Distance education is simply an education where the lecturer is not physically in the lecture room but learning takes place through the use of the internet or video conferencing. The type of learning in distance programs is different from traditional programs of learning which are widely used in the United State education system. Since the introduction of the internet technology education system in the United States has tremendously changed, not only can we find learning materials that are available on the web, the student can get a college degree through distance learning. The quality of education in distance learning has improved over the years that student who has graduated from distance learning programs have not shown any sign of possessing less information in the job market when they are compared with graduates from traditional learning.
“A study was conducted by Sloan Consortium in the year 2006” (Bourne 2008), and its findings were that most lecturers in the universities thought online mode of teaching is the best mode of teaching for students as we compare it to the traditional method because most of the learning materials are available online. At the moment most of the employers in the United State has noticed the quality of distance learning program, Another survey was carried out in the year 2007 by Vault Inc, and its findings were 89 percent of employers in the United State believe an online degree is more reliable nowadays because is the same with a normal degree, and in addition, 85 percent employees are willing to hire a student with a degree from distance learning program.
The reason why a student will prefer a distance learning program is that it increases the access to the lecturer with the use of emails and chat room, while in a traditional learning program student is bound with the institution set time and strictly he will follow the time table set up by the university, the only time the student will be able to speak to his lecturers is during lecture time or at a specified time set by the lecture.
For a student who has a problem in taking examination tests, a distance learning program will offer additional time and due to the nature of the classes, most of the exams are untimed and involve open-book, where your final grade on a unit will depend upon the class projects which you have done during the semester, Distance learning program will reduce stress to the student and this will offer a comfortable learning environment to the student.
“Just like in the traditional learning program, there is the due date to submit your assignments, project if any given and tests” (Bourne 2008). In distance learning, it accelerates learning because one can take the number of months he is comfortable in finishing his degree, but in traditional learning, a degree must take 3- 5 years depending on which course you are taking and the availability of the class during the semester. In a traditional learning program students are limited to options for certain classes, sometimes you will find two or more classes clash during the semester and this will force a student to drop one of the classes to avoid not performing better in any of those units.
One of the best reasons why a student will prefer online learning to classroom learning is that with online learning, students will not move from one place to another and a person can work at the same time learn because the lecture notes are sent via emails and this will accommodate the student class to be in tandem to her or his schedule. “If a student work 40 hours per week or she has children, the student will attend her or her classes in the evening as from 9 pm for two hours” (Bourne 2008). There are some additional saving costs which come up with students taking online degrees: less cost of learning materials because the classes are internet-oriented and the material are virtual i.e. are found online and the time you spend while traveling to attend classes, a student will save time and a student will use that time to do something different like studying. The student attending online education is hassle-free for the cost he or she will incur when paying for a room in the university or around the university.
Bourne, J. (2008).Elements of quality online education: learning effectiveness, cost effectiveness, access, faculty satisfaction, student satisfaction. New York: Olin College – Sloan-C Publisher.