Back to the Basics: Long Distance Learning

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  • There was once a time when many people used to be taught at home to save time and money (or because receiving an education was not readily made available). Although many people now physically go to campuses to learn more skills and get an education, not everyone can enjoy the luxury. Fortunately, for people that do not have enough time or money to get a formal education, long distance learning is available.

    What Is Distance Learning?

    Distance learning refers to the practice of receiving an education that is not strictly limited to the classroom. For example, in the past, people could learn new skills or get a degree by watching VHS tapes and DVDs. Yet, some distance learning courses typically still required people to spend at least some of their time on campus to learn certain skills. Fortunately, today’s distance learning courses typically involve learning new skills or earning a degree through online use only.

    How Can Courses Be Taken?

    To take advantage of online courses, you first have to find an accredited company or school to work with. Unfortunately, if you do not choose a program that is readily recognized by employers, you can easily waste a lot of time and effort.

    Most online courses use a variety of different tools to help people achieve their goals. For example, forums, messageboards, instant messaging, email, and social media are all methods used to help connect instructors and students. Additionally, webcasts and podcasts are popularly used to provide lectures and course materials for students to benefit from.

    Once you have successfully completed a course, you will receive the proper credit associated with it.

    What Courses Are Available?

    There are a great number of courses available in every field possible for people to take advantage of. Whether you want to learn more about film or work toward becoming a doctor, there are courses to be found. However, each company or learning institution will have different available options to choose from. To ensure that you find the right course for your needs, you will need to search accredited schools and learn if you must meet certain requirements.

    How Do You Know if Distance Learning Is Right for You?

    While distance learning provides a great opportunity for people to upgrade their skills or further their education, it is not a decision to be taken lightly. Although online learning is certainly much cheaper overall than earning a traditional education, you must be committed to make it worthwhile. Since you will have to mostly work at your own pace, you have to be highly self motivated to succeed.

    Fortunately, you can still receive motivation by interacting with your peers and instructors through the online methods mentioned above. By building relationships with other students, you can arrange study groups and get the encouragement you need to succeed.

    Long distance learning is an excellent way of bettering yourself without leaving the comfort of your home. However, to truly make the best of the experience, just remember to always do your research to ensure that it is the right option for your unique needs.

    Paige Burton is a former high school counselor. Now retired, she loves to keep her finger on the pulse of modern education.

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