Distance Learning and its Disadvantages

The article gives some information on Distance Learning and its Disadvantages. The advantages of distance learning have made it a popular way to earn a degree, however it is important to remember that there are drawbacks as well. In most cases the advantages will outweigh the disadvantages however this isn’t always true. Not everybody is suited to distance learning, students must be disciplined and motivated and most importantly the must be able to learn on their own. Before enrolling in a distance program it is important to realistically assess your skills to determine your likelihood of success.

Distance Learning and its Disadvantages

The biggest disadvantage that comes from distance learning is the lack of access to your professors, unlike students at a traditional school, distance learning students rarely have any interaction with their teachers. This means that distance learning students need to be very strong independent learners since they are going to only have limited help if they get stuck.

Most schools offer the assistance of a tutor that can be contacted by phone when students are having difficulty but this is no substitute for having regular access to the professor, there is a limit to how much help you can receive through a phone call. As new technology improves internet communication this situation will likely change, we are already seeing the beginning of this. Online video conferencing can go a long way to alleviating this disadvantage.

Another problem that is related to not having access to your professor is that you will not be able to get letter of recommendation from him. Almost all graduate programs require a letter from at least one of your professors as a part of the admission process, clearly this presents difficulties to the distance learning student. To a lesser extent this may also affect your ability to get a job as some employers will want a reference from a teacher as well.

There really is no way to get around this problem and if you are considering graduate school distance learning may not be a good option for you. This is less of a problem for distance learning graduate programs since they are usually aware of this issue, however for a traditional graduate school it is a major issue.

Many distance learning students fail to complete their degree and the reason for it is that they lack the motivation and discipline that is required. In many cases this can be another disadvantage of distance learning, as students will have nobody to push them to do the work. With set class schedules and deadlines for assignments it is fairly easy to keep yourself on track as a student at a traditional college, distance learning students don’t have this advantage.

It is important that students set aside specific time for their studies and make sure that they stick to that schedule. Many people lack the discipline to complete a degree without somebody to push them through it, this is something to keep in mind if you are considering distance learning.

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