Distance learning is a learning method in which students are not required to be physically present in a classroom setting or school. It can be done through the correspondence of the school/ university or online. This concept started in the year 1728. This year an advertisement was printed in the Boston Gazette by Caleb Phillips about a correspondence course in shorthand. This course was private and was a seed to the present form of Distance Learning. Following the pursuit, in the 1840s, Sir Isaac pitman started a correspondence course teaching in his revolutionary shorthand system. The University of London was the first university to offer distance learning degrees, and today, according to the reports of IPEDS, 70.7 percent of all public degree-granting institutions have some distance learning courses. In recent times Distance learning has proliferated millions of students’ study through distance education. Constant technological advancement and online communication allow students to associate with teachers that are difficult to access in-person.
Technology plays a crucial role in the growth of distance learning. With the utilization of modern electronic educational equipment, educators use techniques, strategies, and procedures to increase interaction. This includes face-to-face tutorials, video conferencing, telecommunication, etc.
Numerous students opt for online courses annually, as there are multiple benefits to it. Some of them are listed below:
ADVANTAGES OF DISTANCE LEARNING
1- YOU CAN LEARN FROM ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD
Through distance learning, you can learn from anywhere in the world. You can get a degree from the U.S without being there and get the best knowledge and skills without being physically present.
2- YOU CAN DECIDE WHEN AND WHERE TO STUDY
In these changing times, when even a minute is necessary, we hardly have time to waste. And rather than wasting time, students and other individuals can get enrolled in online courses to utilize there time efficiently. In Distance Learning, it is your decision when to study, unlike day or boarding schools and colleges where you have a defined time table.
3- YOU CAN GET DEGREE FROM ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD
Through distance learning, you can get a degree from anywhere in the world where you can’t afford to go. It has helped in bridging the gap between educators and learners.
4- EXPENDITURE IS LESS
As it is online or through the correspondence, the expenses incurred are meager compared to a regular school or university.
Therefore, these are some of the benefits of distance learning. But as there are two sides to a coin, there are some drawbacks related to distance learning as well. Some of these are listed below:
DISADVANTAGES of DISTANCE LEARNING
1- Difficulty in staying motivated
It is challenging to stay motivated while studying online or through correspondence, as there is no face-to-face interaction with the educators. The chances of losing track of deadlines are very high.
2- Overdependence on technology
Technology is a benefit as well as a drawback for distance learning. Many software is involved in the Distance Learning process. The chances of failure of these technologies are very high which can subsequently cause disruptions in the classroom causing the learning process to deteriorate.
3- Credibility of the degree
As the practice of Distance Learning is become more ad more pervasive, the emergence of fraud institutions is increasing drastically. As distance education is rising, the number of frauds and scam operators is also increasing. This has come out as a major drawback of Distance Learning.
Although the cost of distance education is cheaper than regular studies, there are various hidden costs. If we opt for online studies, the cost of installation of computers, Internet, printer, etc. comes into the picture.
With the advent of new technology, the education industry has experienced significant changes. The Internet has become an indispensable part of the world and life in the present times cannot be visualized in its absence. Distance learning is an advanced practice in the field of education, which is bound to grow over time. Therefore, it’s prominence in the contemporary age cannot be denied.