Internet technology has had a very positive impact on our daily lives. Among the different human activities, education has benefited tremendously from this communication technology. One of the most recent examples of such benefits is the availability of distance learning. Through the use of the Internet, educational courses can be made available to students that cannot attend campus-based classes.
There are many other ways in which the Internet contributes to ease the education of thousands of students. From digital libraries to expert essay writing services in which you can ask “write my paper for me online,” the options are many where you can pay someone for your papers to be done from scratch. But online distance learning, in particular, has opened the possibility to earn a degree to many students that could not get it otherwise.
Thus, let’s take a look at the many advantages and benefits of this relatively new education modality. The disadvantages are also briefly discussed at the end of the article. Knowing both the pros and cons of distance learning can help you decide whether to pursue a degree using this modality. So, let's begin.
Advantage 1: You Enjoy More Flexibility
All you need to take your online courses is a computer and an Internet connection. You can access the lessons from anywhere at any time. This allows you to pursue a degree while you do other activities.
Many students that opt for online distance learning have jobs that they cannot (or are not willing to) give up. The course materials are always available on a server. So, if you work, you can access them before or after working hours. If needed, you can study even during the weekends.
Advantage 2: You Don’t Need to Commute
As said, with online distance learning you can study anywhere. Hence, you don’t need to go to any specific place to attend your lectures. This means that you won’t spend money commuting. You will also save time. For example, you can start studying a few minutes after waking up. You don’t need to spend hours on your car or public transport to go to and come back from the campus.
Some online lectures are scheduled. But you don’t have to worry if you don’t have the time to study them in real-time. You can access the materials later. Best of all, you don’t even need to leave your home. This is a great advantage in comparison to campus-based lectures. You need no commuting or being at a given place at an exact time.
Advantage 3: You Can Save Money
Besides the money you save for not spending on fuel or transportation, online distance learning is generally cheaper. Besides lower tuition fees, you won’t need to pay for housing, meals on campus, and other associated costs. This is an ideal solution for families that don’t have many economic resources to pay for their children’s higher education.
Advantage 4: You Study in a More Relaxed Environment
Distance learning can be quite comfortable for students that somehow fear interaction with a lecturer or professor. Asking questions can be intimidating sometimes. Even though there is no reason for that, some students refrain from asking questions. This doesn’t happen in an online distance learning environment. The Internet makes the virtual classroom a more relaxed environment for students.
Moreover, if you cannot take the lectures in real-time, you can always review the materials later. Questions are sent via email or messaging service to the lecturer. This helps to overcome the fear of asking questions face to face. Also, we all know that different students learn at different paces. Online distance learning allows you to revise all the learning materials as many times as you need. You won’t feel so much pressure. You can learn at your own pace.
Advantage 5: You Develop Desirable Skills
Nowadays, it is widely recognized that a degree obtained through online distance learning is as good as a campus-based one. Hence, if you opt for distance learning, your employment opportunities would be the same as if you got your degree in the traditional way. However, online distance learning teaches you some skills that employers appreciate.
To learn remotely, you need a lot of self-discipline and perseverance. Distance learning also prepares you to collaborate with future coworkers using videoconference technology and other media. You won’t be intimidated by unconventional ways of approaching problems. This will give you some advantage to land a job while competing with other applicants.
Disadvantages of Online Distance Learning
As seen, many advantages make online distance learning the ideal solution for some students. However, this learning modality is not a panacea. There are some disadvantages to consider:
- No social interaction and/or networking. Interaction with other students is limited in distance learning. More often than not, these interactions in college lead to an individual’s professional network in the future;
- You need a lot of self-discipline. If you are prone to procrastinate, online distance learning may not be the right option for you. You need a lot of self-discipline to do all your assignments without getting distracted;
- Dependence on technology. Put it simply, if your Internet connection, computer, or any other piece of hardware/software fails, your learning will be disrupted.
Now you have a wider “picture” of what online distance learning is. With this information, you’ll be able to decide whether this education modality is for you. Good luck with your choice.