Why Distance Learning may be the Wrong Choice for you

Distance learning is a popular option for many students due to its structure and flexibility.  Students who opt to go the online learning route often enjoy the benefits this method of learning offers, however taking classes using the web interface is not for everyone.

Many students find distance learning to be the wrong choice for a variety of reasons. Here are a few of the top reasons why some students find online classes undesirable:

• Organizational Requirements

Taking college courses online entails a lot of organization, especially if multiple classes are being taken simultaneously. Some students may find it hard to get and/or stay organized in this type of environment.

There are no notes to see on the blackboard, there are no handouts given in class, these all are electronic and embedded within the online class structure. Students have to successfully navigate their school’s website in order to find and/or print all of the necessary documents and informational sheets for each course. Those who tend to be more disorganized may have trouble locating pertinent information and end up missing assignments or deadlines.

Students who have difficulty with organization and lack the ability to self-regulate may end up having a hard time in distance learning classes.

• Need for Discipline

Learning from home necessitates a lot of self-discipline. Students who are not self-starters or tend to become easily distracted may not benefit from the online learning environment.

Before signing up for a distance learning course, potential students should consider whether or not they will be able to designate time to their class without being easily interrupted or drawn to other websites when they should be working or studying. Consider Facebook, Twitter and other online activities, if these are too tempting and pull one out of ‘class’, the traditional classroom learning environment may be a better choice in terms of a learning environment.

• Lack of In-Person Contact

Online learning, while highly interactive in some ways, in other ways can feel lonely. Some people need the stimulation of in-person contact in order to effectively learn. Or it could be distance learning is the wrong choice because one simply prefers to have a high level of interaction with others. This is another deliberation to make when deciding which type of college course to register for.

• Demanding

While all college courses are typically demanding, online courses require a different kind of demand because these courses entail a lot more writing. In the online environment a teacher cannot ask a question and a student raises their hand to respond, so in lieu of classroom discussions, these take form of discussion forums. Often the teacher asks a question or presents a scenario and students are required to respond in detail.

For some people, this type of interaction may not be desired. Or for those who do not enjoy writing, this may prove to be challenging and disagreeable.

• Computer Requirements

Individuals who are not computer and Internet savvy are likely better off registering for a traditional on-campus course. Taking online classes requires strong levels of technology proficiency.

Distance learning is not for everyone. Prior to considering an online learning course, students should evaluate their strengths and weaknesses to determine whether or not they are able or desiring to take a distance learning course. Many websites offer self-evaluation questions in order to help students decide whether taking a distance learning class is the right decision to make.