The appeal of distance learning is definitely there, since most people consider themselves to be far too busy for standard classes. Being able to take your classes when you're ready for them, without having to sit in a specific classroom at any specific university is a great convenience, but there are several difficulties that go along with the process. For all the greatness of being able to work on your degree at your own schedule, there are these top 10 disadvantages of distance learning.
For many people, not having a classroom and set classroom times can make it difficult to remember to check in, or even to want to check in. It's important for you to have all the motivation necessary within yourself to look at the website, complete the assignments and get them in on time, even though everything is still required to be completed on a timely basis, just like with a more traditional classroom atmosphere. For those who don't have the self-motivation these classes can result in spending a lot of money on retaking classes because you’ve forgotten an assignment.
If you ever have trouble with assignments, or questions about a lecture while in a traditional class it's generally quite simple to talk to your instructor before or after class or schedule meetings online at a different time. When you're distance learning, however, you're going to have more difficulty getting in touch with your instructor. Though you can send an email, it's definitely not going to get you the immediate response you'd get if you were able to sit down with your instructor.
Because there's no classroom and therefore no ability to work on group projects or even converse with fellow students in a face-to-face environment, it's difficult to build relationships of any kind. Not only that, but it's very easy to start to feel isolated from your peers and others because you're working on assignments and all school related activities entirely alone. Even posting to message boards or participating in group discussions can feel less interactive when they're done over the internet rather than in-person.
For those who don't have a reliable source of electricity or don't have reliable internet, it can be difficult to always get to a friend's house, a café, a library or somewhere else where internet access is readily available. And this kind of access is crucial for distance learning. Some programs may even require you to have a DVD or CD player for certain materials or other types of equipment that you have to purchase, find or rent for yourself (not to mention figure out how to use properly). All of this on top of the fact that your computer could quit at any moment, and for no reason or your power could go out for a few days and suddenly you're behind with no way to fix it.
Feedback can be almost immediate when you're sitting in a classroom with a teacher because they have a few minutes to take a look at your work and decide whether or not you're on the right track. When emailing assignments, however, it can become more difficult to get the feedback you're looking for. You have to wait for the instructor to get a chance to get online, which may not happen as frequently as you would like. By the time you get the feedback you need there could be very little time to make changes as necessary for the assignment.
Not every degree allows you to complete all of the components online. For those who want to go into a medical profession, for example, clinical will be required and can't be learned online. For those who want to become professor's or other high level executives, public speaking courses and presentations will be required, which just aren't possible online. Though distance learning may seem like a great idea, it can be difficult to complete an entire course without setting foot in a classroom.
Taking an online program can be difficult for employers to accept in a number of cases. They may not believe that you've learned as much as you would have in a physical classroom or they may not believe that your online learning program was good enough or reliable enough to grant you employment. This is becoming less and less of a problem as distance learning becomes more popular, but it's still something to think about carefully.
Not every online university has the accreditation that you're looking for. Just about anyone can create a college online and offer courses that don't really mean anything. You need a university that has formal accreditation for the program that you're pursuing and that's going to require research. If you don't do that research you could end up spending a whole lot of money on something that is going to do absolutely nothing for you once you graduate.
Since you're not talking to anyone in person or even over the phone or internet, video communication skills definitely suffer or aren't taught and enhanced to their fullest. Oral communication is crucial in the workplace, but if you're not learning it at school, where are you going to be learning it? With distance learning you're going to have to find someplace else to start the lessons.
Finally, there are all kinds of hidden costs that can be incurred through distance learning. From the technology fees to added costs for materials that may need to be sent to you by postal mail or for teachers simply checking their email, you never know where some new costs are going to pop up or what you should do to make sure you aren't getting scammed on all those added fees. Of course, if you really need to take the program online it can be difficult to come up with any other option than to just pay those fees.
What's important is looking at all the things you could be doing to make distance learning a little more appealing, or at least looking at something you can use to interact with others whenever you need. ezTalks Cloud Meeting is a great way to get everything you're looking for, allowing you to nearly eliminate the problems of communication and access to assistance from peers and instructors alike. So if you're not sure about distance learning, and the disadvantages of distance learning, make sure you're checking out what we've found and what ezTalks can do for you.