Distance learning doesn’t have to be second class learning; thanks to modern technology you can now gain a full, effective education without having to be physically present in a classroom. Nonetheless, it’s an option that is not well understood by the majority of prospective students, and there are a number of misconceptions about how the whole process works:
• Distance learning doesn’t mean you have to go digital; paper-based study materials can be posted to you, and then when you’ve completed your assignments you can fax, email or post them back. Feedback on your work can be delivered in much the same way.
• You won’t be left out in the cold; nowadays most colleges offer comprehensive admin support teams and even your own personal tutor to help you through any and all of the difficulties you might face en route to qualification.
• You’re also liberated from the constraints of traditional term times and classroom hours, as distance learning courses allow you to enrol at any time of year, and complete the work from the comfort of your own home, at hours which suit you.
• Distance learning is very often a cheaper option than traditional classroom lessons, as administrators aren’t paying upfront fees for rent of rooms or buildings, and can pass savings on to you.
• There’s a wide array of learning opportunities, with courses available in virtually every field, yielding qualifications that are recognised in the UK and internationally. Of course there are scams, and you should exercise caution when looking at your options, but this doesn’t mean you can’t gain real, respected accreditation remotely.
Distance learning can represent a cheaper, more flexible alternative to traditional education, perhaps more suitable for those wishing to juggle a career or childcare at the same time. It does, however, require a certain degree of self discipline, and if you’re the kind of person that requires constant supervision and direction in your learning, then this is probably not the right route for you.