Advantages and Disadvantages of Distance Education
Advantages of Distance Education
Time Saving- Distance learning as the term itself describes that it does not require commuting. This saves money and time that would be spent on travelling back and forth.
Studying from anywhere - While pursuing Distance Education one does not need to live in the same city or the same country to attend the learning institution of one's choice. One can study from anywhere.
Comfort Level - Distance Education offers a person the Comfort Level which one cannot get otherwise. One can do his or her chores in between. Some classrooms don't have good seating and other basic amenities which can make classroom a strenuous exercise. While at home one can sit anywhere according to one's own choice.
It is Flexible - The flexibility Distance Education provides to students is comparable to none. People who may have trouble attending a traditional institution such as stay-at-home mothers, full time workers or members of the military. Many online educational programs allow you to work at your own pace, so you can fit your education into your schedule.
Cost Factor - More often than not Distance Education is considerably cheaper than attending a traditional college. Not only are the classes cheaper, but you can learn from the comfort of your own home and not have to pay for room and board or transportation.
Easy Availability - Majority of the Educational Institutes generally have Directorate of Distance Education. These facilitate the organistaion and the process of Distance Learning a viable option.
Technological Facilitation - The increased use of the internet has facilitated Distance Education in more than one way. Through Internet one can not only get study material but they can also apply and get admission in their choice of Institutes. Online software and programs are to some extent replicating the classroom setting. Many degrees are available through distance programs, including high school, college and post-graduate diplomas. There are now distance education options for nearly every career choice.
Beneficial for Slow Learners - For Slow Learners, it saves them from the botheration they might face as result of being stamped as Stupid and other sort of harassment and humiliation at the hands of the students and teachers. This in result reduces stress and increases satisfaction.
Lesser or Nill Distractions - Distance Education also offers lesser Distractions and focuses only on the Academic Aspect. Whereas in regular education there are so many distractions like peer pressure, self consciousness, dressing manner, status issues etc. These tend to defeat the real purpose of education.
Visible Efforts - Students pursuing Distance Education are mostly present before their parents and parents are well aware that their ward is indeed studying. On the other hand in a regular setup parents cannot gauge the efforts their ward is putting in pursuing studies.
Disadvantages of Distance Education
Lack or Nill Interaction - Distance Education suffers from a major shortcoming and that is the Lack or Loss of interaction with other students in the classroom.
Such interactions develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Though many Distance Eduction programs have developed online forums or chat rooms for students to share ideas and communicate, but it is only a partial substitute for the interaction you get in the classroom with a teacher and students.
Lesser Seriousness - Students pursuing Distance Education tend to be less serious about studies as they are at home and at home there are no rules or authority which can control and guide them towards serious study.
Education for Dull Minded - Distance Education also suffers from a Stigma that it is for Dull Minded. The reason behind this is the notion that Dull students fear humiliation and embarrassment at the hands of their peers and teachers, therefore they avoid regular classes.
Less or Lack of Motivation - Many find Distance Education programs don't motivate them as they don't have to attend a class every day.
The classroom atmosphere offers competition and challenge to students. This becomes a source of motivation for education. Most online programs are self-paced and it can be easy to lose motivation and procrastinate, and drop-out rates do tend to be higher for distance education.
Narrow choice - Distance Education does not always offer all the necessary courses. Students pursuing a specific certificate or degree program may not have all the necessary courses available through distance learning so it is not suited for all subjects. While one can study a history lesson completely online or otherwise, one cannot perform nursing clinicals online. In such a case physical classroom attendance is mandatory to complete the course.
Lack or Less opportunities to develop Oral Communication Skills - Distance Education does not give students the opportunity to work on oral communication skills. Students in distance learning courses do not get the practice of verbal interaction with professors and other students.
Acknowledgement Factor - Distance Education may not necessarily be acknowledged by all employers. Although most employers do acknowledge distance learning, certain employers do not. Students who want to work for a specific employer upon graduation should be sure of that employer's perspective about online education.
Delayed Feedback - Distance learning does not offer immediate feedback. In a normal classroom setting, a student's performance can be immediately assessed through questions and informal testing. With distance Education, a student has to wait for feedback until the instructor has reviewed their work and responded to it.
Hidden Costs - Some institutes try to fleece their students by changing certain rules and regulations in fees structures and adding certain miscellaneous expenditures owing to extra shipping and handling costs of study material.
Technology problems - Many distance learning programs are entirely online, or students simply submit assignments through e-mail. Any snag or technical problem on either the giver part or receiving party can result in loss of time and energy. It can also lead to unnecessary botheration on account of technological errors.