It is called distance education because the students appear in college only during the exams and learn at their pace. This mode of education is popular for graduate and postgraduate programs. Students are required to register and get enrolled in a recognized university providing distance education. All the learning material is provided to the students by the university itself. The material is either provided instantly after admission or later through post/courier services.
Like other regular students, distance learning students also get assignments and they have to appear for the examination. But there is a lack of face to face contact of students with the college and staff members. Regular students have to follow the college time table whereas, the other students can study according to their needs and preferences. Similarly, there are many differences between regular education and distance education.
Advantages of Distance Education
Here’s a list of various advantages of pursuing distance education:
1. Save time – Distance education saves time, as there is no need to go to college. You can utilize that time in doing something that’s efficient. You can either do a job or carry out some other productive work. You can also start up a business if you want to, according to your skills and talent. For example, if you have great writing skills for writing an assignment, then you may start a service named – assignment help Melbourne and help other students in writing the assignments. You can pursue anything, according to your wish. Hence, the students enjoy the extra time to do things they aspire to do.
2. Less expensive – Distance education is less expensive than regular education. This is another reason why some students prefer distance education. Mostly the working professionals that have a graduate degree and wish to earn a postgraduate degree without compromising their jobs go for this mode of education. They can pursue their job and at the same time can also earn a master’s degree.
Other students who are not financially rich and can’t afford regular education, choose distance learning. They get to learn at a low cost and can also do a part-time job to earn a living as well.
3. Job along with studies – As mentioned earlier, students can easily do a job and earn along with learning. The students who belong to financially unstable families go for this education style. It also helps the students to gain experience and study together. After the completion of their studies, this experience and degree together can help them land up in a great job. As industry experience is quite demanding for getting jobs, this method can do a great help.
4. Learning with comfort – Another benefit of this mode of education is that the students can learn according to their comfort. Unlike the distance education students, regular students have to spend a significant amount of time (usually 4-5 hours or more) in college attending lectures for different subjects. They have to stay in college even if they are not in the mood to study.
The distance education students can study for 1 or 3 hours; it depends on them. Distance education students enjoy more comfort than regular students. The students of distance education can study while sitting in their home but the regular students have to physically appear in college.
5. Learn at your pace – One of the many benefits of distance learning is that the students get to learn at their own pace. It doesn’t matter if you are a sharp student or it takes more time for you to understand a topic quickly, you can take as much time as you need. If you wish to study a concept in detail, you can do that. Such students take help from the internet as it has a variety of information. Students can visit the website or watch videos corresponding to their respective subjects.
Disadvantages of Distance Education
Now that you know the benefits, let us take a look at the demerits of pursuing distance education.
1. Distraction – The students pursuing this mode of education have to face a lot of distractions. In the regular classes, there are professors who compel students to concentrate in class and pay attention to them. But in distance learning, the students do not have any faculty for guiding them or make them aware of the deadline of their assignments. They have to keep track of it on their own and due to various distractions, they can miss out on the deadlines.
2. Less practical knowledge – Distance learning are of different types, some institutes provide weekly class, while some do not provide any classes at all. The students are completely on their own. It is still okay to some extent but if the education course is technical or some other course that needs more practical knowledge rather than theoretical, then it can cause problems.
Since such students do not go to school they miss out the practical skills. For instance, if you have taken chemistry, then it needs practical knowledge. Similarly, biotechnology, biology and technically courses need high practical implementation. Lacking these skills can cause problems while seeking employment.
3. Lack of classroom experiences – The regular students learn to coordinate among different students in the class. They are also given presentations that they need to present in front of their other classmates or are assigned other group assignments. This teaches a student – how to work in a team, build confidence to speak in front of others and help the students build their interactive and interpersonal skills. The students of distance education lack these quality and classroom experiences which are vital for all the students.
4. Miss out teacher’s guidance – No matter how rude or polite the instructor is, it is important to have a person who assists and guides you when in need. In distance learning, there is less or no face to face contact between a student and a teacher, so they have a guide to clear their doubts on their own. They have to rely on other sources for clearing their doubts and queries. Hence, students lack the teacher’s guidance in distance education.
5. Future problems – It is important for all the students to select and do thorough research before selecting a university to pursue their distance education. Because there are only a few universities that are recognized, the degree only from the recognized universities is accepted while employment or further study opportunities.
If the students simply take admission without checking the authenticity of the university or institute, then it may cause problems while seeking admission for higher study and also while for taking up a job. Because some companies do not value or consider the degree from an unrecognized institute. Hence, make sure that you check the reliability of the educational institute and then take admission in it.
These are the major merits and demerits of distance education. Often students are in a dilemma, and are confused thinking should I pursue distance education or not? To help you out, the list of its merits and demerits is given. You must choose what is best for you. Hence, if you think that you can go for distance education, then pursue it. If it’s not fitting your schedule, then don’t go for it. It is your decision and choose what’s suitable for you. You can also consult a career consultant for better guidance and for clearing the doubts in your mind.