The decision of whether distance learning is right for you depends on your situation. It is a fantastic tool for non-traditional students trying to earn their degree part time. Online courses are also very beneficial to students who need to pick up an extra course over the summer, or need a few more credits to complete a degree.
As someone who has experienced both the traditional learning environment and distance learning, I have found it takes a lot more discipline to complete an online course than a regular course. Regular courses have scheduled deadlines, assignments, and exams. The design of the class does not let you fall behind. With distance learning, it is all up to you and you alone. You have to be self-motivated and keep a regular schedule on your own to complete the course on time.
My experience taking online courses concurrently with traditional classroom courses has been mixed. The online courses allowed me to graduate on time, but I procrastinated until the last possible day the course had to be finished. Even though I am a good student in a normal classroom setting, it was too easy to find something better to do than work on an online class. I found myself very stressed out as I approached the deadline.
As I mentioned earlier, the decision to enroll in distance learning should be based on the type of person you are. I do not think there is any substitute for the traditional college experience; I built dozens of valuable relationships with professors and other students during my time in at college. Exclusive distance learners miss out on friendships and networking opportunities. I would never suggest distance learning over regular classroom sessions if both were possible. With that said, someone in a situation who cannot commit to regularly scheduled classes due to work, or other family obligations would benefit greatly from an online degree.