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Pros and Cons of Distance Learning

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization established two main maxims of modern education: education for everyone and life-long learning. However, relevant these maxims may sound to us, it is a fact that many people across the globe are unable to get or continue their education due to a number of reasons.

If you are one of those people who crave for new knowledge, but cannot attend college because of your location, employment, lack of money or progressive sociophobia, let’s discuss the option of distance learning. Nowadays most of the universities worldwide offer distance courses, so you can obtain a degree without attending any classes at all.

Distance learning started to develop already in XIX century, and all of the correspondence between students and professors was conducted by post. Needless to say that today you will not have to lick a pile of envelopes to graduate, since communication is done mainly online, and students have an easy access to study materials and assignments.

In the United States alone, more than 4 million students take at least one distance education course every year. It gives you a rough idea of how popular distance education has become over the years. So why not try it yourself? But before you jump on the bandwagon of distance learning, let’s go through advantages and disadvantages of this method of education.

Pros:

  • Choosing your own pace of learning. If you do not fancy the idea of someone establishing a rhythm for your learning, then distance education may be an option for you. But don’t get too overwhelmed with the freedom. Studies require structure, and you will still need to submit your assignments on time.
  • Accessibility of courses. Regardless of your geographical location or working shifts, distance courses are always there for you. You don’t need to remember class schedules or make it to the campus on time every day; instead, you can access your classes whenever and wherever you want.
  • Mobility of studies. With distance learning, you can take your studies anywhere and still be able to communicate with professors, submit assignments and receive grades.

Cons:

  • Lack of face-to-face communication between professor and students. Unfortunately, distance learning in most cases negates individual approach of professors towards students. Since the amount of distance students is quite high, most professors will not pay you as much attention as they would have if you had been obtaining a full-time degree.
  • Distance learning requires strong self-discipline. You should motivate yourself constantly not to drop out. It concerns currently booming MOOCs (massive open online courses) which offer free online courses given by professors from distinguished universities. According to statistics, 85 to 95 % of enrolled students do not finish the courses they signed up for. If you find it difficult to motivate yourself on a day-to-day basis, distance learning may not be your thing.
  • Predominance of written communication with professors and other students. Throughout your distance courses, you will spend the most time listening to video or audio lectures and writing assignments. There is very little or no time at all spent discussing course materials orally that can be an issue for some students. Besides, for some of the distance courses prepare to write a lot of essays and written assignments. In the moments of work overload do not forget about professionals at Writing Team.

All in all, distance learning is a positive phenomenon. If you feel that you can motivate yourself over a long period of time, and you do not require much attention from professors, you will enjoy the freedom offered by distance education.

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