Home or Away?
The Pros and Cons of Distance Education
Making decisions about college is no light matter. Your choices will have a tremendous impact on your future. This isn’t meant to scare anyone, but it’s true. Of course, there are more options to choose from these days when it comes to attending college.
This article focuses specifically on the option of distance learning vs. classroom learning. Many individuals have completed their degrees online and loved it. Others have attempted distance learning only to find that it wasn’t right for them.
Below is a list of some of the pros and cons of distance learning. You’ll want to consider them before deciding to attend college on campus or online.
1. Flexibility: one of the reasons going to school is a problem for many folks is because they don’t have the time and ability to attend classes. Although you do have assignment deadlines to meet, distance learning allows you to have more control over your schedule.
2. Saves money: with the price of petrol these days online education is looking even more appealing. Not everyone has the option of living on campus, and commuting can really hurt your pocket. Distance learning can be a smart money saving alternative.
3. Self Discipline: it’s true that distance learning is difficult if you aren’t self motivated, but it does offer another advantage. The self discipline you’ll learn from online college is invaluable. Many employers actually prefer hiring individuals that have completed their degrees and training online because it demonstrates their ability to stay on task and work independently.
4. Work and Family: If you’d like to get your degree or brush up on some of your skills, but don’t have the time because of work and family duties, distance learning could be a wonderful opportunity. Yes, it still requires time and dedication, but when you don’t have to get in the car and drive to a class every other night, the idea of college seems a lot more appealing. Distance learning is a great option for parents and the employed.
1. Self Motivation: if you aren’t self motivated, distance learning is probably not for you. Although your instructor’s will provide you with a course syllabus and most likely an assignment schedule, you don’t have the structured atmosphere of the classroom to keep you on task. Missing deadlines and having poor grades can cause you to lose financial assistance.
2. Needing Assistance: if you are taking distance learning courses through a local college they do sometimes offer tutoring services. However, many of these services are conducted online. Online learning can be very discouraging when you aren’t able to get the one on one help you need. Before beginning a distance learning course, consider how well you are able to grasp the subjects you will be studying. If it is something that you really struggle with, taking a class on campus is more beneficial.
3. Social Interaction: Attending college on campus provides the benefit of social interaction with other students. Although you may have access to classmates emails, or be involved in discussion forums while doing distance learning, developing friendships and socializing is difficult. If you’d like to get to know other students, distance learning may not be the best choice.
4. Distractions: this is one of the biggest disadvantages of online education. There are often so many distractions at home that studying and completing assignments is nearly impossible. If your home environment is not adequate for study, you may want to consider attending college on campus.
By accurately assessing your needs, abilities, and circumstances and keeping these things in mind while you consider an education through distance learning, you’ll be able to make an informed and wise decision.