15 January 2012

Distance Education Programs Vs Campus Structured Schools


The term distance education is intimidating to some students. For some time, distance learning or online learning was considered a scam. A degree from an online program was not received with as much respect as that of from a campus structured school. As technology has advanced, society has become much more accepting of distance education programs. In addition, distance education programs have evolved and offer high quality courses.

One of the biggest difference in distance education and a traditional college is the location. Distance learning affords students the option take virtual classes. This can save students a lot of money and also presents several options when selecting a school. The flexibility of the location with distance education programs is definitely to the advantage of adult learners maintains families and full time jobs.

Another notable difference is the scheduling of classes. Many colleges and universities offer college courses during normal business hours. This presents a challenge to the adult student that maintains a full time job. Generally, adult students work during business hours and would need access to evening or weekend classes. 

Many universities and colleges offer few evening or weekend classes. Online learning offers a great amount of flexibility. Distance program students have access to courses 24/7. This is a major hurdle for many adult learners hoping to return to the classroom.

Enrolling in a distance education program is not as expensive as enrolling in a campus structured school. With the classes not being held in a physical location, the school's administrative costs are reduced. The reduction of administration costs results in reduced tuition for students. Also, many online courses do not require students to purchase books. Many of the materials for online courses are provided electronically. There are also several miscellaneous fees (Lab see, parking fees, etc.) associated with campus structured schools that are eliminated with distance learning that are eliminated.

Access to the Instructor
Distance education programs encourage interaction between the student and the instructor. While students all share the attention of the instructor in a classroom setting, online learning requires each student to interact with the instructor privately.

While there are many differences between online learning and campus structured schools, one thing that is consistent is the coursework. While distance learning is relaxed in several areas, the course structure mirrors that of a campus structured school. Students are required to work at his/her own pace; however, they are held to the same standard as traditional students. In the early stages the courses offered through distant learning were not of the same quality that is no longer true.

There are several differences in the overall structure of a distance education program. Even with all of the differences, the results are the same. Students are allowed to study and learn in the comfort of their homes, at their own pass but receive a comparable degree. The convenience of distance learning affords all students, adult and high school graduates, the same opportunities.

Lance Chalmers has been writing for over 3 years. He has successfully completed two distance learning programs. Driven by his success, Lance has since developed a passion for encouraging students to consider adult education schools as a means to get back in school as adult learners.

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