Is Distance Learning Right For You?Posted: 19th of February 2015 by
For some, distance learning provides the perfect solution for getting a qualification without having to travel or move. However, distance learning is not right for everyone as it requires a certain level of self-motivation when compared to more traditional college-based learning. On the flip side, distance learning allows you to be in control of your own studies, deciding when you get down to work, and freeing you up to work around your other life commitments. In order to see whether distance learning is right for you it is worth looking at the pros and cons before either jumping in or writing it off.
Firstly, here are the benefits of opting for distance learning:
Ease of Access – Course materials can be accessed at any time online. There is no need to wait around for a lecture, seminar, or class to get down to your studies. So long as you have a means to access the Internet you can get online and start work.
Study When you Like – Unlike regular courses, distance learning allows you to study when you want or are able. You are not held to a strict timetable (deadlines aside) and don’t have to attend classes at specific times of the day. You can also work on assignments when it suits you.
Course Choice – The range of courses available to distance learners has increased substantially in recent years – including those provided by top universities. You don’t need to go to a campus in order to get a degree when you can do it from the comfort of your own home!
Cost – With somuch focus on tuition fees and the cost of going to traditional universities, distance learning provides a cheaper alternative. Sure, you will still have to pay for the course, but you could save money on travel and accommodation.
Work While You Learn – Another bonus to working in your own time means that you can fit your studies around your existing work commitments, rather than the other way around.
Stay Out of the Classroom – While some courses require you to attend classes from time to time, this is generally kept at a minimum, while other courses don’t require you to go to class at all! If you are the sort of person who is happier being left to get on with things yourself this is another great plus for distance learning over more traditional courses.
As mentioned at the start, distance learning is not for everyone, so here are the downsides to distance learning:
Technology – Modern distance learning courses require you to use technology, so if you are not very computer literate or tech-savvy you may find this a struggle.
Lack of Social Interaction – If you are the sort of person who needs to be around others, a distance learning course can seem a little bit isolating. This is not as bad as it once was, with chat-rooms and so forth allowing you to communicate with fellow students and tutors, but this is not the same as the face-to-face interaction offered by more traditional learning methods.
Reputation – While attitudes are changing, there are still those who see distance learning courses as somehow ‘lesser’ than those offered by the more traditional college or university route.
Motivation – This is perhaps the biggest problem of all. Without a tutor constantly checking that you have completed your work, it can be easy to put things off and not put in the time and effort required to complete your studies on time. Quite simply, if you don’t think you can motivate yourself to work, then distance learning probably isn’t for you.
If, after looking at the pros and cons, you think that distance learning sounds like it could be for you, why not check out the options available right now on NotGoingToUni:
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