10 Distance Learning Myths

10 Distance Learning Myths

In the beginning, there were plenty of skeptics spouting lots of negativity and outright lies about distance learning. But this non-traditional learning experience has come a long way, and a lot of what used to be true isn’t true any longer. Let’s take a closer look at the most common myths surrounding distance learning.

1. An online learning degree isn’t a respectable degree.

As enrollment grows, online degrees are finally getting the respect they deserve. But still, problems with reputation abound. What’s important to pay attention to when choosing an online learning institution is accreditation. Requirements for accreditation are stringent, and if an online institution is accredited, it should carry the same level of respect as an accredited brick-and-mortar institution.

2. Credits earned in online degree programs aren’t transferable.

Whenever you transfer from one learning institution to another, there’s always the chance some credits won’t be transferable. Therefore, it’s always worthwhile to discuss this matter with a guidance counselor. Chances are, credits earned within the same accrediting region will be transferable, even if taken through an online learning program.

3. Distance learning is easy compared to traditional learning.

There will always be classes that are more difficult than others, whether they’re taken online or not. The level of difficulty depends more on the subject matter, the time invested in learning, and the student’s ability to grasp the subject than whether it’s taught online or in a classroom.

4. No computer, no online learning.

Online learning requires ACCESS to a computer. If you don’t own a computer, that’s okay. See if there’s one at the local library you can use or ask a friend. Another option is to rent one as needed.

5. You won’t get the attention you need and deserve.

Ensuring access to professors is a key goal of most online learning institutions. While you may not be able to shake your professor’s hand, you will be able to chat online via forums and message boards, send email, watch live lectures, and arrange conference calls. If access to your professors is important, be sure to ask about this before choosing a distance learning program.

6. Online degrees won’t be taken seriously.

This may be true if the degree comes from a non-accredited online program rather than an accredited online program that has built up a favorable reputation. More and more employers are changing their perceptions and are willing to view an online degree as highly as a degree from a traditional institution.

7. An online school isn’t a “real” school.

There are plenty of differences between online and brick-and-mortar schools, but that doesn’t mean one is more “real” than another. If you choose an accredited online program, you’ll have access to qualified professors, useful resources, and varied curriculum – just like you’d get at traditional schools.

8. Distance learning is expensive.

And so is an education obtained through a traditional school. Usually, higher quality means higher price. If cost is an issue, talk to someone in the financial aid department for ideas on lowering the cost of your education.

9. There’s no difference among online degrees.

This isn’t true with traditional schools, and it isn’t true with online learning schools either. Some will be viewed more favorably than others. To learn more about how yours might be viewed, check out these online school rankings.

10. Deadlines are non-existent.

Assignments handed out at distance learning centers have due dates, just as those given at traditional schools do. Miss the deadline and you’ll waste your money and suffer the consequences. It’s that simple!