Advantages and Disadvantages of Distance Learning
When studying to gain a further qualification there are a number of learning options open to students. The one they choose to select will reflect their current lifestyle restrictions and broader career aims, and will generally be the course that the student finds the most conveniently suitable for their needs.
Distance Learning has become an increasingly popular learning option. It offers a wide range of vocational diploma courses, including Counselling Skills, that are easily accessible, and provides prospective students with an opportunity to learn, improve their skills and gain further qualifications in comfort. Courses can be accessed online or completed, using course materials supplied, at home.
Key AdvantagesThere are many positive advantages to distance learning. Students can learn at a time of the day that suits them, and in whatever location they choose to do so. They are free to work independently, and also have the support of a tutor and learning institute behind them. There is a wide range of therapeutic subjects available, to choose from, and a vast number of specialist learning providers able to offer the ideal course that fits the student’s requirements.
Gaining an extra qualification or two in your spare time, around work and family commitments, becomes an attractive option when you have the luxury of being able to decide how much time you spend working on a particular module. Working at your own pace takes the pressure and strain out of learning and encourages a student to develop their skills in a way they are comfortable doing. Learning only the things they need to know will also keep the student more focused on their learning, and motivated to complete the coursework.
Key DisadvantagesAlthough distance learning has many obvious advantages, there are also disadvantages to this method of furthering your education. Learning in a home environment can be just as distracting and challenging as working in a classroom alongside other students. Home learning also requires that the student self-motivates, which can be difficult to maintain over a period of time. Although you may have an allocated tutor contact may be minimal, so feedback will be restricted to notes concerning submitted coursework.
Many students work better around other people, as this form of stimulus encourages the exploration of ideas. Distance learning means that a student becomes responsible for finding their own stimulus, and for creating their own structure to their learning periods. Self-discipline may also prove an issue.
Counselling From a DistanceMany Counselling Skills Courses include small group work, and the opportunity to explore and discuss ideas with other students. They also include supervised placements and work experience. Distance learning may only offer a taster of these opportunities – by the provision of a one day Assessment, at a pre-arranged location. This is the only opportunity a distance learning student will have to meet others interested in learning the same subject.
Pros and ConsPros:
- Students can learn at their own pace, in their own environment.
- Learning can be slotted in to fit around restrictive commitments.
- Working independently, without distractions from others, will keep the student more focused on their studies.
- Although distance learning offers a flexible method of working, it provides no structure for students to adhere to, which may become a problem for students who lack self-discipline.
- Students will have to be self-motivated throughout the duration of their studies.
- Counselling Skills students will miss out on small-group work, and the exchange and feedback from other students on the same course.