Distance learning is a form of learning where instruction and education is delivered on personal basis, mainly to learners that are not physically present in the normal setting of a classroom. Distance learning is efficient when the lecturer and the students can’t meet because of distance and time barriers. Online learning has been made easier with the increased use of computers and Internet giving rise to virtual universities where learning occurs.
Although distance learning is flexible and expands accessibility of education, there is inadequate contact between teachers and learners. Some students lack enough training or tools required to make the programs successful leading to unsuccessful experiences. On the other hand, most lecturers are not fluent in using computers, hence, it cannot be a reliable method of both teaching and learning (Taylor, 2011).
Online methods cannot be recommended as the primary method of learning because of many drawbacks. For instance, not all courses can be taught online.For example engineering which needs practical experiments could be difficult to offer it online. Secondly, most employers do not value or acknowledge these courses (Taylor, 2011). Most employers tend to prefer students that have a regular program over those who have done it online. Students who wish to work for certain employers are forced to know the perspective of the employer on online education.
Thirdly, students do not get verbal interaction with teachers, hence, their oral communication skills suffer (Taylor, 2011). There is also a delay in feedback as assessments takes time. From the above discussion it is concluded that distance learning is as effective as normal classroom programs.
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