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Whether taking undergraduate, graduate, continuing education, or personal enrichment classes, distance education learning can offer the opportunity to attend lectures, complete assignments, and take tests at one’s own convenience. Many of those who undertake distance education learning find that it has a number of benefits. These benefits can include scheduling flexibility, saved time and money, a wide choice of educational institutions, and minimal disruption to one’s lifestyle.
One of the most frequently cited benefits of distance education learning is the scheduling flexibility it allows. In most cases, students complete distance education assignments and attend virtual lectures at a time that is convenient for them. The flexibility of distance education can be especially useful for students who intend to work full time while they are students, who have young children, or who thrive when allowed to work at their own pace.
Another benefit of distance education learning is the amount of time it can save as compared to traditional classes. Most distance education classes are designed to be completed at home, usually using an Internet-enabled computer. This feature eliminates the need to commute to campus for classes. Additionally, course reading materials are often posted online so students do not need to spend time traveling to their institution’s library.
Further, distance education learning can be more affordable than a traditional college education. Often, tuition rates for distance education classes are cheaper than those for on-campus classes. Additionally, as distance courses are generally designed to be completed at home, distance education students are not required to pay on-campus room and board fees.
Distance education learning can also offer students an extremely wide choice of educational institutions. Students taking traditional college courses generally must either enroll at an institution that is within a reasonable distance from their homes, or move to the area where their institution is located. Conversely, distance education students can apply to any institution which offers distance learning opportunities. This feature can allow distance education students to take classes or earn a degree from a prestigious institution which would otherwise be too far away.
Overall, distance education learning generally causes little disruption to one’s lifestyle. This feature may be especially favorable to adult learners. Many students in their late teens and early twenties go away to college not only to obtain an education, but also to participate in the social aspects of the college experience. Distance education learning allows students to focus on their studies while sidestepping that traditional college experience.