Is Distance Learning Effective?

For those who are wondering whether or not distance learning is as effective as advertised, it can be difficult to determine because there are a number of different factors which can affect a person's performance when they embark on a course through the Internet. In this article, we are going to look at just some of the key elements which can affect how productive a person might be when it comes to completing their qualification, and whether or not these circumstances can be overcome to give a better performance.

Of course, one of the main issues that needs to be thought through is what type of learner a distance learner is. Sometimes, there can be some learners who perform better with physical activities, and so they might be de-motivated through distance learning, which can be text-based from time to time. All in all, it does need to be determined whether or not a person can realize their potential through this type of medium, and whether or not they will be able to work in an online environment where they might not be monitored as closely when compared to a conventional educational setup.

Distance learning is only effective if you invest your time into the course which you are taking. Obviously, a person who is very lazy might not get the results which they were looking for, and those who are preoccupied with a job or a family might not be able to throw enough time to their course. Grades can be affected by this and it can be foolish to fall into the trap that just because a course is based online, it means that not as much work is required to complete it fully.

Ideally, some knowledge with computers prior to starting the course can be a real disadvantage when trying to make headway. You can find that those who are computer illiterate may have a harder time in getting to know the ropes which are associated with working a way around the online environment in which they may have to work. Going on a simplistic computer awareness course could be all you need to ensure that your focus when distance learning is in the right place.

Individual factors aside, different courses can bring different opportunities for the people who take them. Many courses have a statistic which shows how many people managed to get employment which was relevant to the qualification that they obtained in the six months from graduation. Obviously, the higher the percentage, the more likely it is that a person will realize their potential when they are trying to move on from their distance learning in order to get a job.

There are now many support channels which are available to prospective business learners ; allowing them to think about the opportunities that distance learning presents, and about the different things which they might need to bring into consideration before they jump into making a full commitment by becoming a distance learner once and for all.

Web Sites that focus on Distance Learning Research

  1. ARIADNE Foundation Home - ARIADNE projects focus on the development of tools and methodologies for producing, managing and reusing computer-based pedagogical elements and telematics supported training curricula.
  2. Distance Education and the WWW- by Daniel Peraya This draft paper first gives an overview of the state of art in the distance learning domain and its recent evolution. Within this frame we will discuss the educational use of WWW. Furthermore this paper examines and discusses some theorical and methodological aspects concerned by the educational use of technology.
  3. Distance Education in Africa- Resources, links and research on education in Africa, especially on communication, culture and distance education.
  4. Distance Education In Developing Countries- Research on distance education in developing countries, with the Institute of Distance Education in Swaziland, Southern Africa, as an example.
  5. "Students' Frustrations with a Web-based Distance Education Course: A Taboo Topic in the Discourse"- Computers can frustrate students, do you believe it?