There are still misconceptions about distance learning even though there are more and more students choosing to study by distance learning every year. Some of these misconceptions lead to people being afraid to enroll in distance learning courses, while some of them lead to people enrolling in distance learning courses for the wrong reasons. The following are 5 misconceptions about distance learning.
- Distance learning courses are easier than those offered on college campuses. In fact some students will find them more difficult than those on campus. It depends on your learning style. Also many online courses are offered by the same bricks and mortar schools and have the identical course and requirements on campus and online.
- Employers will not accept my degree if it was completed online. In fact employers often fund distance learning courses for their employees. If your degree is from a reputable and respected institution, then it will be accepted by employers. Employers will not, however, accept degrees from diploma mills. (See #4 below)
- A degree taken online will not be of the same quality as one on campus. In fact the quality of your education varies from school to school whether on campus or online. There are both excellent and mediocre teachers and courses in online schools as well as in bricks and mortar schools so you need to choose the best school for you by doing your research. Accreditation helps to ensure that all schools meet at least minimum standards so make sure the school you choose is accredited whether it is online or bricks and mortar.
- Online degrees are fraudulent and not worth anything to an employer or a regular school. Unfortunately there are schools called diploma mills that basically allow people to pay for a degree without taking courses or learning anything to earn that degree. You do need to steer clear of them. However, by checking that they have been accredited by the United States Department of Education or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, you can avoid diploma mills.
- You will not have contact with other students or the instructors. In fact, depending on the course and the instructor you may have even more contact with the other students in the class – perhaps even face to face if a webcam type of program such as Skype is used for some activities. The discussion board is also a great way to communicate with other students and in most courses there are assignments in which posting to the discussion board is a requirement for the course. Communication with the instructor is usually encouraged by using e-mail and sometimes they schedule times when they are available in the chat room.
There are still misconceptions about distance learning even though it has been in existence for over 100 years. Students need to decide the best school for them and the best way for them to study. If they make sure the school has the proper accreditation, then they will not find any of the above misconceptions to be true, if they choose distance learning over bricks and mortar schools.