Distance learning has had its increase every year. Many students are going into it for convenience and attainability. It is so convenient that working students can have their education during breaks, or anything in-between. They don’t have to report to a conventional classroom anymore.
Education has come a long way. No longer is the idea of a classroom the only place to learn everything. In fact, you can have your education without even seeing a classroom in your life. That’s the uniqueness of distance learning.
And there are a lot of advantages to it. Let us take a closer look.
This is the reason why many students are availing of it. It is accessible, easy to handle. Because contemporary life is so busy, and at times you have to do two things at the same time, people are striving for that easy access on things, including of course, education.
No Time Wasted
The concept of working at the same time as studying is unusual, but it saves a lot of time. You feel a sense of accomplishment when doing so many things aside from work concerns. You also have the opportunity to finish a degree while doing your day job.
You can study anywhere you want. As long as you have a good internet connection, then you can study, research and even discuss subjects online without actually being there with your instructor.
At Your Own Pace
Education has never been this easy. Studying at your own rhythm can only bring about a more concentrated education in the process. It is quite pressure-free, and deadlines are almost always non-existent.
Time Away From Academics
You can spend more time doing other things, like nurturing a hobby or time away with your family. Who knows, your family might help you with your assignments.
The widespread of the internet has created various distance learning systems that came up with excellent educational outcomes. This new learning system, though advantageous, has several challenges to overcome.
Over the past several decades, different hurdles have left distance learning systems inferior to its equivalent – face-to-face learning. Some of these challenges include the difficulty to change presentations to suit audience, inability to control teaching progress, and lack of learning styles. But the biggest one is the “keeping up” pace of communication.
One of the most important aspect of an effective learning process is the need to have a two-way (teacher and student) communication. Ever since e-learning began, a big issue has been thrown upon teachers and students. Each one cannot effectively ask or answer questions, frustrations, and comments.
A secondary issue in distance learning system is the absence of student to student interaction. In a traditional classroom setting, students are grouped with other students to share and contradict ideas. Subjects such as philosophy, language, and debate require a peer-to-peer communication for effective learning. With the lack of this kind of interaction, distance learning may just be defined as a mere transfer of information, without the true learning experience.
Today, these challenges still exist both in distance learning systems and in a classroom setting where there is a large crowd of students and a single lecturer. However, with the rapid acceleration of modes of communication in the distance learning programs, a large portion of these hindrances have been overcome. Real-time video classes for instance, a small group of students can benefit through chatting, online libraries, practice modules, and a feedback system that provides rapid response to teachers and co-students as well.
Most of these challenges may have been solved, but it is still existing. However, we all agree that these challenges are continuously being addressed effectively.
Distance Learning Systems today has been an important means of gaining knowledge and acquiring a degree without attending a traditional classroom and paying higher tuition, transportation, boarding etc. However, not all schools offering this program are offering a relevant and effective curriculum.
A good Distance Learning Program must be, of course, relevant and updated. The content must be significant to the course and must be suited to the online environment. Every module must be in connection to the course objectives. Students must not be perplexed whether the content is in connection with the course they enrolled in or not. A great distance learning course leaves no ambiguity within the students mind concerning how content is applicable to the objectives. The course must be planned properly and must be using a great approach since online learning is different from traditional classroom set up.
Teachers must be able to engage students on the more personal level. As distance learning gets to be more ubiquitous, teachers and college managers shouldn’t forget how they can personally and properly engage students. The approach is different in making students involved with the topics and discussions. The instructors must be updated with the latest tools and software to best meet the interests of the students.
The instructors of a quality distance learning system must have proper training in managing an online classroom. They must be aware that students have difficulties in focusing on the course since they are away and distractions are everywhere in the internet. The management must be able to supply enough support to the instructors; supplying enough tools, references, trainings and sufficient budget to fully develop and continually improve the program.
Despite research to the contrary, many people, teachers often included, continue to claim that no person of perceptive benefit ever discovered anything of worth in the history of distance learning. This is my reaction to that foolish prejudicial notice that it requires a lecture area and a bell tower to make a university. Studying occurs within your head, not within an educational setting. This helps describe why graduate students of distance learning and communication degree programs have, for more than a century, gone on to win Nobel awards, found business empires and write literary works worth international popularity. One need only look into the record of distance learning to locate several big-name graduates. So, here’s a look at how distance learning evolved during the years.
- 1840 – Isaac Pitman teaches shorthand by correspondence in the UK.
- 1858 – The University of London creates External Program.
- 1883 – New York State authorizes the Chautauqua Institute to award degrees earned via correspondence.
- 1891 – The Colliery Engineer School of Mines renames itself International Correspondence Schools.
- 1892 – The University of Chicago starts administering the first university courses by mail.
- 1906 – The Calvert School of Baltimore becomes the first primary school in the United States to offer correspondence courses.
- 1916 – The National University Continuing Education Association is created in the United States.
- 1921 – Pennsylvania State College begins broadcasting courses on the radio.
- 1933 – The University of Iowa begins broadcasting courses on television.
- 1950 – The Ford Foundation begins offering grants to create and develop educational programs for television broadcasting.
- 1967 – The Corporation for Public Broadcasting is created.
- 1970 – Walden University is established.
- 1974 – California State University offers a Masters degree via correspondence.
- 1982 – The National University Teleconferencing Network is established.
- 1984 – The personal computer is named “man of the year” by Time Magazine.