The pursuit of information, speed, adaptability, and integrity is never-ending. As an outcome, both businesses and professions have become increasingly focused on specialising and adapting to client demands. Also in this context one will find a rising range of subjects offered at a distance, a type of education known as distance education or distant learning. Yet with all of the requirements encountered by professionals to perform their duties and achieve their place, people still find it difficult to acquire the needed expert knowledge due to the difficulty of attending a classroom course reasoned by a lack of time, a distance, or even a refusal to be in the classroom on a regular basis. Therefore, Distance learning is becoming more common in teaching and learning, and as a result, every year, lots of educational institutions promising high-quality distance education evolution. In recent times distance education offer many various courses such as English literature, web designing, or popular science; also formal education in all fields of universities, colleges or high-schools that covers many topics and recently there are many students that attend these courses. Thus, this study will aim to identify and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of distance education while comparing it to regular education from the point of view of students’ view.
On the one hand, distance education is beneficial for students as it offers many advantages. Firstly, distance education is flexible. Students who pursue a job or career alongside their studies especially search for the possibility of no-attendance education. Concept of flexibility offers various opportunities; most importantly distance learning saves time; compared to traditional education, there is no waiting for bus, train or any means of transportation so no wasted time either. Consequently, they find time to work on their career while being educated at the same time. Secondly, In distance education, one’s classroom is in their room, study material is offered on the education institution’s website so even one does not attend classes regularly, one can still watch the records of lectures, whether it is a video or an audio, there is content availability that meets the needs of a student whenever it is necessary to review it. Moreover, it is low cost compared to many traditional classroom courses, so it saves money too. Hanson states that on report highlights, comparing 4 year public colleges, tuition and the cost of attendance is $10,776 cheaper in distance education. On average, private institutions charge $58,560 for a distance education degree while charging $148,800 for an in-person degree. (Hanson) Not only these, but also there is the opportunity of learning at a student’s own pace. It is known that everyone has a unique personality so they learn at different ways and different speeds. While in a classroom everyone is being taught together, there is no opportunity to review what has passed without learning it, in distance education there is the opportunity of reviewing, re-checking or asking the material providers, forums, chat facilities or even asking distance education providers anytime or anywhere. Lastly, one can study whenever and wherever, it is students’ choice when to and where to learn, there is no regular time they have to obey, so this makes studying easier. For instance, a student who is not in-peace with classrooms, as they have mostly uncomfortable chairs to sit, can learn in their homes in their comfortable hours that they have selected.
On the other hand, distance education may be disadvantageous for students. As there is no discipline and motivation coming from outdoors, student should find these in themselves, if there is no discipline or motivation for the student and if they cannot create it themselves, they are most likely to fail courses as they will not be able to focus on their courses and will lose trace, which makes it harder to recover these lectures even though it is being reviewed from records. Moreover, there are high chances of distraction as students may find it hard to keep the track of course work and their assignments because there are not any reminders about deadlines, therefore one must be self-motivated and focused to complete their courses successfully, otherwise distance education is not a good option for students. Moreover, in distance education, there is a lack of social interaction; distance learning limits students to learning materials and recorded lectures even though there are chances of interacting through chat rooms, discussions, e-mails and video-conferences. All these opportunities aside, they cannot compete with a traditional campus as a means of social interaction as it not only presents the opportunity of getting one-by-one feedback from lecturers, but also the chance of meeting people from different cultures on a personal level. Lastly, on distance education, not all education institutions give the same opportunities and there is questionable credibility of distance education degrees. Despite the convenience and affordability of distance education, it is not the best option due to lack of quality faculty members. Even if the instructors are experienced and fully qualified at their courses, they might find it difficult to teach through a limited environment as the design and delivery of any course is different from each other. Many times instructors may find it hard to give examples to the students from real life, which limits the education in distance as its name suggests. Moreover, there is a lack of proper assessment that makes the credibility of distance education degrees questionable as there may not be any feedback from instructors to help students achieve their degrees. Also many firms, in fact, refuse to hire people with online degrees because they believe distance education is still stigmatised. That implies students must assess whether their online degrees are suitable for the desired employment or further education. This deters many students from enrolling in a distance learning program, even if the degree being offered is legitimate and marketable.
Consequently, distance education is still discussed and has its own advantages while having disadvantages too. From one perspective, distance education is flexible as it offers many opportunities but from another perspective it cannot be compared to regular education in terms of social interaction and degrees. In my humble opinion, distance education which is given in an educational institution where it is legit, creditable, professional and which offers many possibilities given above would probably overweight the regular education style if the student is self-disciplined and self-motivated regarding its flexibility from a student’s point of view.
Hanson, Melanie. “Cost of Online Education vs. Traditional Education : Comparison.” Education Data Initiative, 25 Feb. 2022, https://educationdata.org/cost-of-online-education-vs-traditional-education. Accessed 04/2022