Subject: Distance Learning: A Futuristic Approach?
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, “Distance learning is a process to create and provide access to learning when the source of information and the learners are separated by time and distance, or both.
Nowadays, it has bought a huge impact on how teachers can transmit knowledge to their students regardless of the environment where they really are. But is it really all helpful?
The advantages of Distance Learning are:
• Courses for those with time limitations for various reasons.
• Flexibility to study in any convenient location with an Internet connection.
• Flexibility to join conversations online discussion groups at any hour and to review classmates' comments.
• More opportunities to study the most current material available.
• Study materials at own speed, without having to wait for slower pace of the average classroom or being overwhelmed in fast paced classroom.
• Ability to take courses when living too far from the college or university.
• Those with physical challenges which prevent attendance.
On the other hand, it also has disadvantages, these are as follows:
Deadlines: As with any course, there are deadlines to be met. Because you aren't attending a scheduled class, deadlines may get away from you. This can be a disadvantage of distance learning if you aren't good with time management.
Studying: It may be difficult to find enough online time without interruption since you'll be attending class at home. Instructors provide a syllabus so you should be able to create a schedule around the course schedule.
Testing: Testing may need to be supervised or timed online to keep you honest, especially for the final exam. Your instructor will make arrangements with local educators or provide you with timed online tests so you can't rely on using your text book to pass. If you live close to the school, you may be required to take the exam at the testing center. You'll need to be sure to spend as much time studying as you would learning in the traditional way, but there may be more distractions.
Interaction: Discussion board posts and replies are usually included in the course requirements. Sometimes, you must interact in a forum discussion during a set time so you may interact with your instructor in real time. Again, you need to be able to manage your time to be available without distractions.
Learning Style: Another disadvantage to distance learning is that the course may not include instruction for the auditory or visual learner. If there are lecture and supplemental videos included, then it may work for your learning style. Be sure to check the instructor's style to teaching before you decide on the course. The course may be offered by more than one instructor - each of whom may have different teaching styles.