Benefits and Disadvantages of Distance Learning

Assessing the Benefits and Disadvantages of Distance Learning

If you’ve ever been faced with a tough decision, you know that choosing sometimes becomes easier if you make a list of good points and bad. Here’s a rundown of the potential benefits and potential disadvantages of distance learning. After reading this, deciding what’s better for you will hopefully become clearer.

Distance learning benefits

More accessibility: People living in remote locations as well as the elderly and those with physical handicaps definitely benefit from the increased accessibility that distance learning provides. But now that there is better availability of online learning courses, and a better reputation among online learning institutions resulting from more accreditation, everyone benefits.

More flexibility: Distance learning offers an opportunity to learn when it’s convenient for you. No more juggling school and work schedules, arranging child care or dealing with traffic jams. You’re not bound by a structured school calendar, either.
More control: With distance learning, you learn at a pace that’s right for you. Slowing down or speeding up is all at your discretion. You feel less stress and more satisfaction. You’re also in total control of when and where you log-on for your classes and how quickly you earn your degree.

More money in your wallet: Because you don’t “travel” to class, you save money on gas and other transportation costs. You don’t need to spend money eating on campus, or for parking. Oftentimes, tuition for distance learning classes is less than the cost of traditional campus learning, too.

Distance learning disadvantages

Isolation: This isn’t a problem for everyone. But with distance learning you are definitely alone more because there’s less in-person interaction. Group communication takes place primarily via chat rooms and discussion boards.

Less reputable: In the past, distance learning wasn’t always perceived by employers and the general public as a serious education. Fortunately, this perception is changing. However not everyone is convinced of distance learning’s capabilities.
Technical know-how: Since technology is replacing the classroom, you’ll need some knowledge of computers and the Internet in order to succeed.

Less oversight: For the most part, completing your work on time is your responsibility. Those who tend to procrastinate may have trouble adjusting to distance learning.

No campus experience: Campus life is more than just the classroom. With distance learning, you’ll miss out on football games, dorm life, networking, debates, and other fun stuff.