Distance learning is not new. Correspondence courses, where a student did work at home and submitted it, via the postal service, to a tutor, have existed since the postal service began. However, the internet has revolutionized distance learning, making it far more interactive and interesting. The student can interact with both the tutor and other students, via the internet, making their educational experience more like learning at a university or further education college, and this makes a student feel less isolated than when studying by correspondence course. Many respected learning institutions, including famous universities, colleges, and other reputable distance learning organizations, such as The Open University, welcome distance learning students.
Whatever you want to learn, whether it is a qualification to help you in your career, to renew or update your education, a skill pertaining to a hobby or pastime, or for your own satisfaction a reputable institution will offer a distance learning course in that topic. There are scammers in the distance learning field, so be careful. Most major universities now offer distance-learning courses, the United Kingdom Open University welcomes students, who speak and write English, and many countries around the world have their own Open Universities. There are many reasons why an aspiring student should try distance learning. Here are the top ten reasons to try distance learning.
1) Flexibility – Many students choose distance learning over traditional courses because it offers them the necessary flexibility to fit study in around their lives. Many people have caring and domestic responsibilities, which preclude them from studying a traditional course and physically going to a university or college. It means that students can study, when it suits them and their lives.
2) Earn while you learn – Many students cannot afford to give up work to study a traditional learning course. Distance learning allows a student to study, whilst holding a full time job. This means that distance learning is appealing to non-traditional students, who must pay for their own studies, living expenses, and home.
3) You can study from anywhere – Some students travel for their work or for other reasons distance learning means that they can be anywhere, providing there is an internet connection and still do the required amount of study. Many an actor has taken a degree through the Open University, whilst touring with plays or shows.
4) Course Availability – Students may find that their local learning institution does not offer the course that they wish to study. Choosing distance learning means that they can study with any institution offering their preferred course, however far the physical institution is from their homes. The Open University, for example, is physically in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, England, yet it has 25,000 students living outside the United Kingdom, providing they can speak, read, and write, the English language, there is no bar to overseas students studying with the OU.
5) Course Materials availability – On line course materials are always available. A student wishing to recheck a detail or to hear a lecture again can do so at any time. Whether it is Christmas day or five ‘o clock in the morning is irrelevant, and it means that the student can really ensure that he or she truly understands the course materials thoroughly.
6) Individual Study Styles – Student do not always study in the same way and it is difficult to cater for individual learning styles within a traditional classroom setting. Students studying using the distance learning method can study at their own pace, in their own way, using the study methods, which best suit their own individual personality.
7) Less frightening – To some students, especially older students, a large university can be a frightening and intimidating place. Distance learning, with its course control and individual correspondence with tutors, can seem a less daunting and more personal learning experience. Studying in your own home is familiar and comforting and makes the university a much smaller place and learning something new much less scary.
8) Costs – Going to university or college costs are rising. Distance learning courses are cheaper and students do not have to pay living, travel, or other costs over and above tuition fees. Most reputable institutions offering online courses now have bursaries. scholarships, or other student financial assistance programmes to help students with particular hardship.
9) Distance learning can change lives – Many older people did not attend university or college, in the past, further education was for the very bright and the wealthy. It was normal for the ordinary youngster to leave school as soon as possible and go to work. They now have plenty of practical experience but lack the paper qualifications to prove their knowledge. Distance learning enables students to remedy that lack. It may be that a student having done a particular job for many years now wishes to pursue a different career. Distance learning enables such students to study for the new career whilst earning from the old.
10) Distance learning is no longer second best – modern technology and interactive web sites mean that the student’s learning conditions is as good if not better than physically going and taking a course. Old – fashioned postal correspondence courses often made the learning process a little sterile and students feel isolated and as though they were missing something. Personal interaction with a tutor, who knows your name and aspirations, via the internet and with other students via discussion groups can mean that your learning experience is better than a traditional course. In a traditional classroom setting, it is usually the same students, who interact with the tutor and during discussion time, distance learning, via the internet, allows for students to interact with the tutor and other students.
Distance learning enables many people to study, whether to gain more knowledge about a hobby or pastime, to gain more qualifications, or just for the student’s own satisfaction. Modern distance learning, using the internet, has come a long way from old-fashioned postal correspondence courses and provides the student with a much better learning experience. There are many reasons to try distance learning. If you are still unsure, whether to choose distance learning, you can even take short free distance learning courses on the internet to see if distance learning will suit you.