Distance education, also known as online education, has increased in popularity over the past ten years. Most prestigious universities and colleges offer online courses to students. However, the traditional classroom environment is still in operation, in-person education where one can interact with students and teachers, preferred by some individuals. With both choices of education available to students today, what is the best method? I feel that the distance, online form of education is the best method for taking college classes.
While the benefits of traditional classes are often heralded as helping a person to increase one’s social skills, providing opportunities to develop friendships and relationships, and the ability to ask questions to co-workers and teachers, distance learning gives students these same opportunities. Discussion boards that professors create require students to post responses to teachers’ questions and students’ answers, discussion boards encouraging social interaction with one another. It is still possible to develop friendships with one another online, things such as instant messaging and video chatting helping to put a face to a name. In addition to this, students can meet people from all over the world, not just students who are in their class and local area (Top 10 advantages and benefits of distance learning, 2011).
Many colleges also allow students to watch the teacher on a video as the professor teaches the class. One only has to visit YouTube.com to see videos of educators teaching lessons to know how much technology has advanced to make one’s distance learning experience as authentic and natural as possible (You Tube.com, 2015).
Economically, distance learning makes more sense. Classes are often cheaper and materials can be transmitted online, which reduces the cost of buying textbooks in a traditional learning setting (Top 10 advantages and benefits of distance learning, 2011). Students do not have to use gas or bus fare to travel to the academic institution, which saves money and time. This extra time can be used to study and complete homework assignments, while extra money can always be used for bills and other expenses.
In today’s society, many displaced, older individuals are going to college. However, many of these older individuals still have to pay bills and support families with part-time or full time jobs. This makes online learning easier, as it does not always require a certain online class time. For tests and quizzes, students usually get a flexible deadline, often until midnight. A worker who has a day time shift may find this helpful. Workers can also go online during one’s breaks, using this time to finish assignments and quizzes.
Distance learning also offers more flexibility and choices than the traditional classroom in terms of time. Students are often able to finish the courses at one’s own pace. In addition to this, students are also not limited to degree programs that are available in one’s local area (Top 10 advantages and benefits of distance learning, 2011). A person who lives in New York can take medical classes from John Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. This makes distance learning a great opportunity for people who cannot afford to relocate and dorm at an out-of-town college campus.
People that cannot get to traditional classrooms for different reasons can benefit from distance learning. Students who have physical disabilities that prevent them from attending a college campus, as well as people who have debilitating mental health conditions, can still get an education through distance learning. People in rural areas that are not close to colleges and universities can also get a college degree via distance learning.
As you can see, distance learning is the better method for taking college colleges. Distance learning offers many benefits, such as class flexibility, affordability, moving at one’s own pace, more networking opportunities, convenience, and lessens one’s need to travel. While traditional classrooms promote social interactions, online learning also allows these opportunities, as people from all over the globe can take online classes. Therefore, distance learning is the wiser choice.