Distance Learning - Advantages and Disadvantages

Published: 27th June 2009
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There are advantages and disadvantages to distance learning. The advantages of distance learning are making this online alternative very popular. But, before you decide to choose distance learning over traditional learning, you should be aware of the disadvantages, too.

Advantages of Distance Learning

Convenience: In this economy, it is difficult to take time away from work to further an education towards a more secure future. An advantage of distance learning is that it makes it possible for you to maintain employment without a conflict in schedule. Distance learning allows students to attend class anytime day or night.

Availability: Another advantage of distance learning is that you are not limited to only courses offered by local colleges. With personal responsibilities already in place, attending schools at a greater distance away from home is not always an option. Distance learning makes it possible to take almost any course from any higher learning institution.

Increased Resources: Distance learning not only provides advantages of broadening the courses and programs available at your convenience, it also provides more opportunities for feedback and interaction with instructors and fellow students. Since email and forums are integral components of distance learning, interaction can all be done as needed - not limited to class or campus time or playing phone tag and voicemail.

Disadvantages of Distance Learning

Deadlines: As with any course, there are deadlines to be met. Because you aren't attending a scheduled class, deadlines may get away from you. This can be a disadvantage of distance learning if you aren't good with time management.

Studying: It may be difficult to find enough online time without interruption since you'll be attending class at home. Instructors provide a syllabus so you should be able to create a schedule around the course schedule. You may need to make arrangements with a sitter or spouse to watch the kids plus remember to turn off the TV and the phone.

Testing: Testing may need to be supervised or timed online to keep you honest, especially for the final exam. Your instructor will make arrangements with local educators or provide you with timed online tests so you can't rely on using your text book to pass. If you live close to the school, you may be required to take the exam at the testing center. You'll need to be sure to spend as much time studying as you would learning in the traditional way, but there may be more distractions.

Interaction: Discussion board posts and replies are usually included in the course requirements. Sometimes, you must interact in a forum discussion during a set time so you may interact with your instructor in real time. Again, you need to be able to manage your time to be available without distractions.

Learning Style: Another disadvantage to distance learning is that the course may not include instruction for the auditory or visual learner. If there are lecture and supplemental videos included, then it may work for your learning style. Be sure to check the instructor's style to teaching before you decide on the course. The course may be offered by more than one instructor - each of whom may have different teaching styles.

Successful Distance Learning

To be successful as a distance learner, you must weigh the advantages and disadvantages of distance learning. For your first time as a distance learner, enroll in just one course that you will enjoy...and see how it goes.

Find here complete information about top distance learning courses,  top distance learning degrees, distance education programs and top distance learning colleges in United States and Canada.

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