With the emergence of the Internet, taking college courses has never been easier. You can now take classes from the comfort of your own home, on your own time, and still receive a college degree. Distance learning has enabled many students to return to college without ever setting foot on a college campus. Working professionals, disabled students, and even stay-at-home parents are able to pursue a quality education without disrupting their personal life.
What is Distance Learning?
Distance learning is when you take college level courses without actually going to a college campus.
There are many types of distance learning courses:
- Hybrid Courses: Some colleges have what are known as hybrid courses where you take the majority of the class online, but you meet with the professor about once a week for class updates and to turn in assignments.
- Self-Paced Classes: Some schools offer self-paced classes where you will receive your textbook and all of your assignments at the beginning of the semester. You will have until a certain date to complete each assignment and the final, if required. You would communicate with your professor via email so they know how you are progressing with your work.
- Online Courses: The most common type of distance learning is the online course. Everything is conducted online. Some professors keep these courses simple by just posting the syllabus and hosting forum topics weekly, while others will upload video lectures and have assigned chat room dates for you to meet with the rest of the class.
Top Notch Online Instruction
Actual professors that teach on campus usually teach distance-learning classes. In some cases, these classes are even taught by the most experienced professors, which gives you quality instruction. You can be assured that although you are not taking your classes on campus, you are still receiving instruction by experienced and knowledgeable professors.
Be Disciplined in your Studies
It is very easy to be lazy when it comes to distance learning. After all, you are not in a structured classroom setting. You may be tempted to relax on your couch and watch that new reality show that is coming on rather than read your text and study your notes. You must discipline yourself by setting aside a set amount of time a few nights per week for you to read your text, review your notes, and meet online with the discussions. It is very easy to become overwhelmed in a distance learning class if you do not structure yourself accordingly.
Do not be swayed into thinking that degrees earned through distance learning classes are not as valuable as the ones earned on campus. Since you receive the same quality instruction and you pursue the same course outline as on campus students, your degree is equal to one that was earned the old fashioned way. Just make sure you weigh the pros and cons of going to an online college.
It is extremely important that you do make time for your classes as if you were attending an on-campus class. Although your class is held online, you still have to put in the same amount of work, if not more, than you would if you walked in and sat down in the classroom. If you are motivated and determined to complete your college degree, then pursuing a distance learning class may be perfect for your busy lifestyle.