Advantages and Disadvantages of Distance Learning and Online Education Classes

In the 21st Century we have an ever expanding information technology industry which has opened up a whole bunch of new doors in peoples lives. One such door is the relatively new development of online education classes, a tool which has enhanced and undoubtedly improved teaching opportunities on distance learning programmes. These classes provide online tuition through video and sound feeds which students can log on to and view. They can also be live classes, where students can hook up to there own webcams and ask questions on the topic at hand.

These online education classes, like almost everything these days, have pros and cons associated with them. First of all let’s take a look at the advantages of such classes in todays society:

• They improve long distance learning opportunities. People who wish to study from home, or study a course that is not offered near them can still benefit from one to one instruction and ask questions on a topic they don’t understand. It also provides another means of study from reading a book and teaching yourself – which a lot of people find extremely difficult to do.

• They can be recorded and viewed at any time. This way if a student wishes to revise/review the topic they can re-watch the class.

• Pre-recorded classes can be watched on the students own time. This is an extremely important factor for those who need to work there job or mind young children during the day time.

• Easy to take notes. You can ensure you have plenty of desk space around where you log on to the classes, can take notes on your computer and record the class to pause and rewind as you take notes later – an invaluable tool for students studying on long distance learning courses.

Despite these very good advantages there are, of course, disadvantages one gets from these classes as well.

• The student misses out on the classroom experience, which is without doubt the number one way to learn. They have very little interaction with peers and tutor which leads to a very fixed learning experience which might not suit the individual.

• Students cannot easily ask for advice on a work in progress. While a student in an actual physical class can approach the tutor with his/her work and ask for advice, the distance learner must email a draft of his/her work and wait for a response, meaning they have to wait before they can make corrections.

• Students can’t ask advice from other classmates. Some times you may not want to trouble the tutor with a simple problem and may be more inclined to ask a fellow classmate – this is not an option for online one to one sessions.

In conclusion, I think it is quite clear that despite the disadvantages, these classes are still a great tool for certain people who, for whatever reason, can’t  make use of the traditional learning approach. They have greatly enhanced and improved the distance learning programmes, which have made a great deal of difference to some peoples lives.