Distance Learning: Is It Worth It?

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Distance education has been viewed by some people with contempt. The opinion generally being that they are not up to the same standard as the traditional bricks and mortar higher educational institutions. Of course, studying from the comfort of your own home is nothing new with world recognized organizations such as The Open University providing an array of courses for students who may have not had the opportunity to attend lectures and tutorials in the past. With conservative attitudes by many employers still apparent we ask if distance learning is really worth it.

The Choice of Distance Learning

The main hurdle a correspondent student has to overcome is the feeling of isolation. Having no face to face contact with your tutor and other students might have a negative effect on motivation.
If you are a weaker student, you will not have the same level of support with your mentor on a one to one basis. Asking questions after class will not be an option. It also takes a disciplined student to be able to keep focused. If you are not required to be at a certain place at a certain time, then there is a danger of prolonged apathy.

This could lead to problems from the start as deadlines still have to be met even though you are in a virtual classroom. It’s very easy to lose marks without the pressure of a teacher to hand in assignments. These issues lead some people to believe that it is suited for more mature students. Another criticism of online education is that many courses are not available online. This is partly true when you consider more technical courses such as medicine and engineering. Degrees of this nature cannot be earned online because all the practical training and assessments need to be conducted at the institution supervised by qualified individuals.

There are also higher degrees such as the MBA which can be studied via online courses and many employers are now appreciating that they can be just as good as degrees done at a full time university. However caution needs to be exercised as many website scams exist in order to extract money out of potential MBA students. Degrees from these types of institutions are worthless and will not further your career aspirations. Even if you do find a reputable MBA courses, the same issues exist as standard online degrees and it takes a tremendous amount of discipline to succeed.

Advantages:-

Despite all the above issues, there are far more advantages to virtual learning. Firstly there is the notion of complete flexibility. You can organize your daily life around your studies. There are also the costs benefits. Studying from home will save a considerable amount of money on commuting to and from the institution. Less energy will be expended which means you will potentially save money on food and clothing.

It also allows you to study at your own pace and you will not have the feeling of being left behind. This applies to the sequence of the course as well as you can approach your favorite topics first or get your least favorite out of the way, whichever you prefer. You will never have to trawl through the snow on a winter morning to hand in your assignments as this will be done at the click of a button. Studying in this way will also improve your IT skills as most of your course will revolve around a computer, internet search engines and emails.  e-Learning can mean exactly what is says as it enables you to study from any anywhere in the world. It also provides a convenient and more comfortable way for people with disabilities to access higher education without the hassles of traditional building restraints.

If we take all the relevant factors into consideration then it is quite apparent that distance learning is worth it and should be taken seriously in all aspects for the brilliant opportunities they provide.

Author: Jenny Beswick produced this article for you. After having studied her MBA Courses she then built her career in sales and has recently changed dynamics to become a writer in her fields of interest!

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