Distance learning is a form of education in which students do not have to be physically present for a lesson. This form of education has become incredibly popular in the last several decades because of great advancements in networking technologies like the Internet.
However, despite its popularity, distance learning can be just as challenging as traditional education. Learn about some of these challenges as well as the perks below to decide whether distance learning is right for you.
The Cons of Distance Learning
One of the most romanticized elements of college in films and television is that college is a place where students can meet their actual best friend for life. Classes, campus events, dormitories, and more deepen the bonds between a college’s students. However, students who are pursuing their degrees online can miss many of these opportunities if they never visit campus or are too far away to do so.
Distance learning often demands even more self-discipline than the traditional classroom does. In a traditional classroom, students follow a set schedule. They also learn in an environment that is relatively distraction-free. Online students, however, need to be able to create a distraction-free environment on their own. The flexibility of their schedules also puts them at greater risk for procrastination.
Technical issues can disrupt a students’ ability to progress in the course. Common issues that distance learning students will face include a poor Internet connection, site maintenance, and bugs.
The Pros of Distance Learning
College students are often juggling multiple responsibilities. These can include working more than one part-time job to pay tuition fees, a single full-time job to keep a roof over their heads, pets, a romantic partner, and even children. Distance learning gives these students educational opportunities without demanding that they abandon any of these factors in the process.
Distance learning allows students to access their courses from anywhere. This means that students can participate in lessons and submit their homework from home, a friend’s house, or even their jobs while they are on break. That degree of accessibility can result in fewer missed classes for students leading busy lives.
Part of the appeal of distance learning is its comparatively low cost. While distance learning courses still require students to pay many of the same fees that brick-and-mortar students do, it comes without the exorbitant costs of housing, transportation, and course materials.