This article will tackle the basic things that you need to know about distance learning online. Although this type of new learning experience has been a phenomenon worldwide, there are things you need to consider to guide you into making that decision about pursuing your education online, or continuing to do this in a traditional way.
What is distance learning online? From the word “online,” you already have the perfect idea of what this type of education is.
Now picture yourself in a classroom filled with other students, with your teacher in front of you and educating you about how star-crossed lovers like Romeo & Juliet captured the hearts of many. Your teacher will be asking for someone to voluntarily read a line from Shakespeare and paraphrase that line in layman’s term. You’ll find yourself reading,
“This day’s black fate on more days doth depend:
This but begins the woe others must end.”
You’d be like, “Wow, I have no idea what this means!” Right, you’ll be put on the spot and there would be no way you can research on this unless you already did your advanced reading. Distance learning online isn’t like this. It isn’t spontaneous and there are no surprise quizzes to worry about. It is another form of education which commonly occurs in a virtual classroom. This means that the interaction that happens within that class (instructor & other students) will take place through email and message boards so by the time it’s your turn to paraphrase a poetic line, you’ve already done your research and can submit your own answer without being anxious that you weren’t prepared.
Distance learning takes you away from the classroom atmosphere that you might be dreading about. It can include online or television courses. You attend school and do your homework without having to physically attend school because everything is done online. All responses, exchanges, interaction and all sources of materials to finish your course are done online.
It is imperative that education be attained for a good future. In any type of education and whichever approach you prefer, whether it is conventional or online, there will be pros and cons as basis of your decision. So here are the advantages and disadvantaged of distance learning online.
Advantages of Distance Learning Online
- Transportation. From this alone, two more advantages can arise: lower expenses & more time! If you own a car, you get to cut down on gas expenses and save money. If you’re commuting through public transportation, you don’t need to wake up earlier just to catch the bus! There is definitely no hassle when it comes to distance learning online because you don’t need to go anywhere. As long as you have a computer with the common specifications that are usually required like a sound card, 512 MR RAM, Windows 98 or better/Mac OSX 10.4 or higher, 20 GB hard drive, an MS Office 2004 or higher and free web browser plug-ins, then you’re good to go!
- Flexibility. You can opt into taking programs where you can complete your own course work from anywhere and anytime, as long as there’s an internet connection. This definitely gives you time to work more conveniently. Working while learning will not be an issue as well. It will be easier to manage your time even if you do both.
- Economical. Aside from those gas expenses that you will be saving to attend school, you’ll also save up on meals and new clothes, notebooks, pens, just about all the traditional school materials that you used to carry in your backpack to school.
- Numerous school choices. You don’t need to worry if want to pursue a course that’s not carried by any school within your area because there are thousands of choices you can make online.
- Lower Enrollment fee & other expenses. Online courses are generally cheaper than their on-campus counterparts plus you won’t have to worry about moving or commuting and getting meal plans on campus.
Disadvantages of Distance Learning Online
- Social Interaction. Since courses are being fulfilled online and the means of communication would be via email, chat rooms and discussion boards, social interaction wouldn’t be as fun and interactive.
- Health. Since you don’t move around because there’s no commuting and there are no physical activities involved, it is likely for you to gain weight or develop some illness due to inactivity.
- Job opportunities. This really isn’t a disadvantage because most employers will hire you but there will be a few who would more likely to consider hiring employees who attended and finished their degrees from traditional schools.
- Adaptability to new technology. Technology isn’t for everyone because there are a few people who believe in studying the conventional way and aren’t really accustomed to modern technology. Distance learning would be a disadvantage if computer or technology itself isn’t your thing.