Today, throughout the world, distance learning is on a par with traditional learning. However, judging by the growth dynamics of the number of virtual graduates, it will soon become the leader. It is convenient and not burdensome.
You don’t have to go anywhere; you learn when you want. However, there are also downsides – nothing is perfect, especially in learning.
Let’s figure out how to get distance education. We will find out what’s good and what’s bad, as well as what’s ugly about it. This will help you understand whether you need to choose distance learning or not.
Distance learning: what is it?
Distance learning is education obtained at a distance through the Internet. It gives knowledge and skills to a new specialty or improves the level of existing education in the same profession. For many, this term is something incomprehensible, new, and unreliable.
They believe that learning can only be done in the good old way – by attending a university.
If you look to history and investigate this educational direction, studying at a distance began back in the 18th century. Students with postal delivery received and sent back their homework.
In 1969, the Open University appeared in England, and in France, the French National Center for Distance Education began its work in 1939. Both establishments are still open today.
The good of distance learning
- You do not need to visit an educational institution in person; therefore, you do not have to break away from work or change your usual way of life. You can study at home, on the road, even while relaxing at the resort.
- You can master a new science at a convenient time for yourself; you do not need to adjust to the schedule.
- The distance learning system allows you to rely on the objectivity of teachers and examiners. They don’t know you, so they are not interested in whether you will receive this education or not.
- The study time is much shorter. During full-time education, you will have to devote several years to this. In electronic terms, reduce these numbers by two-three times.
- Distance learning programs go deeper into a professional topic without stretching the training time for general questions.
- Regular education implies acquiring knowledge from textbooks and teaching materials. Many of them were outdated long ago, so students usually look for essays tips and other materials online. Electronic materials are created based on the latest data on scientific research, legal requirements, new techniques, materials, and devices.
- Electronic materials (files, records of lectures, experiments, thematic films, tables, etc.) remain forever. There is no need to attend the library searching the required books. If you forgot the information, electronic materials are at hand.
- Studying remotely, you save on the price many times. Even for universities that practice both teaching methods, the difference in their cost is significant. Moreover, the diploma is the same.
The bad of distance learning
- The distance-learning program can be mastered at a convenient time. However, some need discipline, and such a relaxation of the training regimen leads to laziness. Here you need willpower and a great desire to master a new specialty. Become a pro in it. However, even if laziness wins, you can always ask for homework help. The specialists who work there will be able to quickly help you with the task that you are too lazy to do.
- Practical skills are difficult to develop in this way. Where a visual example is required, you can watch the video, but you will not be able to try it yourself under the guidance of a mentor.
- There is no personal contact with the teacher and classmates. There is no live communication. For some, this is important. As a rule, correspondence occurs in chats, and instant messengers are used, but not everyone likes it.
- Exams are a fly in the ointment. It is impossible to remotely check the honesty of students. The camcorder cannot guarantee that the student does not cheat. Therefore, for the final exam and the defense of a dissertation, for example, in distance learning, the student must come to the university.
The ugly of distance learning
- As a plus, we have mentioned getting more free time. However, on the other hand, the reduction of the “net” time for mastering the topic in the distance learning system can be a serious disadvantage. In general, the problem of an ordinary school is that a lot of time is spent very ineffectively. A topic that a child can individually master in two hours is mastered at school in five to six lessons. And in distance learning, with the same problems of the ineffectiveness of school lessons, there are only two video lessons and only five tasks on the topic. So, reducing the time for each subject, of course, frees up more time, but at the same time, it really does not fully convey to the student knowledge and skills.
- Distance learning requires sitting in front of a screen for lengthy periods. Finding out the task should be done through the screen. The lesson is on the screen. Tests, educational presentations, interactive assignments – everything is on the screen. And even if the task should be done on paper, it is necessary to photograph it and turn to the screen again – attach the photo and send it to the teacher by email. Distance learning assumes that from morning until late at night, 10-12 hours a day, students must sit in front of the screen.
- Precisely now, when information is incredibly available and therefore devalued, it is in the era of the Internet that distance learning turns out to be ineffective and ridiculous. Knowledge is now available to everyone, and in every smartphone is access to all the knowledge of the world. Right now, the whole problem is not to get information but to learn how to work with this information in order to create, preserve, and multiply – and not just receive information. And right now, the main task of education is the formation of a system of values, the transfer of culture. The task is to form an educational need so that students want to learn and improve. All this is formed with the help of the educational space, and all this cannot in any way be formed with the help of distance learning.
Who is distance learning suitable for?
- Working professionals who do not want to interrupt their work.
- People who, due to illness or other circumstances, are deprived of the opportunity to attend a university in person.
- Mothers on maternity leave, as well as dads sitting with small children.
- Those who do not want to go to another city but like the university and its faculties.
- People who do not like the noisy bustle, trips, and other accompaniment of student life.
- Men and women who cannot find a job, whose specialty is not in demand in the labor market, or who are offered a small salary.
- Those who want to grow professionally, improve their qualifications, establish themselves in their position, or only dream of it, wanting to take an attractive vacancy.
- Businesspersons, managers, entrepreneurs seek to expand their knowledge in order to lead their business to new frontiers.
Whether additional education, a change of profession, or an increase in professional level is needed, everyone decides according to the situation and his or her inner aspirations. However, if you decide to study further, it is better to choose distance education. It will hardly change your life, but it will allow you to make useful adjustments to it after you graduate.