Distance Education the Pros and Cons of Online Learning
The Disadvantages Of Distance Learning
Although distance learning offers many people the opportunity to attain higher education without having to be part of the daily classroom setting, it is not all pros, benefits and advantages. Distance Education has its own costs and requires significant compromise it to be a success. Significant self motivation is required from the student. In this article, we take a look at some of the major disadvantages of distance learning which include but are not limited to the following;
Distance learning requires a lot of self motivation. To make distance learning successful a student requires extraordinary planning, good organization and plenty of hard work. Students need to be self disciplined in order to successfully complete their distance learning or online courses. Though you do not come face to face with your course instructor, you still have to accomplish your courseworks and other assignments on time and exams are timed as well. This therefore means that the student must be highly self motivated and students who need that extra effort from an instructor to get things going may find it hard.
Distance learning denies the student direct access to their instructors. Though students can contact instructors through email, they still do not feel that closeness to their instructors that students in the classroom setting feel. With distance learning, you can not physically or direct contact your instructor and getting immediate solutions to some of your queries may be difficult since the instructor may not reply your email there and then unlike in a classroom setting where you can simply ask the question in class or consult the instructor after the lecture.
Distance learning students may feel lonely and isolated. Though you are in a virtual classroom with all these other students, you actually do not get the chance to physically interact with other students, make new friends or consult your other classmates. Online group discussions and message boards popular with distance learning do not compare to the discussions and interactions that take place in the traditional classroom setting.
Distance learning does not offer immediate feedback. In the normal classroom setting, an instructor can assess the performance of a student by simply asking a couple of questions and informal testing and have the results immediately. When it comes to distance learning, a student has to wait for sometime for the instructor to review their work before they can get any feedback making it a more lengthy process.
Limited number of courses available. Apart from having a limited number of courses, some of the available courses may also require you to attend physical class lessons. Practical courses for example are hard to be completed online therefore can not be offered online. For arts related courses, distance learning could work but for science courses like medicine and nursing, distance learning would never be ideal.
Most employers acknowledge distance education although some believe that it does not fully equip students with all the necessary skills required for workplace success. This therefore means that online education could result in you being shunned by some of your potential employers in the future. It is therefore wise to find out if the companies you intend to work with in future accept online degrees and certificates.
Distance learning does not give students the opportunity to work on their oral communication skills. Because students pursuing distance learning courses do not get to interact verbally with fellow students and their instructors, their oral skills are improved one bit. This in turn may affect the way such students interact with fellow workmates in future. For students who have attended higher education in a classroom setting and are simply upgrading through distance learning, this may not be much of a problem but for those who start high school through distance learning, the effects may be felt more.
Requires constant and reliable access to technology. Distance learning programs especially those that are online based require constant internet access and in some cases, course material has to be downloaded for study by the student during their free time. If you are therefore not comfortable with this medium of education, the whole process may turn out to be more difficult than you initially thought it would be and classroom learning may turn out to be the better option.