What Is Distance Learning and is it Effective?

Ever since COVID-19, quarantine, remote work, #stayathome, all became the norm, many students and parents have been introduced to a different concept of learning called distance learning.

What exactly is distance learning? Is it the same is online learning? Is it effective?

This short but insightful post plans to answer all three of those questions and give you a clearer idea on what distance learning really is.

What is Distance Learning?

Personally, I always thought that distance learning was similar yet distinct to online learning or education. According to Britannica, distance learning is also called distance education, e-learning, and online learning. So these concepts all mean the same thing!

Traditionally distance learning was a form of education in which the main elements include physical separation of teachers and students during instruction and the use of various technologies to facilitate student-teacher and student-student communication.

There are several types and features of distance learning

  • Video conferencing
  • Connected Learning
  • Independent Learning
  • Open / Flexible Schedule
  • Tech or Computer based

This type of learning was primarily focused on nontraditional students, such as full-time workers, military personnel, and nonresidents or individuals in remote regions who are unable to attend classroom lectures. *A quick distance learning definition fact 🙂

Another source says that Distance learning is – “any form of remote education where the student is not physically present for the lesson.”

Regardless of what the definition exactly means, it is understood that most elementary and highschool students are currently experiencing a form of distance or online learning. Some parents are excited with this form of education while others are not. The next question to ask is if distance learning is indeed effective.

What are The Advantages of Distance Learning Effective?

Flexibility

The top benefit of distance education is its flexibility. Students can choose when, where, and how they learn by selecting the time, place, and medium for their education. For those who want direct, live access to teachers there are video conferencing options. But for students who may be doing their training around a job or other responsibilities, a more relaxed schedule may work better. There are options to match virtually anyone’s needs.

And thanks to the proliferation of online learning options, there is a course structure on practically any subject that a person would want to study.

Easy Access

Whether due to remote location or being differently-abled, some students lack basic access to educational facilities. Remote learning programs offer every student the opportunity to learn and improve themself in the environment they find the most effective.

Want to make a live classroom more accessible? 6 Cases of Interactive Digital Whiteboards as an Assistive Technology in Special Education

Remote learning also opens up new horizons of education in terms of international institutions. Major universities and trade schools the world over now offer recognized degrees, certificates, and professional qualifications online to learners of all ages. Or motivated people can get more basic certificates of completion everywhere from Udemy to Google Skillshop.

Less Cost

Thanks to the scalable nature of digital learning especially, distance learning is driving down the cost of education. Online degrees are becoming almost commonplace, and there are even accredited online-only universities that can eliminate expensive infrastructure overhead and get straight to the teaching.

Sources:

https://www.aeseducation.com/blog/online-learning-vs-distance-learning

https://www.britannica.com/topic/distance-learning

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