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Benefits of Distant Learning
Article Title: Distance Learning Ė Opportunities for Everyone,
Author: Justin Brown
Distance learning covers a wide range of opportunities, from correspondence
courses to virtual classrooms on the Internet, and the concept has been around
for quite some time.
When the traditional classroom wasnít available.
While online education over the Internet is a relatively new development, the
concept of distance learning is actually much older than most people realize. As
far back as the mid-1800ís, some colleges were offering distance learning
opportunities to students through correspondence courses. This provided a way
for teachers, lawyers, doctors and ministers on the western frontier in the
United States to keep up with recent developments
and pursue advance degrees.
At the end of the First World War, soldiers returning from the war were offered
opportunities to pursue a variety of classes through correspondence courses and
take classes via two-way radio. The two-way radio was also used for areas that
were sparsely populated, such as Alaska. In fact, in Alaska and Siberia, the
two-way radio and delivery of educational materials was frequently used for
elementary and high school classes.
This faded over time and was replaced by closed circuit television, but with the
birth of the Internet, distance learning really took off. For the first time,
almost anyone could log on, download course materials and interact in real time
with classmates and instructors while working from home. Today millions of
people around the globe pursue degrees online.
Todayís Distance Learning is Sophisticated
The distance learning opportunities offered today are so varied that you can
find a course for almost any interest you have. In addition to the traditional
offerings for those looking for a traditional degree, there are courses that are
specific hobbies, religious practices
and personal interests. You can find universities and colleges were
you can pursue:
1) An associate degree online
2) A Bachelorís degree online
3) A Masterís degree online
4) An MBA online
Or you can take continuing education courses such as:
1) Online computer courses
2) Art courses online
3) Communications courses
4) Creative writing
Why Online Learning is so great
Distance learning has grown in popularity faster than any other type of learning
system and for a very good reason Ė itís so practical in todayís fast-paced
world. Just about everyone can vouch for the fact that they have too much to do
and not enough time to do it already,
so returning to school seems impossible.
But in todayís economy, an advanced degree or a better education can be
To save both the money of a bricks-and-mortar school and the time spent
day to and from class just makes sense.
The majority of people enrolled in online colleges and universities are working
adults returning to school who appreciate the advantage of attending night and
weekend classes from home so that they can be with their families and still
Itís also a great opportunity for those who have a particular career in mind,
to complete their degree before relocating. For instance, if your spouse has a
good job and you want to get a degree in criminal investigations, but the
nearest school is a 95 mile commute, an online degree makes sense for you.
Simply sign up for an online
degree program and get your degree in crime scene investigations.
Some advantages to Distance Learning:
1) You can take any class you want anywhere in the world; you arenít limited by
geography, so your curriculum is unlimited.
2) You have no travel time or expense from commuting.
3) Email makes scheduling time with your professor and contacting classmates
simple and efficient.
4) Working at your own pace is usually an option within some time frame.
5) You can be at home with your family and still attend classes.
6) You can be employed full-time and still work on your degree.
7) An accredited online school offers the same level degree as a bricks-and
mortar college or university.
Facing the Challenges of Online Education
As with anything new, there is an adjustment period Ė and distance learning is
While itís a real godsend for many people, others discover that they have to
read just their thinking if they want to take advantage of the opportunities
When youíve always attended classes where there is an instructor watching over
it can be easy to forget that a virtual classroom is just as real, and you may
have a tendency to slack off or treat the classroom as more of a chat room
environment, treating it too informally. If you donít take it seriously enough,
you may discover that you arenít getting enough out of it because you arenít
putting enough into it.
You must also pace yourself properly on independent assignments with distance
learning. Can you keep track of your work and make sure your assignments are
turned in on time without classmates to remind you and no study partners
A Few Things to Keep in Mind:
1) Youíll need to be disciplined Ė itís easy to put things off, and you donít
do that when you have a job and family obligations that could get in the way of
your classroom work at the last minute.
2) Remember to always be respectful to your instructor online Ė he or she is a
3) It can feel isolating to not have any ďrealĒ classmates, so contact a few
taking the class via email to share notes and open class discussions if
Looking toward the future of distance learning
Virtual education over the Internet is becoming increasingly popular and has
become accepted by the mainstream as a viable alternative to attending a
traditional classroom environment.
One of the main complaints students have about online education Ė the isolation
Ė is currently being addressed by many online universities that are developing
and videoconferencing solutions for class discussions and lecture environments
that open up more interactive possibilities.
More professors and instructors also now make themselves available via instant
messaging during schedule hours for live chat ďopen forumsĒ with students,
adding an intimate feel to the courses. As the instructors continue to respond
to the studentsí needs, distance
education is destined to thrive.
About The Author
Justin Brown is a successful business writer and educational advisor providing
valuable tips and advice for career minded individuals who are interested in
pursuing a distance learning
doctorate degree or an
MBA degree. His numerous articles offer career
advancement tips and valuable distance education insight.