Advantages and Disadvantages of Distance Learning

Students often have apprehensions over opting for higher education via distance learning, as they lack clarity about the pros and cons of this mode of education. It’s a good idea to understand the advantages and disadvantages of pursuing a degree through distance education before you decide if you want to go for this mode.

You must realise that distance education might not be the best choice for every student, but understanding its advantages and drawbacks can help you decide if distance learning is right for you.

A major chunk of students who actually opt for distance education are those who don’t want to give up their jobs but want a higher education, too. Distance education comes as a blessing for such students. You can study on the weekends, when you’re back from work or even in the middle of the night. You get to learn while you earn!For any given program, the fee of a distance education degree (online or otherwise) may be much more affordable than the fee of a regular on-campus degree. Students who are looking for economically viable options can go for a distance learning program

For any given program, the fee of a distance education degree (online or otherwise) may be much more affordable than the fee of a regular on-campus degree. Students who are looking for economically viable options can go for a distance learning program.

Except in scenarios where you have to attend an online tutorial at a given time or a lecture through videoconferencing, you can pretty much study whenever you want to, wherever you choose to. You need not be stuck in a classroom, but can go study in your garden, on your living room couch or in the comfort of your own bed. Irrespective of whether you’re a morning lark or a night owl, you can choose an optimum time to study whenever you’re at your productive best.

Although the cost of a distance education program is usually cheaper than a regular program, there can be hidden costs involved. For example, if your distance learning course is offered online, you might have to incur some initial expenses like installing a computer and getting a reliable Internet connection. You may need to buy additional resources such as a printer, a web camera and so forth. Some expenses might be recurring, like maintenance and electricity costs.
Overdependence on technology can be a major drawback in distance learning mode of education, especially when the learning takes place in an online environment. Any malfunctioning software or hardware can bring an ongoing class to a standstill and interrupt the learning process. Similarly, if a student is not computer and tech savvy, his learning experience can be dissatisfactory.
The advantages of pursuing a regular programme go beyond just interaction with teachers and good course content. MBA graduates from premier business schools (B-schools) in India would vouch for the fact that the opportunities to network with established alumni, renowned faculty and industry heads go a long way in paving a secure career. A distance learning program loses out on this very important aspect.

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