What is distance learning?
Learning at Home
Learning at home through an e-learning course has many benefits, not least the fact that distance learning students can choose how and when they study – rather than being committed to certain hours in the classroom each week.
The increased access to learning that e-learning provides gives adults the incentive to continue learning all through their lives, improving their skills and employability along the way.
The evolution of technology like email and internet telephones mean that keeping in touch with tutors has never been easier and submitting work and asking questions can all be done from the comfort of your own home desk.
There are, of course, also financial benefits to learning from home as no travel costs are involved. It’s as easy as switching your computer on and connecting to the internet to get going and a wide range of courses are available to help you make the most of your skills.
Overall, online and distance learning is beginning to get the credit and recognition it deserves. Employers’ acceptability is on the rise. Online enrolment has increased over the years, which means online learning is working. Distance education has educated and trained millions of students nationwide and this new trend will definitely increase as more and more people find online learning to be the only option to earn a qualification.
Some argue that online learning more closely resembles the “tutorial system” pioneered at Oxford and Cambridge in the 16th Century, “nurturing young minds one to one, inquiring, prodding and encouraging.”.
Research shows that the tutorial system results in the best student performance.
As outlined in a recent article in the New York Times, the technology that delivers online learning enables a closer, ongoing interaction with tutors and teachers. This allows more one-on-one teaching, offering to some extent, the benefits of the tutorial system.
- Flexible Location : Because you're not stuck in a classroom, you can study where ever you have access to materials -- at home, the beach, the library, even while traveling!
- Flexible Schedule : One of the difficulties in traditional studies is scheduling classes around work schedules, home life, child care, and personal preferences (for example, some people don't do well in early morning classes). Distance Learning allows you to complete coursework during the time of day that best suits YOU.
- Work at Your Own Pace : While there is generally a fixed time within which you must complete a course (and sometimes degree programs), you are not forced into a regimented schedule that means you can only do coursework on certain hours. With distance learning, you are responsible for your schedule... if you want to study at midnight, it's YOUR choice.
- Educator Support : Distance Learning programs often have EXCELLENT support from educators (be sure to consider this factor when choosing a program) -- often, your instructor is just an e-mail or phone call away.
- Peer Support : That's right, with Distance Learning, you DO have support from other students. Many distance learning programs offer online forum, additional online tutor, and other interactive means for students to work together.
- Room, Board, : With distance learning, you get to learn from home (even if you live in a rural area), so you have no additional room, board, or travel costs -- not even the petrol costs associated with attending local "night classes".
Quantity & Quality
- Rural Students Have A Choice: if you enjoy life outside a large city, distance learning offers a wide range of topics and degrees you may not find locally. Additionally, distance learning allows you to CHOOSE the standards for the school you wish to attend -- you're not limited to what's within driving distance.
- Urban Residents Also Have A Choice: Even if you live in an area with numerous educational facilities, they may not offer the degree program or certification that interests you most -- with distance learning, your choices are not determined by geography.