Distance learning has opened up the world of education on all levels to many people who might otherwise never have the opportunity to complete their education, advance their skills or increase their employment options. Through the distance learning delivery method students are able to access an online classroom via a remote computer connection. While the traditional classroom setup in colleges is still very much alive and thriving, it can’t be denied that distance learning offers advantages never before experienced by students:
Distance learning eliminates the time constraints imposed by traditional forms of education. Distance learning students do not have to build their lives around attending class at a certain time on certain days of the week. They can work jobs with any combination of shifts, take care of family obligations and continue to live the lives they have always known while attending to their coursework at a day and time of their own choosing. Night owls have no problem logging into their class at 2 a.m., reading the lectures for the week, working on assignments or taking exams. They can even email their instructor with questions or concerns and check back the next day for a reply.
Not all potential students are young, able-bodied and easily mobile individuals. Older students, students with physical disabilities and students without the ability to live on campus or travel back and forth daily to colleges sites are now able to pursue an education. Distance learning has broadened the definition of what a college student can be. Many people who cannot be out in the world can certainly enjoy the pursuit of an education from the comfort of their own homes.
Distance learning allows the student to stretch out the amount of time they need to complete their degree requirements to fit their own needs. Traditional students may feel obligated to carry a full credit load and complete the work as quickly as possible because of the financial burdens and time constraints they face being on campus each semester. A student working from home has everything they need to live their lives already; there is no need to hurry through the education process. If they choose to take one course at a time until they complete their requirements, they can do so secure in the fact that they already have a roof over their heads, a job and a family around them.
Even traditional students find distance learning to be beneficial as they pursue their on-campus degrees. Students returning home from college for the summer can advance their standings by taking one or two distance learning courses during the summer while they’re back home working their part time jobs to earn more money for the following school year. Working from home, even on a part time basis, can knock a semester or even an entire academic year off their required education time, resulting in the savings of thousands of dollars in educational expenses and putting them into the work force that much faster.
Doing college from home no longer carries the stigma once attached to correspondence courses of the past. Distance learning is a valid, legitimate educational platform drawing more and more champions to its door with each passing year.