Is Distance Education For Me?
Only you can answer that question. The truth is that on-line education is not for all. It is obvious that distance learning requires students to be self-motivated and self-disciplined so as to keep on task without monitoring from others. Experience and educational research show that the single biggest factor in determining a student's success is the student's motivation to succeed.
There will be barriers to your success. Here is a small list of barriers that you may encounter:
- Technology that does not work
- Your inexperience with computers
- Family and professional distractions that compete for your time and attention
- Feelings of isolation from other students and the instructor
- Frustration with new software/hardware you were not anticipating
- If you understand these limitations going into a distance education course, perhaps you have a more realistic set of expectations.
The reason for taking a distance education course should be a valid one. Valid reasons include:
- Ability to set your own study schedule
- Opportunity to use familiar technology to learn new subjects
- Freedom to time shift your own schedule to better meet family and professional obligations while continuing your education
- Motivation and self-discipline to keep yourself on task
- Save travel time
- Take a class from a different location
- Accommodate scheduling conflicts
Students are warned not to take distance education courses for all the wrong reasons. Invalid reasons include:
- Thinking the class will be easier - it will not be!
- Overloading your class schedule with an additional course
- Avoid attending class
- Avoid writing and reading assignments
- Cheating on exams