Distance Learning Courses & Benefits
Distance learning is a way for students to learn remotely without having to have regular face-to-face contact with their tutors/teachers in a classroom environment. This means that students can still engage with learning materials that are provided by the educational institute they are signed up to from the comfort of their own home or while they are at work.
You can attend / sign up for a high quality full time course at any point, no matter where you are. It is a great learning experience and the course materials that will be given to you to learn is high quality.
How ‘Online Education’ Works
Students who are part of a distance learning program usually have all their learning materials sent straight to them and are mainly accessed via the Internet. This means that students must have a reliable Internet connection to be able to engage in and complete their course. Some educational institutes may be able to send physical packages but mostly it is done over the Internet so to be eligible and to get the best out of the course students should bear this in mind.
Tutorial support for students can be provided by a virtual learning environment, email, telephone and other electronic means. There may also be face-to-face meetings with tutors and occasional attendance at the institution may be required but this means that travel isn’t necessary all the time. This means that students who can’t afford to live close to the university / college, or travel to the institute, can save money and still keep up with their course.
The Benefits of ‘Distance Education’
Usually distance learning programs are much more affordable than those that require you to be on campus. Also, if you are living at home you end up saving even more money as you are not just paying less for your course but you won’t have to worry about moving into a new place and paying accommodation fees.
Another advantage of distance learning is that this may encourage you to motivate yourself more as there are no tutors that you see regularly. Finding motivation for yourself is an incredibly useful skill and can be used in many other applications. Once you have created your learning environment and you have learnt to control it, self-motivation will start to develop and will inspire you to learn for your own personal growth.
Some may argue that the absence of tutors may cause people to feel less motivated as they don’t have anyone to push them if they aren’t pulling their weight enough. In some cases this may be true but if you have your heart set on a course and it is truly what you want to be doing then motivation to complete it should come naturally.
Learn at Your Own Pace
Some people may find it intimidating to go back to a classroom environment and they may be more comfortable working from home at their own pace. Distance learning programs allow this prospect as there are deadlines set but no face-to-face interactions. This means that as long as the work is completed on time it can be done however and whenever the student decides.
You can also set your own time to study so if there are any commitments you have such as work or family, so you can make sure that your course works around these. You can study as much or as little as you want whenever you want as long as you complete your study material within the time set by your tutors.
If you have questions about the work or you want to discuss deadlines most distance learning programs provide discussion forums and chat facilities too so you don’t have to worry about travelling to talk in person.
If you find it difficult to attend regular classes due to commitments or distance then distance learning can be the best option for you. You will be able to access material via post or if you have a computer with a steady Internet connection (which you most likely will) meaning that travel is unnecessary.
While some people still use the postal option, most students nowadays find it much easier to access their materials online as pretty much everybody has a computer with access to the Internet. It is much easier to keep up with work using this option too as work is updated instantly and you don’t have to wait for it to arrive in the post. This means you can get on with it as soon as it is available on your online program.
If you end up using online learning means to access your study, you can also install video conferencing software, such as Skype and Microsoft Teams, that will allow you to talk face-to-face with your tutors if you feel that you need any questions or queries answered.
Work While You Study
Many students who apply for distance education already have jobs that they don’t want to give up for higher education. In some cases, they can’t afford to give up their jobs as it is their only form of income. Distance education is really helpful when this is the case as it allows students to stay at home and keep going to work. Also, as mentioned earlier students can make their own learning schedule to work around their job commitments.
Communicate With Other Institutions
While learning from home, you could even get in touch with several other e-schools through the use of video conferencing software. This means that you can connect with other students that are located apart from you and could be anywhere in the world. You can share your experiences and work together to solve problems and get through work that you might not be able to complete alone.
Because you can talk to students from all over the world, you can use this as a method to improve your interactive skills by working with those from different environments and cultures.