting in both into their schedule.
Most of the courses turn out to be cheaper through distance learning as opposed to attending a traditional college. You can study in the comfort of your room without paying unnecessary costs for classrooms, boards and transportation. Apparently, the cost of studying a course at a university is three to four times more than the tuition fee for distance learning programs.
You do not have to rely on any college’s or university’s schedule or pattern to take up a course of your choice. All you need to do is enroll yourself into the course whenever you need it. In other words, distance education is as simple as connecting internet to a computer system.
No Travel Expenses
You do not have to pay any traveling expenses to attend classes at the college or university. Your college is right there at home. Even for books, you can either issue them from any public library or best, you can download your course from the internet. This, furthermore, saves your travel time and helps you utilize time in a better manner.
Distance Education Disadvantages
No Face-To-Face Interaction
If you are one of the students who prefer interacting with teachers and seeking their attention, then distance learning is probably not your take. This is one of the major disadvantages of distance learning, as you cannot interact with teachers as well as with other fellow students. While interactions enhance critical thinking and problem-solving skills, distance education largely lacks this advantage. Though many distance learning sites have developed online forums or chat rooms, this is only a partial substitute, which cannot be compared with college classrooms.
Lack Of Motivation
If you come across students who have studied through distance learning, you will find they often complain of staying motivated, without attending a class every day. Since most distance learning courses are self-paced, it becomes tremendously difficult to stay motivated, allowing one to easily lose inspiration and procrastination to study further. Hence, dropout rates for distance learning are exceptionally high.
Students are required to find their own resources for completing their assignments and projects. This serves as another significant disadvantage of distance education as very little support is provided by such a medium in terms of providing study material and extra information. One has to surf through the internet or look out for the requisite information in books. While this can be really empowering for one student, another student may find this task very daunting.
No Campus Atmosphere
Nothing can be compared to the beauty of the college campus and the college spirit. All these experiences of a traditional college are excluded from distance education courses.