Distance Education is not new, but the incredible growth of the internet in recent years has made it even more accessible for students all over the world.
Once upon a time, if you wanted to do a “home study” course you had to send off for one, send them a check, then post off your work periodically as it was completed, waiting for the results to come back to you and anxiously await your next assignment.
It was slow and it was laborious, no wonder so many people simply gave up halfway through the courses, they ran out of willpower to carry on and just waited for their AARP burial insurance to kick in.
Distance Education these days is becoming so popular that many colleges and universities have as many (if not more) students studying on distance courses than they do on campus. What’s all that about? Even the largest and most prestigious universities soon realized that they would have to offer the same (as near as possible) courses in distance learning as they do if you attend the classes at the college. The power of the internet.
DISTANCE LEARNING COURSES
Once the majority of distance learning courses were business study type courses, but gradually online degrees have been made available in just about any subject you can imagine – if you can do it at college, the chances are you can do it at home too! Many of the degrees available are just as “valuable” as the ones who gain their degree in person at the college, I suppose the only thing you really miss out on is the graduation ceremony.
BENEFITS OF DISTANCE LEARNING COURSES
More and more people are beginning to realize the many benefits of distance learning courses:
1. Geography– no, I don’t mean that you can study geography, I mean that you can choose to study at a college at the other side of the world if you so desire, you aren’t constrained at all by where you live. Of course, this isn’t true of all courses, whilst many of them can be completed entirely over the internet, some distance courses do need you to attend in person for certain classes and at certain times of the year. Some of them have the best of both worlds, with video conferencing and all of those other clever ways that you can communicate with people from all over the world at the same time – as if by magic. Those courses simply require you to be available at specific times of certain days (which is ok as long as you’re in a similar time zone!)
2. Schedule – many distance education courses can be completed in your own time, so if you only have a few hours spare each week that doesn’t matter, you can simply take as long as you need without getting into trouble for not handing your assignment in on time. Of course, this isn’t actually such a benefit for the sort of people who always put off until tomorrow . . . you’ve really got to set yourself some sort of study schedule and stick to it otherwise it can go on forever and you’ll never ever achieve what you set out for.
3. Work – this one kind of carries on from the schedule really. You see, you don’t have to give up your job in order to study for either promotion or a change of career – you can keep on earning while you start to do your learning! Other commitments can also be fit around studying with a distance learning course – children for one thing.
4. Cost – as well as being able to keep on bringing home the bacon while you’re studying to further enhance your career, the costs of home study courses are usually much more affordable than full time study courses on campus. Just think about all the things you have to pay for when you go away to study – accommodation and food as well as the general costs involved with full time learning.