Distance learning is the systematic teaching and learning environment which is designed to operate remotely by the implementation of several necessary technological and multimedia elements such as: Internet, E-mails, Audio-Video and etc.
In simple terms, distance learning is the platform through which the students can get an education anytime, anywhere without being present in the class, and with no face-to-face interaction with teachers.
In recent times there is an increment of courses that can be learned from distance overcoming the geographical barriers. Along with the growth of service providers of distance learning, there has been the development of its types too. Generally, it has:
- Online learning
Online learning which can be also referred to as conference class is where the students and the teacher meet up in real-time using the internet. In comparison to other forms of distance learning, this one is more interactive as it is conducted in real-time.
- Hybrid courses
Hybrid course is the blended form of tradition learning method and online learning. The students can take their classes from their respective location but are required to meet up in person at certain intervals during course.
- Electronic learning
Electronic learning is one of the most popular types of distance learning. It is also referred as e- learning. The students access their course material on their laptops or computers. DVD’s CD’s and other different tools are used to deliver the courses.
- Correspondence learning
Correspondence learning is where the students the do their interaction through mail. They receive the education material through mail and also submit the necessary assignment through mail.
These are some of the general types of distance learning that is in practice.
Pros of Distance Learning
Distance learning has lots of pros which in attracts the students to enroll in it. Some of the pros of distance are:
- Saving of Time & Energy
By enrolling in distance learning course, students can save their time and energy as they won’t have to face hassles to attend the class on time. Also they will be able to maintain balance of between their work life and the studies. Doing so there mind will remain free from stress and stay healthy
Flexibility is one of the main reasons which make distance learning attractive. Students can study whenever and wherever they want. You can get any degree you want without any geographical barriers. You can cover up the classes you have missed easily by using material that will be available online when you are free.
- Saving of money
In comparison with the regular programs, distance learning also seems cheaper as it helps in saving lots of minor costs that would have occurred going to normal colleges. So, it is suitable for the ones who are looking for an affordable courses.
- Learning at your own pace
Unlike classrooms where you have to go along the pace of your teacher and other students in the class, in distance learning you can go on your own pace. Every people learn in different spend in different way. You can learn bits by bits as the materials are provided by your service providers.
- Familiarization with technologies
There is use of lot of technologies in distance learning in order to provide the education to the students. You will be able to learn about new software, working mechanism of various forum discussion sites etc.
Cons of Distance Learning
Despite having such attractive pros, distance learning as fair share of cons. Some of the cons are:
- Students Being Distracted
There is a high chance that the students will be distracted as they cannot be monitored properly. The effectiveness of online class largely depends upon the dedication shown by the students.
- Complication of Technologies
Distance learning is highly dependent on the uses of technology. Any sort of technical difficulties whether that are with the service provider, students or the third party elements can halt the progress of the class.
- Lacks Interaction
In distance learning on cannot experience proper social interaction. You will be able to interact with the other people by phones and internet but it won’t be effective as face-to-face.
- Quality Compromise
There are situations where the course provider isn’t able to provide the service effectively to the students, mostly due to the lack of quality faculty members. Sometimes even if the instructors are good they might able to perform and deliver their best in online plat form.
Distance learning has a fair share of pros and cons and it also depends on the students who want to take on the course depending on their situation. Some research has shown that with the proper application of techniques, distance learning can be as effective as campus-based learning.