What is distance learning: A practical Guide to Your Online Study

by - September 27, 2016

What is distance learning: A practical Guide to your online study

Having arrived here I know you may be very curious and itchy to be clarified of a question like "what is distance learning?". Maybe you have an ample knowledge of it but added knowledge is something you cannot just shove aside. So let us take glance at what distance learning is all about. The post is a bit lengthy (1000+ words) so just take a cool drink; relax and read on.

What is Distance Learning?

If I may say my own opinion, I think distance learning would have sounded better if we had termed it telelearning, obviously, that should go in tandem with its colleagues in the technology line – telephone, telegram, telescope, television etc. But basically, I will define distance learning as the scenario whereby a teacher and student can interact and share educational learning information where there is a distance barrier, caused either by physical or time constraint. This kind of learning utilises an assortment of various sorts of machinery all together for this procedure to work, for example, CDs, video, tapes, and the Internet.

The Internet itself has made distance learning turn out to be extremely prominent, as students can take classes, address instructors and their fellow students, and also supervisors by utilisation of email or online visit. This isn't to say that distance learning is the same as e-learning, but we can streamline e-learning and consider it to be a development or subdivision of distance learning. E-learning is basically the utilisation of technology to empower individuals to learn at whatever time or place.

Okay, we have said much here, but what are the make-up if one may ask? Although there are varieties of answers to this depending from which angle you are approaching the question, but generally let me break it down and stop boring you with unnecessary details. Of course, you should know that this is not an online lecture so let’s get on with it.

The make-up of Distance learning

As noted above, distance learning comes in a wide range of structures - from CDs to recordings. The Internet has made possible what is known as e-learning, which is essentially the capacity to learn and be instructed through means originating from the Internet. In any case, while e-learning is presently very well known, saying this doesn't imply that students can simply study from the Internet. DVD and CD video can be sent through the mail to students, empowering them to be educated through distance learning schemes. This is where students may also find interesting since video aid in learning seems to be very much effective in our modern time according to statistics.

I have to tell you that it is exceptionally adaptable, however, it may likewise be troublesome for a few students who are adapted to the customary university system. I must tell you that if you have spent most of your academic life inside the four walls of university building, you may need a lot of encouragement and self-will to persevere in this system of learning. This implies that students should be mindful in discovering time to do homework or study times, and additionally ensuring they also discover for themselves the best methods and ways to be turning in their assignments and projects.

But wait! Have we said anything about the targeted audience of this system of learning? I think no. so let’s talk about it.

Who is distance learning intended for? (Merits)

Distance learning works extremely well for those people who wish for the opportunity of a higher learning background, however, can't go to the regular wall and block schooling. As modernisation changes how we approach the world, it has turned out to be extremely well known by the individuals who wish to either keep schooling or are starting school to be interesting.

It is obvious that numerous full-time workers attest to the fact that this form of learning functions lovely for them. As they are more engaged than ordinary campus students, taking classes at specific times of the day helps them manage a bustling calendar. With a learning of this sort, full-time workers can either proceed with their schooling or begin their schooling without losing advantages or pay by working part-time or leaving their place of employment.

Individuals from the military may likewise discover distance learning accommodating while they are in their place of assignment. Yes, of course, soldiers also need education and this is a veritable opportunity for them. With the likelihood of a changing base mission, distance learning permits a soldier to proceed with his or her training while off in another city, state, or nation.

 Distance learning isn't simply suited for students and grown-ups; secondary schools have started to use the advantages of distance learning for their students, making available alternative schools that are not the same as their regular secondary school partners.

Demerits of distance learning

In every activity of life, there is that likelihood of merits and demerit, and so distance learning is not exempted from this reality. While distance learning is beneficial as it gives the opportunity to those who have a tight schedule to complete their educational ambition, it likewise has a few hitches.

  • ·         Technical hitches

As noted above, while distance learning is extremely adaptable, permitting students to pick the times in which they will take classes, it can be troublesome for students who have no experience of what distance learning classes look like. Students are still required to do their assignments and turn them in on time, however, they should take into consideration some technical hitches. In a regular school, students simply turn in assignments to their teachers or lecturers but in distance learning, a student must ensure that their Internet connection is working, that they deliver assignments back a week prior to the due date, or that they have material for a seminar.

  • ·         Laziness

It has the tendency of making a student lazy, or to put it better, it can drain the passion of a student to learn especially when there is no real life encounter with classmates and lecturer. Hence, for you to succeed and do better in distance learning a lot of motivation is needed from you and not from anyone else (unless you have the opportunity of having your family or colleagues around who can motivate you). What I am saying here in essence is that it does not just end at the level of registering yourself for the distance learning classes, rather pumping yourself with great zeal to sail through the somewhat boring lonely lectures.
·         Poor support system.

Again, another problem you may encounter in this system is that you may have some technical problem accessing the online materials and lectures. It is a known fact that some network companies in Nigeria are sometimes terrible thus, poor infrastructure and inadequate support system can be terribly daunting.

Students likewise might not have others to work with, as they might be in another city, state, or nation. Setting up study times might be wearisome with various time zones than meeting individuals locally.

Notes to take when registering for distance learning

what is distance learning 

When enrolling into distance learning it will be very crucial for one to understand and be acquainted with enough knowledge with regards to the kind of specialisation one is searching for. A broad study should then be done to discover insights about the universities that offer the course needed – hence,

·         The time span of the course,
·         the expenses,
·         the software required and
·         the season of the exam should likewise be checked.

The most imperative element that ought to be checked is whether the school or university is certified or not, you should never enrol to a university which is not licensed.

I believe that with this program, no one should excuse oneself from learning, oh you have to pardon me for this statement but I think an average Nigerian should make good use of this program. Although we have said a lot about the disadvantages, we cannot deny the fact that distance learning is of great advantage to our time that is saturated with activities that are time-consuming, I think a great doze of maturity is required from the distance learning students more than the regular university students; the reasons for this assertion, believe have been taken care of above.  

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  1. Wow, although the post is lengthy i was engaged till the end. I find this very informative, thanks Mario for this...

  2. I appreciate and please do come around