Distance learning, as a method most commonly associated with university students and such, has always been some of the most underestimated methods of learning. This is especially the case among the students that choose this way of study. While the ideals promised by the freedom of study for the students are incredibly high, seemingly-small yet devastating problems still exist. And these problems are known to cause 25% more failures of students than in regular courses.
What Makes Distance Learning Different
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Distance Learning is a learning method that is often said or used interchangeably with e-learning or online learning. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. E-learning serves to supplement distance learning, however, it is not its entirety. Distance learning is a method of learning where the learner would study on their own time without the formality of going to class or meeting a teacher. Most of the time, the student are given freedom to study however they want as long as it stays within the curriculum.
With the lack of time alongside a teacher or within a class, it should be quite obvious how many students to today still see this as something much more preferable than regular classes. However, little do the students know that once a path with distance learning is set, they would need to face struggles unseen by the counterpart of going to classes.
Problems with Distance Learning
Among the many problems of distance learning that keeps this initiative of a learning method from efficiently teaching the student is due to the fact that most students would underestimate it. With great freedom, students, especially modern ones, would be more prone to subconsciously shirk their studious responsibilities. But outside of this, what are its other faults and how do you solve them?
Lack of A Guide
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Teachers don’t mean to serve only as someone that provides you material of study and go home. They also serve as guides for the learners. Without a proper guide to let them know what is right or wrong, learners could be blasting through materials they find themselves and be entirely wrong without clarification. In a college life, at times they would also serve another purpose. That is to help the student psychologically as well as academically.
To solve this, additions such as online guidance provided by the institution would often be presented to the students. Albeit not with a fully detailed feedback system, it helps to set the course for students regardless. So they would not stray too far from the curriculum.
Inefficient Time Management
Without the institution to help determine times of when the students would need to study, this serves as a problem unto itself. Most students would see this as a perk, but in reality, managing when you would study is a much harder task than you would think.
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As studying in its essentiality is disengaging, the set course provided by universities actually at times serve as a boost in the feeling of responsibility that is set upon the shoulders of the students, preventing them from wasting their time to procrastinate. On the other hand, the freedom to control their own workflow may prove to be a monumental challenge to some, if not most students. Especially considering that those that partake in distance learning would most likely juggle other responsibilities besides studying such as work or other activities.
To solve this, the institution cannot really do much as if they take away the freedom of time management, it would erase the whole purpose of distance learning. To help students have a more flexible learning time. A provider of this learning method can, however, provide a more engaging way of study such as incentives for the students to help them desire studying more.
Distance learning has many great promises of freedom not only students but also teachers. However, it is that very freedom that threats the success of the students. As human beings with emotions, it is natural to feel lazy when given with such a loose regimen, you can only hope that things such as gamification or other incentive method prove sufficient to motivate the students through the process.