Disadvantages of Distance Learning

Evaluating Distance Learning

Disadvantages of Distance Learning

The truth is there really isn’t any disadvantage you incur when you learn, be it from a distance or close up.

Going to an actual classroom can have its advantages and disadvantages of distance learning BUT...

One advantage of earning an online degree is that you can go to class in your pajamas.

And one disadvantage of distance learning is that you can still go to class in your pajamas.

You will be more relaxed when reading the information online if you are wearing comfortable clothes like your PJs, but is this really a good thing? We have been psychologically programmed to associate relaxation with non-work.

Pajamas and other night clothes are associated with sleep, and sleep is something you want to avoid when you are trying to learn. Most computers are located in either the living room or the bedroom, and both of these places were built for relaxation.

When we get dressed and go to a classroom, we are in a structured environment that we associate with learning, and we have associated classrooms with learning since our first day in kindergarten.

So the advantage and disadvantage Distance Learning criteria can be simply personal preferences.

The living room or the bedroom does not have the same powerful association with learning as does the classroom. If we were to try to sleep or lounge about in the classroom, we would likely be singled out and embarrassed in front of our peers.



And this brings to mind another disadvantage of distance learning. Peer pressure is a powerful thing, whether we admit it or not.

When we meet a classmate on line, we have no idea who our classmates are or how they are doing in relation to ourselves. It is simple human nature to be competitive, and with no direct classroom interaction with other students our natural competitive natures might be stunted.

I have also found it to be a great help to have a fellow student give me his or her take on the course material. Yes, this can be done online but peers can communicate with each other face-to-face in ways that a professor can’t. A student might feel more at ease when learning from another student.

With an online higher education class you don’t always get the advantage of meeting with the professor and getting his or her feedback. You might retain more information if you hear it in a lecture as opposed to reading it on a computer screen.

The inflections that the professor uses in his or her voice can give different meaning to the words that are spoken. And try to imagine a professor freezing in place in mid sentence, and then he just keeps repeating the same word over and over again.

It is kind of ridiculous when you think about it like that, but this is similar to what happens when you have computer problems. Slow download speeds and computer freeze ups can conceivably cause an online class to run longer than the actual college class would have.

And then there is the fact that most employers prefer that a prospective new employee has a degree that doesn’t have the word online in front of it. Some career fields do not even accept online degrees.

Of course, college classes aren’t as flexible as distance learning, but the disadvantages of distance learning classes can be overcome just like any disadvantages there are when you attend college the traditional way.

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