Distance learning comes as a blessing for students who want to study further while continuing with jobs or who might not be able to attend a full-time course because of various reasons. Sometimes it is considered to be the poorer cousin of full-time college programs. The frequent query from students is related to the confusion over the value of a distance learning program. The solution to this question is totally depends on the student. Several students can make the most out of a distance learning program but there are also others who are not comfortable with this pattern. Here we will discuss the pros and cons of distance learning or distance education programs and helps students decide if students should go for it:
There are 2 sides to every coin and here are the advantages also the disadvantages:
Students at the same time can earn as well as also complete their studies. The biggest advantage of distance learning courses is Flexibility. This stands true particularly if students are a working professional. Not every student has their own time to finish their studies for those who had to take a break from studies to start working such type of courses are a boon and offer the opportunity to pursue higher education.
ii) Saves Time:
Students can save a lot of time and energy on commuting. Students might be based out of a remote village or town which does not have enough options for higher studies. Distance learning courses eradicate these obstacles.
iii) Study for students own Pace:
Not everyone has the same pace of learning. Various students grab things fast others need time to grasp a concept. One of the biggest advantages of distance learning is that students can study at a pace that is comfortable for students.
iv) Saves Money:
These courses are about always cheaper as compared to their on campus counter parts. Students also cut down on the costs incurred while commuting etc.
Students can submit student's assignment with the click of a button or simply drop it off at a post-office! It's sometimes as simple as that!
vi) 24X7 Access to Study Material:
This is the best way to study if students are comfortable with internet and technology. Students can access students study material online whenever students want and also clear doubts, exchange views and discuss with students virtual class-mates!
vii) Study any Topic Students Want:
Since students already have all students books/online study material with students, students can pick up any topic/chapter that interests students and tackle that first! This way student's interest in the subject is sustained.
i) No Direct Contact with faculty:
There isn't any fun if students don't have a teacher students can make fun of. The major disadvantage of distance learning is lack of personal communication with faculty often affects the learning curve for some students. Flipping through voluminous books with no mentor to guide students can be overwhelming for some students.
ii) Overdependence on Technology:
Some distance learning programs especially online courses require access to internet. Unless students are comfortable with this medium, students will find studying and interacting with students faculty online difficult.
iii) Lack of Discipline:
Since students don't have a teacher standing on top of students head, reminding students of deadlines, asking for student's assignments, there are chances that students will not take a distance learning program seriously. Students need to be mature and disciplined to take full advantage of a distance learning program.
iv) It can get Lonely:
Even if students are in a virtual classroom that is full of students, the lack of personal interaction might make students feel detached and lonely. This can be solved as students get more comfortable with using the internet.
v) Not All Courses are Available/ Taught:
One another main disadvantage of distance learning is that not all courses can be taught online. For eg: subjects like Medicine and Engineering cannot be taught online or through distance learning since practical classes, experiments etc. is not possibly be conducted over the internet. Some things, students have got to do themselves.
vi) Not valued by all Employers:
No matter how good the university or college from where students pursued distance learning program, some employers will always prefer a candidate who has pursued a regular program over students.
Assorted studies have shown that distance learning programs can be as efficient and valuable as compared with regular classroom programs. Sometimes the learning material for distance learning programs by certain universities like Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) can be way superior to that of a regular classroom course. So as a student, they need to decide if distance learning program suits to their personality and temperament.