Advantages and Disadvantages of Distance Learning

Online distance learning programs are a growing trend in the society today. Indeed, an increasing number of students enroll online each year to get a degree and to enhance their education. But what are the advantages of disadvantages of online distance education? In this article, we will discuss these two aspects that can affect your decision:

Advantages of Distance Learning

Flexibility. Perhaps the most obvious and biggest advantage about studying in an online school is that you can enjoy more flexibility, particularly when it comes to managing schedule. Unlike traditional schooling, online learning gives students the option to take up classes according to their preferred schedule.

Cheaper cost. Because learning is done through the internet, a great amount of time, energy and money is conserved from commuting to and from school. There is also no need to rent a dorm or a unit to minimize transportation costs or to enjoy convenience.

Short degree programs. Many online education institutes offer a wide degree of learning programs which can be completed in a short span of time. This is a wonderful option especially for working students because it gives them the chance to enhance their learning or upgrade their degree one step at a time.

Easy access to course materials and learning aids. When enrolled in an online degree course, materials and references are often provided from the website so you can do your research at any time.

Access to the school you want. Because distance does not need to be a barrier, a student can select a reputable online school that he/she prefers, regardless of the school’s geographical location.

Disadvantages of Distance Learning

Self-motivation is a must. In order to really benefit from online distance learning, the student must be strongly determined to study the lessons well, be honest in answering quizzes and examinations, participate in class, do research or personal reading, and attend online classes regularly. Lack of self-discipline can lead a student to put off school work, not review the lessons or not take up classes regularly. As a result, the student may not enjoy the true benefits that the program offers.

Lack of human interaction. Socialization and self-confidence can be improved in a traditional classroom setting. On the other hand, learning online does not offer the same kind of interaction so if the student has a problem with communications or with social skills, it might be more practical to attend a conventional school to recover from extreme shyness.

Technical courses may be a challenge. Some courses may be better taken up the traditional way especially those that involve technical skills training. Before deciding if online distance learning is for you, consider carefully the course or degree that you intend to pursue.

About the Author

Nita Harris is a graduate of a Computer Science program in Santa Monica, CA. A budding programmer and a web developer, she also furthers her education through a distance learning degree while working full time in a small IT company. She also writes, whenever time permits, for Building Credit for Students

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