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Distance Learning Essay

1462 words - 6 pages

Distance Learning

In recent years, there has been a trend in the way that many major institutions of higher learning have been teaching their students. This change of pace in the education world is what is known as distance learning. Distance learning is the form of schooling that can be done over the Internet, and never actually being forced to be present in a classroom or even on the campus. According to Joel Snell, correspondence courses were the predecessors to what we now know as distance learning (258). Many people say that distance education is the future of our nations’ education, however there are many arguments against the wide spread establishment of distance learning programs. Although distance learning may seem like a bright future for education, nevertheless, it will never be as successful as campus learning, because every student must be self-driven and also highly motivated, the lack of access to libraries and other sources of information, and also face-to-face interaction is necessary for a good education. Many people think that distance learning is a perfect fit for men and women working on their master’s while still maintaining a job.

When a person enters the real world and gets a job, they will not always have a lot of time on their hands that would allow them to go to classes. The ability to take their classes at anytime possible is one of the most appealing factors for distance learners (Flanagan). Another reason as to why distance learning is a perfect match for men and women taking classes while working is the motivation factor. Both Snell and Mariani agree that in order for a person to succeed in distance education, they must be highly motivated, which does not describe the average college student (Snell 258; Mariani 7). Many college-aged students are not truly motivated while in their courses of study, and much of their educational angst is the fact that they have just finished what amounts to thirteen years of schooling, so the last thing that many want to do is begin another four years at an even higher level of study. Another problem that arises with distance learning would most definitely be the level of retention. Many of the colleges and universities that are experimenting with the implementation of distance learning have found that the level of retention for distance learners is less than what it would be in comparison to the retention level when dealing with classrooms. In an article written by Mariani, the dean of distance learning at Brevard Community College says, “That students who liked this method of learning, either out of convenience or necessity, would take a course online, but our retention levels were significantly lower than in a traditional classroom (7).” Some reasons for the drop off in retention for distance learning programs are the lack of time, loss of motivation, and also, no longer can afford to take these courses. At any given time, a person who is working...

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