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The Advantages and Disadvantages of Distance Learning

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Distance learning is a style of learning without being in systematic face to face contact with a teacher in the classroom. This method of studying has become a very important part of education in last decade. Due to never ending advancement in technology we are now able to obtain better opportunities to reach our educations goals and objectives. Writing from my personal experience, I can clearly see, how distance learning has become one of the main tools in modern education with many benefits to students, despite it having some limitations.

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One of the primary advantages of this type of learning is flexibility. You can plan your study around your work and personal life, so you are only studying at time convenient for you. Plus, you can set your own pace of learning and improve your education without having to attend classes at physical location. You can study from anywhere in the world if you have access to electronic devices like computer, tablet, mobile phone and internet connection.

Affordability is certainly a strength of online education. Online courses prove often a more cheaper option than conventional colleges. Even though sometimes there might not be much difference in tuition prices between online and traditional colleges, but associated expenses always cost less. For example, there is no commuting costs, and required course materials are usually available online at no cost.

Comfortable learning environment and accessibility to huge range of online course are obvious strengths of online education. You can study in comfort of your own home, without a need to leave work early for class or miss crucial family time. As there is no need for travelling, instead of being limited to colleges in your local area, distance learning enables students to make connection with any educational institution.

Although online education offers more people opportunity to gain their dream qualifications, it may not be for everyone as it requires a lot of self-motivation. You need a good organisation and planning skills to finish your work on time. Even though there is no teacher seated in front of you, you still must complete your assignments and exams before your deadline approaches. Not having set classroom times can make it difficult for some to remember to check in and finish their task on time. For those who lack self-motivation this online classes can result in spending a lot money on retaking classes or even not finishing them at all.

Distance learning can feel isolated. Lack of direct, human interaction with your tutor and other students in your class can make you feel lonely in your journey, because you are working on assignment and all school related activities entirely alone. Although most online programs offer opportunities to send emails, post massages on student forums, participate in online lessons and group discussions, it is difficult to build relationships of any kind, which can make you feel isolated from others in your virtual classroom. Important disadvantage of distance learning is constant need for access to technology. Necessary equipment and internet connection are essential in completing any online course. Those requirements might be difficult to meet by some students, especially if you don’t have regular access to internet connection or feel overwhelmed with technical side of online learning environment.

Distance learning has become an integral part of education. As any method of learning it holds strengths and weaknesses over a traditional learning environment but when you acknowledge them, they can be overcome. As a working mum, online education gives me opportunity to attain education without compromising my work or family time. Most of us lead busy lifestyles with limited time for any extra activities, but distance learning gives us possibility of pursuing our educational aspirations in comfort of our homes, and even it may not be for everyone it should be strongly considered when looking at options for education.

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