Online Education & Job Training Programs  

Distance education

Distance education is the delivery of educational courses to students who are not in the same room or building with an instructor. There are several different ways distance learning courses can be delivered including online, through streaming video, and through audio CD programs. All of them have benefits and drawbacks. Online distance education classes are ideal for busy professionals or people with many personal obligations who can't get to an on-site class at a scheduled day and time each week. The disadvantage of online distance education courses is that you don't have the benefit of being able to ask the instructor questions in real time. Video and audio courses are ideal for people who learn quickly and don't need a lot of group interaction. The drawbacks of distance education are a lack of interaction and the need for special equipment for playing CDs or streaming video feeds.

Types of distance education
When people think of distance education, they usually think about college classes being offered online or through a video or audio program. Online and video college courses are just one type of distance education. Continuing education courses for adults and professionals are also offered as a part of many distance education programs. Distance education programs for adults usually focus on career skills that can be applied immediately to the workplace. Company training programs often take the form of distance education, particularly when a company has several locations. Instead of having a trainer travel to each location at company expense, online and video distance education courses can be developed and viewed in any location. Finally, distance education courses can also be courses that are taken purely for enjoyment rather than academic or professional credit. Personal distance education courses are delivered on topics such as home repair, gardening, and basic computer skills.

Benefits of distance education
There are many benefits to distance education for all types of students. These benefits can be broken down into several categories so that distance education programs can be compared side by side.

There are many financial benefits to enrolling in distance education programs. One of the most immediate benefits is that students do not have to spend additional money on gasoline and car maintenance to get to campus. Some college students commute two hours round trip each day to take classes. When you enroll in distance education courses, you can complete them from the comfort of your own home, eliminating the need for a commute. Some distance education programs are less expensive than traditional courses, leaving you with more money in your pocket. Completing distance education courses can also have future financial benefits. Getting additional education and training can lead to raises and promotions, increasing your salary.

There are also many scheduling benefits to enrolling in distance education programs. Most distance education courses don't require attendance at a specific day and time. Instead, you can access course videos and online materials at any time. If your schedule doesn't allow for traditional classes, distance education could be an excellent alternative. Again, distance education also eliminates the need for a commute to campus. Instead of driving for one or two hours each day, you can use the extra time to study, complete assignments, or take care of personal and professional obligations.

Learning pace
Everyone learns at a unique pace, which makes it difficult for some students to learn in traditional classroom settings. Slower learners may become frustrated at their lack of understanding and withdraw from a course because it is moving too quickly. On the other end of the spectrum, people who learn quickly may grow bored with the course because there's no real challenge involved. Distance education allows slow learners to move through the materials at a slow pace so understanding is enhanced. Fast learners can complete several lessons at one time so that they don't become bored and withdraw from the course.

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