Pros and Cons of Distance Learning: What to Consider
Originally published at Pros and Cons of Distance Learning
When comparing with traditional on-campus education, e-learning is a new approach in the market. Yet, one thing is factual it is the future of education and it is here to stay and grow better, reaching new heights. Various statistics show that the eLearning industry and market size are expected to increase and become wider.
It is not a secret that these days people prefer online distance learning as it is a better choice of learning from the comfort (no kind of time or distance-related limitations). If you are also experiencing this niche or plan to go digital and become a part of distance education, you would be interested in choosing between online learning vs classroom learning. That is why I’m here and the present article will answer all your questions. We are going to together identify the pros and cons of remote learning․ And here we are.
Pros and Cons of Distance Learning
Distance learning is an already well-known approach to distributing knowledge. According to it, the education providers and learners are set apart in distance or time and sometimes even both. Remote learning provides the learners a wide variety of opportunities to gain higher and more quality education. However, this is not all about benefits and advantages indeed. The distance approach of education provides flexibility to decide, what the people want to learn. They are also free to choose the perfect time to learn, as well as the frequency they want to learn and what they would like to learn. So, thanks to such flexibility, remote learning is expected to become the most preferred choice and method of open learning for students in the nearest future. And this point is especially accepted for working professionals.
It is well researched and obvious that not all students tend to learn via the same technique of open learning and there is no particular technique that facilitates learning for everyone. There are several factors that affect learners’ capacity to study. Applied learning, interaction, prior knowledge, analytical skills, and motivations are some of the factors. So, considering this varied consistency of students, distance learning needs to triumph over all these issues and challenges. Though most of these challenges were already addressed with the use of technology, there are several cons and disadvantages that both students and teachers encounter. Below, we are going to discuss the pros and cons of distance learning.
Pros of Distance Learning
First of all, let’s discuss the benefits of distance learning.
In the case of distance education, learners’ energy and time are saved. It enables the students to a lot of hassles of trying to reach the class on time, at the same time keeping their minds free of anxiety and stress. Flexibility is another primary advantage as it offers learners and teachers to work at their own pace and perform their coursework at any specific time. This is a great advantage for people who need to fit the process with their busy schedules. Here the participants get the opportunity to be the master of their own schedule with distance learning.
Remote teaching also allows the learners to continue with their part-time and full-time work schedules or similar commitments, whilst earning a certificate, diploma, or degree. Besides, this approach of learning has very little interruption into your daily schedule. The tuition fees of on-campus courses are quite expensive compared to distance education. A similar additional cost of the courses is actually required by the institution to maintain the physical location and to pay the faculty members. In distance learning, students can save money on traveling and paying the faculty. If anyone desires to earn a degree with a lower budget then remote learning will be a financially better choice.
Probably, this is the most common reason people choose distance learning for. When trying to learn something new or improving their skills, people usually choose a way of learning that is comfortable for them and easy to implement.
As distance learning programs do not require a physical presence in a classroom or follow a predefined timetable, both learners and teachers are free to set their own schedules. Remote education offers the flexibility to accomplish your coursework from anywhere and at any time, also, at your own pace. So, what may sound better than learning from your comfort?
#2 No Kind of Geographical Boundaries
Many people do not realize their dream of learning at any university because of the distance and other related inconveniences. Today this is not a serious problem any longer. Now, it is possible to learn and teach anything from anywhere.
This is another advantage of distance learning. Here you are not limited to geographical locations. And this is especially effective for the education providers. Individuals who own quality knowledge have an opportunity to start an online teaching business and provide required knowledge without paying a specific fee for the center or whatever it is like.
#3 Wider Market
When there are not the time or location limitations, education providers get a higher chance to reach a wider market. Of course, there may arouse the question of language, but whatever your subject matter is, you will find more potential learners in the case of distance learning at least in your country from other cities.
You may even target the international market and use the English language. Even if you prefer to speak your mother tongue and it isn’t English, you may do it and reach people who speak your native language. Going digital provides better opportunities. People just look for the services you offer (or something related) and reach your platform where they may join your courses and lessons and gain their desired knowledge material.
#4 Higher Possibilities with a Tighter Budget
Traditional education usually costs a lot more than the online version. The participants (teachers and learners) do not have to pay for the area, transportation, printed material. There is also something like a tuition fee. Yet, it is not as high as in the case of traditional education.
Online learning helps the students to save on costs like fuel, parking, books, child care, and more. Besides, so many of these programs are self-paced. They offer an opportunity to graduate in less time than a traditional program. Less time spent in college equals lower educational costs. Plus, many online degrees have lower tuition fees.
When providing online teaching services, specialists become more competitive as they get a lot of advantages and preferences. E-learning is the present and future of the educational industry and going for it, you follow modern trends and become a part of the current tech world.
Remote learning programs make use of various technological solutions to make it easier to provide high-quality knowledge. Having electronic access to the educational material, getting an opportunity to submit assignments via websites, and participating in online forums to interact with professors and classmates on a day-to-day basis, you can become more technologically savvy than your classroom counterparts.
Cons of Distance Learning
Self-disciplined candidates who are highly driven with a chaotic personal schedule may focus on distance learning. While relatively social people who value real-time interactions, prefer to succeed in structured environments of a classroom with face-to-face interaction may go for a traditional learning system.
So, it will not be an exaggeration to say that along with several benefits and flexibility, distance learning also has several disadvantages and cons associated. Most distance learning courses are either program-dependent or person-dependent. So, to make future distance learning more efficient and widespread, it is important to minimize and avoid all these aforementioned factors.
#1 Lack of Interaction
When teaching online there is no face-to-face communication. Sometimes the learners do not even see the face of the video course provider (for instance, when the course is based on screen sharing). Of course, distance learning offers a lot of opportunities to get in touch with the learners and teachers, but it is not as smooth and immediate as in the case of face-to-face real-time communication.
A low level of communication decreases the quality of individual attention and immediate feedback. Many learners consider the lack of interaction with students and trainers to be the biggest disadvantage of distance learning. Sometimes online classes even make the participants feel isolated. Therefore, many people take part in such online activities, and even gain degrees from their workplace, joining their workmates in online classes. Recently, blended learning is also in great demand. There are many blended courses that combine distance learning with classroom teaching. This kind of hybrid teaching aims at providing that classroom vibe from time to time.
#2 Quality of Questioning
When learners have questions they immediately ask them and get the answers. This is a usual practice in traditional classroom teaching. However, when relying on e-learning, the quality of questioning decreases. Here all the questions are to be asked through different forms of educational methods and communicational tools such as live chats, email, various messengers, comments, calls, etc. Accordingly, it takes more time to provide feedback as it is possible that there are different time zones, or the participants are not always available online at the same time. So, it may take days to fully understand a single point and the quality of questioning is possible to decrease.
#3 Difficulty to Choose a Quality Program
These days, the digital world is overwhelmed with various education programs. As a result, it becomes challenging for the learners to choose the best possible option among the pool of available resources. When the time comes to select the best distance learning program, it really becomes difficult for students to determine the best course out of so many programs. They find it complex to choose the best course which will offer the maximum benefits as they are unaware of the recognized quality guaranteed online courses.
However, there is something good at this point. Here the learners become more self-directed. They check out different pieces of material, analyze the possibilities in the market, identify their benefits from every course, and choose the best possible. In this process, it is also recommended to check out the comments, reviews, and feedback provided by people who passed that specific course material.
#4 Technical Difficulties
Another challenge people face when relying on distance learning is that the participants who encounter this mode of education are required to have some technical skills. This includes good typing skills to excel in a distance learning setup. Distance learning also includes some hidden costs, like maintenance and purchasing of computers and other types of equipment to succeed in the learning process.
In order to get along with the e-learning principles and achieve success, you have to use a computer that is connected to the internet (smartphones and tablets may also work, but it will be easier and more comfortable with a laptop). Take into consideration that you do not have to be a tech guru or have special technical knowledge. There are many educational website builders that make the process easier than ever. You may develop a personal teaching platform within minutes and without tech knowledge. It is just required to have abilities to use the device. The rest will be provided by the builder and their support team. Uteach is also such a platform that offers to create no-code personal educational portals. Here you may START FOR FREE.
You have an opportunity to get familiar with all the features of the platform through a free webinar.