How does Distance Learning work?

When it comes to choosing where to study, one of the main things learners focus on is easy accessibility. And it makes sense. You need to be in a situation where you can readily access your course materials and feel comfortable in your surroundings.

Now, for a lot of us—especially if you’ve been out of education for a while—re-entering a classroom environment can be hard. Not only do you have to adhere to the learning structure of your teacher, but quite often you will spend only one lesson on a topic before being expected to move on—even if you haven’t grasped the concept yet.

As a result, many of us are deterred from enrolling on new courses or going back into education, as we simply don’t enjoy learning within a structured, rigid classroom environment.

This is where distance learning proves helpful:

  1. No classrooms involved – the sole purpose of distance learning courses is to allow you to work from the comfort of your own home. There is no need to enrol into a college or attend a physical class. Instead you can choose your own perfect learning environment and study at a time that best suits you. * Note: some courses – beauty therapy, teaching assistant etc. – may require some time within a practical setting.
  2. Can be moulded to fit around your existing work/social/family commitments – existing commitments are one of the main reasons why many people don’t enrol onto a course. From being unable to afford to study without working, to having children; each can influence your decision.
  3. With distance learning you can mould your studies to not only fit around your existing commitments, but can undertake them at your preferred time of day. So for instance, instead of having to attend regular 9am classes, you can arrange your study plans to suite your night owl/early riser tendencies.
  4. Equivalent of a classroom qualification – they may be tailored for home study, but the majority of distance learning courses can provide you with the same qualifications that you would earn by attending college/university.
  5. You can choose your preferred study method – most distance learning courses can either by done online or on paper, meaning no matter your study preferences you can learn from home and send your completed work to be marked by email or by mail.
  6. This is particularly useful if computers make you feel uncomfortable as you can write out all of your assignments by hand.
  7. 24/7 support – whilst a lot of college and university teachers encourage their students to email/see them in person when they’ve got a query; there are times where you’ll have to wait to get an answer.
  8. Not only do distance learning course providers offer their students a personally assigned tutor – who they can email at any time of the day – they also come with student support teams and online forums, meaning 24 hours, 7 days a week you can always reach someone and get your questions answered straight away.
  9. No exams or set deadlines – the majority of distance learning courses are coursework based only, meaning you don’t have to stress about exams. In addition, there are no set deadlines for the submission of your work. The only requirements you’ll be asked to fulfil is completing your course within 12-24 months. During this time you can study as fast or as slow as you want.
  10. Learn at your own pace – whereas in a classroom you are given a set amount of time to learn the topic – usually one class – with distance learning you can enjoy the benefit of being able to focus on each topic for as long as you want. This ensures you fully understand the concept, before you choose to move on.

The truth is, there are many advantages to choosing to register onto a distance learning course. However, before you make any decisions, you should first consider which is best for you. Would you thrive more within a rigid classroom, or are you more likely to succeed if you can fit your studies to work around your own personal study preferences? Ask yourself these questions, and you’ll be one step closer to achieving your career dreams.

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