In the recent past, the cost of education has shot up tremendously. Even the developed world in which education is supposed to be readily available is experiencing this change.
Since necessity is the mother of invention, the runaway cost of education led to the emergence of distance education, which is an approach to education where tutors and their students interact remotely. Like everything else, distance education has its pros and cons as explained below.
The most prominent benefit of distance education is the convenience it offers. The busy individual, as well as the one who prefers comfort, is well catered for here. Classes can be attended anywhere and at any time. This aspect effectively eliminates much of the stuff that makes education unsustainably costly.
Closely related to convenience is the flexibility that distance education permits. Conventional education has specific location and time demands. Distance learning eliminates these constraints and allows a student to set a pace that suits them. Slow and linguistically challenged learners can, therefore, move at their own pace and grasp more.
The cost factor also comes in quite strongly as a benefit of distance education. Many students miss study abroad opportunities because they can’t afford travel and accommodation costs. Thanks to distance learning, such costs are no longer an impediment.
On the cons side, the most prominent factor is the lack of direct contact with instructors and peers. Even with online forums, this problem remains unsolved. The lack of direct contact eliminates question and answer sessions, which are in most cases highly insightful. This setback makes distance education suitable only for those who are self-driven.
Additionally, since students conduct their studies wherever they choose, they miss the ambiance provided by the campus atmosphere. Campuses are typically designed to maximize learning and, as such, those who study off-campus miss out on this critical benefit.
Further, distance education still faces stigmatization despite the extensive growth it has realized along the lines of popularity and credibility. Employers often question the integrity of distance learning. Consequently, beneficiaries of these programs may find the job market quite hostile towards them.
In conclusion, a close-up look at both the pros and cons of distance education as discussed shows that they are genuine. As such, to draw the full benefits of this educational approach, necessary adjustments need to be made with the view to address the concerns that surround it. Otherwise, the benefits of this approach are likely to go untapped.