Advantages and Disadvantages of Distance Learning
It’s the Advantages and Disadvantages of Distance Learning that turn a fickle student’s mind whether to opt for a distance learning programme or not. Distance learning benefits the students who already have a job and seek a higher degree to get promoted to a higher designation.
Also, students unable to attend lectures due to distance or accommodation can find this learning method worthwhile. But what are the limitations of distance learning courses? This is one of many questions for students who are yet to decide between distance and full-time degree programmes.
What are the Advantages of distance learning?
Distance education is a better method to educate yourself through self-learning methods. Also, you don’t have to look for study material. Besides these benefits, here are some long-term advantages of Distance Learning.
1. Study while Working
One of the Leading Advantages of Distance Learning is you can study while you're on the job. Distance learning gives you the freedom to pursue higher studies to seek better career opportunities. Many students who enrol for distance education are those who don't want to quit their jobs.
For professional seeking higher perks and salary, distance education comes as an opportunity to explore further possibilities. You can continue your office work and take leaves during the examinations. Distance education programmes offer you the flexibility to learn while you earn.
2. You can save money
The fee difference matters the most in distance learning. Also, there are no regular classes to attend, which reduces your commuting cost to a different extent. Compared to the on-campus degree programme, open learning is way better it comes to the fee structure. The universities offering distance education don’t even have to pay the faculties or professors. That’s why the admission fee is fixed for students.
3. Time Saved is one of the significant Advantages of Distance Learning
Waking up in the morning, attending on-campus lectures for every subject, and most important of all, maintaining your attendance can be time-consuming. You don’t even have to worry about missing your important classes. Distance learning program brings the classroom right to your place.
You don’t even have to purchase reference books or research material separately. Many Open universities send the study material right to your doorsteps, or you can download e-material on your computer.
4. Learn at your own pace
Missing the lectures means missing the important concepts; you might find it difficult to cover other subsequent topics the next in your on-campus classroom. Asking any questions in class can be quite embarrassing for many students. If you are dedicated enough, the best benefit of distance education is learning at your own pace.
Study a today or tomorrow; you can continue from where you left the last chapter. As you have all the course work beforehand, you can study as much or as little as you want every day. Many universities have taken the teaching method to digital platforms making it further easier for students to clear doubts through discussion forums and online chat facilities.
5. You can study Any Time and Anywhere
You don’t have to be stuck in the classroom as you can study anywhere through digital courseware. It’s not always necessary to stress work yourself out while sitting in your room.
You can study in your garden, on your couch, or in the comfort of your bed. Whether you prefer to study at night on in the quiet morning hours, you can dive into studies at your will.
What are the Disadvantages of distance learning?
But wait, there are some Disadvantages of distance learning to consider. The following are some situations that can turn out as shortcomings if you opt for a distance learning programme.
1. Hard to Focus
Students who opt for distance education programmes often have a tight schedule, mostly due to work. Finding the time and scheduling your time for studies can be difficult at times. Given that you are already occupied with office-related tasks, it can become difficult to focus on your studies to a toiling schedule.
Also, there is no faculty to manage and check on your progress, unlike a traditional on-campus session. Lack of companions to assist you with studies and assignments can be another limitation of Distance learning. Studying alone means it’s easy to be distracted if you are not motivated enough to excel.
2. Hidden costs
Even though the cost of a distance education program is usually lower than a regular degree/diploma program, there can be hidden costs involved. If your distance learning course is offered online, you might have to bear some initial costs to install or buy a computer and Internet connection. You may also need to buy additional peripherals such as a printer, a web camera, or software service.
3. Technological Challenges
Next to working professionals, the students living in far-flung places opt for a distance learning programme. Many of such student come from rural areas where technology hasn’t been upgraded.
The digital study material can be a complicated task for students who are not sound with the advanced-level technological setups. Even though they somehow learn the learning methods, a software or hardware glitch can create much more problems for them unless they know how to deal with it.
4. Low Skill Development
There is no communication between students enrolled through distance education as there no classrooms to discuss study-related topics. Students' personal contact with each other or with teachers is minimal. Therefore, this form of learning is not advantageous for developing communication or teamwork skills.
Also, if you opt for a degree programme that incorporates practical knowledge, distance learning might not be suitable. If you intend to gain practical and theoretical knowledge, on-campus learning comes as a sound option.
5. Value of degrees
Many MNCs accept employees who have acquired a degree through a regular mode of education. And there is a strong reason behind it. Although distance and online educations is starting to get much recognition, there are still many fraudulent and non-accredited degrees being offered.
With an increase in the number of distance programs, the number of scammers has also risen. This affects the credibility of recognizing distance learning degrees among prospective employers.
Distance learning does have its pros and cons for students. Some of the concerns are also mentioned in Advantages and Disadvantages of the Distance Learning above. As for the limitations, most are manageable. The biggest concern still trouble many students, whether or not their degree is acceptable in some institutions? Investigation about the University seems like a good start before you enrol for any distance education programme in it.