Pros and Cons of Distance Learning

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Distance learning may just be the wave of the future, but that doesn’t mean it’s always an easy or ideal choice. Distance learning comes in several forms, including written correspondence courses, remote classrooms and online classes. If you’re considering signing up for online courses, we think you should know about these key pros and cons to make the best decision for you.

Pro: Flexibility

You can learn from anywhere – your sofa, your local coffee shop or even while you’re on vacation. That’s one of the aspects of distance learning that makes it incredibly appealing, particularly for anyone with a busy schedule or constraints that otherwise prevent them from getting to a brick-and-mortar classroom. In addition to learning at your own pace, you get to set your own schedule, which is a definite plus for many people.

Con: The Challenge of Self-Directed Learning

You get to set your pace and schedule, which sounds great. But if you’re someone who really needs structure and supervision, this can be an added burden. It also leaves you wide open to the temptation to procrastinate. You really need to be motivated and disciplined to make it work.

Pro: You Can Learn from Anywhere

With distance learning, geographic boundaries became a thing of the past. You aren’t limited to choosing a school that’s in your area. You have the option to choose any school, anywhere that offers the program you want. That means you have more options for schools in your own country and even internationally-located schools.

Con: You Don’t Get as Much Interaction

When you’re on campus and in a classroom-based course, you naturally interact with other students, instructors and professors. But with distance learning, you’re more isolated, with less interaction with your peers and teachers. You also miss out on things like cultural events, dances and other campus-based activities.

Pro: Learn and Earn

You’re busy and you’ve got to keep up with the bills. That’s what makes distance learning so great — you can hold down a full-time or part-time job and fit your coursework in around your work schedule. That provides an otherwise unprecedented opportunity to pay your way through school while keeping up with your career or job.