Distance education (distance learning) is simply defined as "a field of education focusing on delivering education to students who are not physically in a classroom or campus setting." In its simplest terms, it means earning a degree online.
The use of electronic and printed media enable students to improve their knowledge without attending lectures on a university or college. Online education enables the students to study at their most convenient time, via Internet technologies that allow them to communicate with their lecturers in real time.
Since physical classroom attendance is not a requirement to complete coursework, distance education courses are highly sought after especially by people working on full time basis. By choosing a distance learning program, you are enabled to reach your educational goals without giving up on your other life commitments such as family and job. This also comes along with other far reaching benefits, including:
1. Flexibility - Distance learning programs are designed to suit your lifestyle. It doesn't matter whether your job involves a lot of traveling or if you work at night and sleep during day time - as long as you can find some time you can enroll in a distance education program.
2. Reduced expense - There is a significant reduction of expenses in areas such as travel expense, housing costs, child-care, and loss of earnings. Online education also saves time since there is no time spent commuting to classes.
3. Unlimited options - It is possible to study any course regardless of your location. Many distance learning programs have several short terms throughout the year so that even if you can only take one courses at a time, it is easy to end up having taken four or five classes in a year.This can give you an edge over most traditional college programs, which have three semester (fall, spring, and an optional summer term).
4. Diversity - Distance learning programs offer a conducive environment to interact with students from a wide range of backgrounds, work and life experiences. This makes learning more enriching and lively.
5. Financial aid - In most cases you can get student loans and income tax credits for participating in a distance learning programs.
6. You do not have to keep up with the pace of the group. This works well for those who seem to always be behind or ahead of the group.
7. Easy access to learning resources. The teacher, other students, library are only a click away.