Distance learning is basically a way of disseminating knowledge, where the educators and students are separated in distance or time or even both. Undoubtedly, distance learning offers wide variety of opportunities to students to attain higher education, but it is not all about benefits and advantages indeed. The distance mode of education offers students the flexibility to decide, what they want to learn, when they want to learn, at what pace they want to learn and what they would like to learn. So, with such flexibility, distance learning is soon becoming the most favored choice and open learning method for students today, especially for working professionals.
It is understood and well researched that not all students tend to learn via same technique of open learning and there is no particular technique that facilitate learning in everyone. There are several factors that affect student’s capacity to study. Applied learning, interaction, prior knowledge, analytical skills and motivations are some of the factors.
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So, considering this varied consistency of students, distance learning needs to triumph over all these issues and challenges. Though most of these challenges were already addressed with the use of technology, but there are several cons and disadvantages that both students and teachers encounter. Some of the cons of distance learning include:
Pros of Distance Learning
With distance education the energy and time of the students can be saved and it is astronomical indeed. It enables the students to prevent hectic commute and even the hassles of trying to reach the class on time, thus keeping their mind free of anxiety and stress. Flexibility is another primary advantage of distance education as it enables the students to study at their own pace and perform their coursework at any specific time which fits with their busy schedule. Students get the opportunity to be the master of their own schedule with distance learning.
Distance learning also allows the students to continue with their part time & full time work schedules and other commitments, whilst earning a certificate, diploma or a degree. Distance learning has very less interruption into your daily schedule. Tuition fee of on-campus courses are quite expensive compared to distance education. The additional cost of the courses is actually required by the institution to maintain the physical location and to pay the faculty members. In distance learning, students can save money on travelling and paying the faculty. If anyone who desire to earn a degree with small budget then distance education would be financially feasible for them.
Candidates who are self-disciplined person and highly driven with hectic personal schedule may opt for distance learning, while any social person who prefer to succeed in structured environs of classroom with face to face interaction may opt for traditional learning system. Either way, students can pursue for higher education and earn a degree with ease.
Cons of Distance Learning
No Physical Interaction
Educators are both role models and knowledge givers for students in the conservative way of education. When the physical interaction between teachers and students is missing, then students tend to lose personal interaction with their educators and thereby the mental buildup of students may get hampered. Most of the students prefer to learn when their educators are physically present in the classroom. So, for such students distance learning would not be beneficial indeed.
In distance learning, students are not required to attain classroom in person. They are isolated and hence they don’t get same sort of interaction with other fellow colleagues in the course. Besides, the educators will also not be able to interact with the student directly; therefore they can’t motivate the students as they do in classroom. In traditional way of learning, the students get the opportunity to thrive in an environment which gives them a challenge to perform in a peer group. In distance mode of learning, all these motivational factors are not present and can be unfavorable for many students.
Distance Learning Don’t Help In Developing Oral Skills And Social Interactions
Remember, most of the distance learning courses don’t facilitate oral communication, unless the program is synchronous learning event, where the students are asked to participate by using some communication techniques. Today, most of the distance learning courses use asynchronous method of learning and don’t facilitate such interactions.
Difficult To Choose A Quality Educational Program
When it comes to select the best distance learning program, it really becomes difficulty for students to determine the best course out of so many programs. They find it complicated to select the best course which will offer them maximum benefits because they are unaware about the recognized quality guaranteed online courses.
Employer’s Reluctance To Accept Distance Mode Of Training
It has already been determined that most of the employers hesitate to accept the concept of distance mode of learning and they prefer hiring the employees who have completed their degrees through traditional mode of education.
Important To Have Good Time Management Skills
Students can only reap maximum benefits from distance learning if they have better time management skills because in this mode of learning the students should have self-guided skills in their learning approach.
Another difficulty that distance learners will encounter with this mode of education is the requirement of sound technical skills; this includes good typing skills to excel in distance learning setup. Distance learning also includes some hidden cost, like maintenance and purchasing of computer and other equipments to succeed in the learning process.
So, it will not be exaggerated to say that along with several benefits and flexibility, distance learning also has several disadvantages and cons associated. Most of the distance learning courses are either program-dependent or person-dependent. So, to make future distance learning more efficient and widespread, it is important to minimize and avoid all these aforementioned factors.