What do you do if you need to get some higher education, but life and time simply do not allow it? A wonderful option available today is distance learning. Distance learning can benefit a person as much as physically attending college, but there are also some advantages of gaining this education through distance learning as opposed to being physically present for lectures.
The first advantage is a matter of flexibility and time. Distance learning allows students this flexibility, but with the quality of many distance learning programs, students can still interact with professors through e-mail quite easily. Additionally, for many college students studying in the traditional matter it is easy to decide to skip class and get notes from a friend. However, distance learners are often more motivated due to the busy nature of their lives or the stakes involved in gaining more education. These folks are unlikely to skip an online lecture. So the ability to study on one’s own time can also be a motivator.
This flexibility leads some to say that there is not enough accountability, but good distance learning programs have regular homework with deadlines and well-constructed exams. The students are responsible for mastering the material and then are held accountable for such mastery through the exams and tests that are administered regularly. So this is really a non-issue.
Another advantage of distance learning is that most distance learners are gaining further education in a field they are working in. What better practicum is there? Furthermore, if the distance course is in education, they often have ways of requiring a practicum for their students. Being able to bring your own experience to the learning and then immediately apply the learning to your work experience is a spectacular way to learn and retain effectively.
In conclusion, distance learning is a wonderful alternative for people who have been forced to join the workforce before completing college. It is also useful because some programs are beginning to take into account the practical knowledge you bring into the experience due to your experience and these programs are giving course credit for your experience. This sounds to me like common sense and a truly adaptive learning environment.