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Advantages and Disadvantages of Distance Education

In the modern-day era, Internet has become firmly established in our everyday lives. Modern education is inconceivable devoid of computers and the Internet. In fact, students and educational institutions actively use the computer and the Internet as means of getting knowledge and information help at Dissertation writing. There is a variety of knowledge and information available on the Internet. Today, the idea of “lifelong learning” leads to the need to find new learning technologies to gain knowledge and then transfer it to others. The use of Internet technologies as the distance learning has created new opportunities for lifelong learning and made education more affordable.

With the fast development and spread of Internet technology in education, distance or on-line education has become more famous as more and more online institutes offer a variety of courses on any subject and educational level.

Brief History of Distance Education

Distance education is a new form of a full-fledged higher education. In all over the world, especially in European countries, it is spread over 40 years and is very popular among both high school graduates and professionals who want to top up the amount of professional knowledge or get another specialty.

The first university that offered distance-learning degrees was the University of London and in this regard the university established its External Programme in 1858. In the UK, the largest distance education university is the Open University established in 1969. Public UNED was established in 1972 in Spain. The Fern Universität in Hagen was established in 1974 in Germany. Now, there are numerous similar institutions across the globe, frequently with the name Open University, and most of these have grown to become ‘mega universities’.

William Rainey Harper was the first president of the University of Chicago who developed extended education. He is considered as one of the founders of “learning by correspondence programmes.” In the US, the first Extension Service was instituted by the University of Chicago by using mail, reaching out a majority of the students round the world.

Why Distance Learning?

The social changes are one of the biggest motivations behind distance learning. Over the last few years, people, institutions, businesses and the military have incessantly looked for alternative approaches of access to higher education as they make strong effort to deal effectively with the lifestyles and the every changing need of the economies and societies.

At present, higher education is the basic necessity for people who want to work and flourish in an economy that is becoming reliant not on sheer muscle power, but on brain power. The modern-day workforce is recognised and acclaimed for how well and quick issues are identified and solved. After arrival of the Internet technology, people have seen an emergence of educational instructions offering online education as well as traditional brick and mortar institutions that are now offering a variety of online courses to meet the demand for higher education.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Distance Education

Considering the option of distance education through technology, it should be noted that this type of education has both obvious advantages and limitations for students.

Advantages of Distance Learning

Distance or online higher education is a special form of education, which has lots of advantages than traditional form of education.

  • Students can improve their quality of education through the use of modern means of electronic libraries and modern technology;
  • Lower costs for education as there is no cost of travel and textbooks;
  • Inline courses is widely available, regardless of geographic location and age;
  • The freedom to choose the most preferred educational institution and courses, the ability to meet the desired educational needs;
  • Individual rate of assimilation of new knowledge, the speed of the curriculum set by students according to their personal needs and circumstances;
  • More flexibility of the curriculum, the possibility of self-selection of a variety of courses, as well as self-scheduling of time, space, frequency and duration of each session;
  • High technology, achieved due to the introduction in the educational process of the latest achievements of telecommunication and information technologies;
  • timely and effective feedback of teachers for students of distance learning;
  • Guarantee of social equality, opportunity to receive a quality education, regardless of health status, place of residence, material security, social status and elitism of students.

Disadvantages of Distance Learning

There are some advantages of distance learning that should not be ignored. Behold the following most critical deficiencies that should be noted:

  • The need for a special motivation to acquire knowledge related to the lack of regular monitoring by the teaching staff of the university;
  • Absence of full-time communication between student and teacher, the inability of an individual approach to their abilities and development;
  • The need for constant access to information and sufficient technical equipment: a powerful enough computer,
  • A fast Internet connection, preferably a printer;
  • Absence or lack of practical training;
  • Insufficient study of some training programmes and courses due to insufficient numbers of qualified professionals with experience in creation of textbooks;
  • Written training base, the complete absence of an oral form of education. Inability to demonstrate knowledge in verbal form for some applicants to education can be a decisive factor in the interrupt instruction.

Among many disadvantages, distance education is a very comfortable, promising and accessible form of education. For the higher education, this form of education may be preferable over traditional forms in some cases – if there is space, time or financial constraints. It increases the value to obtain a second higher education. There is a special area of the remote form – receipt of additional amount of knowledge for the purpose of self-development or training. In this case, the student can receive basic of full-time education, and the level of self-discipline and self-motivation is supported by the desire of knowledge of new facts and additional knowledge.

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