On the Fence About Distance Learning?
Technology has opened doors to new innovations we never thought imaginable. One of these innovations is the concept of “distance learning” or remote learning using the Internet as a classroom.
In this blog we will give a brief introduction to distance learning and discuss the pros and cons of this fairly new learning method.
What is Distance Learning?
So, what is distance learning? Is it the same as online learning? Or “hybrid learning,” whatever that means?
Distance learning is a way of learning that involves using digital methods of communication with teachers and students. In distance learning, students do not meet in a traditional classroom. Instead, they meet “virtually” via email, Internet platforms, or educational platforms to complete coursework.
In a distance learning course, students are either expected to work at their own pace to complete coursework or login to the virtual classroom to engage with the teacher and students.
The Pros and Cons of Distance Learning
Distance learning, as with most alternative learning methods, has its pros and cons. This style of learning is not for everyone, and you alone can determine whether distance learning is right for you.
To help guide you in this decision-making process, we have a robust list of pros and cons for your consideration.
Self motivation is a key characteristic required to succeed in a distance learning setting. Distance learning requires a greater level of personal responsibility than an in-person classroom setting. When a student is in the classroom, the teacher will often remind them of assignment deadlines and reading assignments. A distance learning “classroom” requires the student to manage their own time and remember important dates.
Students with intrinsic motivation (and some minor organizational skills) will remain disciplined throughout the entirety of the course and perform exceptionally.
One of the key benefits of a distance learning setting is the massive flexibility offered to the student. Distance learning often allows students to “earn while you learn” or care for small children while pursuing a degree, certification, or license.
If you are already invested in a career, have a full time job, or care for children, distance learning allows you to incorporate coursework into your schedule. A traditional classroom setting requires in-person attendance, which may not mesh with your daily schedule.
Participating in a distance learning program requires just a computer (or tablet) of some sort and a WiFi connection. That’s it! Most learning platforms are free for use or included in the cost of tuition. In addition, most coursework or reading assignments are digital. If your teacher requires a textbook for the course, you can purchase the required textbook in an electronic format.
Requires Self Motivation
While self motivation is a pro in a distance learning setting, it can also be a con if the student is not suited to learn independently. As we mentioned in the distance learning pros, this learning style requires a higher level of personal responsibility for success.
If you require a bit of a kick in the butt or you need a classroom setting to stay motivated and on top of school work, distance learning may not be the best option for you.
The Internet can be one big distraction. Social media, YouTube videos, video streaming, and countless other platforms can serve as easy distractions. Since distance learning requires time online, there is major potential for distraction; this could interfere with class performance if left unchecked.
If you are prone to distractions, or you feel that you could not remain focused in an online classroom setting, distance learning may not be for you. On the other hand, if you are prone to distraction, but eager to improve your focusing skills, you can read our blog: How to Stay Focused While Distance Learning.
Lack of Social Interaction
Are you a people person? Do you crave social interaction daily? Distance learning is devoid of in-person social interaction. The online setting of a distance learning course removes the regular social interaction of a traditional classroom. While this may not affect some people, it could give way to feelings of isolation and encourage distraction for some.
What is Hybrid Learning?
Hybrid learning is a great alternative to distance learning. The hybrid learning style incorporates online coursework with traditional, in-person class meetings to offer both flexibility and accountability.
This method of learning is a great option for students who enjoy some independence but still desire the tangibility of in-person learning. Hybrid learning is really the perfect medium between online and in-person learning styles.
Hybrid Learning with Avenue Five Institute
Avenue Five Institute offers hybrid learning programs with both our Cosmetology School and our Esthetician School in Austin, Texas. Our YourTime™ schedule allows students to choose the optimal window for traditional classroom/salon/spa learning while completing distance learning at their own pace.
The 1000-hour Hybrid Cosmetology Program includes 4.5 hours of campus training Monday through Friday and 7.5 hours of online learning per week. You can choose between our YourAfternoon™ on campus schedule from 12:30pm to 5pm or our YourEvening™ on campus schedule from 5:30pm to 10:00pm. With our unique hybrid program, you will gain the hands-on training and salon experience you need to pursue a successful career in the beauty industry. In our program you will learn: haircutting, science and anatomy, color theory, make-up artistry, and much more.
Our 750-hour Hybrid Esthetics Program also includes 4.5 hours of on campus training Monday through Friday and 7.5 hours of online learning per week. YourAfternoon™ and YourEvening™ schedules are the same. In our Esthetics Program you will learn: facial massage, lash and brow tinting, facial treatments, skin analysis, basic hair removal, and more.
Our hybrid programs allow you to pursue your passions while maintaining your daily responsibilities. There are no more obstacles in your way to pursue the career of your dreams. The time is now.