The emergence of distance education has definitely raised some issues for both the educational institutions and the students in general. Holding academic classes on the internet doesn’t seem to be a complicated process, but of course there are still some factors that should be looked into before this means of education can be considered effective. There have been several studies aimed at knowing what students think about distance education as well as how distance education facilities can be improved.
Based on the number of students asked about online education programs, it is apparent that students in general are aware of the potential and huge benefits of such programs. Specifically, students believe that distance education can be effective as long as appropriate atmosphere as well as instructional equipment is provided to the learners.
Studies also show that distance learning programs can be as beneficial and productive as the conventional face-to-face education if technology is utilized well when it comes to the use of various teaching aids. Experts say that in order for distance learning programs to be maximized, they should be conducted using various synchronous tools such as desktop conferencing, videoconferencing along with audio graphics support interaction. With these technical aids, students can not only see and hear their lecturers, but they are also able to ask questions.
Although it is easy to see the benefits of taking classes online, many students still feel that some huge factors can seriously affect the effectiveness of web based classes. Indeed, reasonable objectives and careful planning are essential to the success of distance education degrees. In addition, the selection of materials, atmosphere and class size are elements that cannot be ignored.
According to several studies, students begin to have some negative attitudes towards internet based classes if they can only see or hear their lecturers on their computer screen. With that being said, it is essential that all types of multimedia aids be utilized to make sure that the students’ attention is kept in the classroom.
Aside from the use of various technological tools and multimedia aids, another important factor for the success of distance learning programs is the ability of the lecturers to conduct online classes. In comparison to traditional face-to-face classes, teaching students on the internet poses a lot of challenges to the lecturer. He or she should make sure that he can create an atmosphere that is comfortable for learning. They should also be able to encourage students to become more involved with the lessons.
No matter what system of education is used, an important factor to the success of any program is the students. The overall attitude of a student is crucial in the effectiveness of distance education. It is very clear from the research that students who are highly motivated and are well disciplined can take full advantage and benefit from distance learning programs. in short, the lack of physical presence of lecturers and classmates is never a hindrance to the success of distance education programs as long as the students are given an enjoyable learning atmosphere.