Distance Learning Centre Pros and Cons
What is a Distance Learning Centre?
There are many different words to describe a distance learning centre. Distance learning may be referred to as online learning, e-learning or home study. However, they are all created around the basic concept that there is distance between the lecturer and the learner. This is different from traditional learning which involves face to face interactions in a classroom.
The purpose of this is to increase the availability of learning. Furthermore, it can allow individuals from one part of the world to learn from another part of the world.
Distance learning has become particularly important in the time of Coronavirus. With schools being closed down, there had to be an alternative to ensure that the world continues to be educated. Without the option for students to study, it would be hugely detrimental.
Read on if you want to discover the pros and cons of distance learning. This could help you to decide whether it is fit for you.
Distance Learning Pros
There is a long list of pros to distance learning:
Firstly, if distance learning is conducted online, it can be flexible. For the most part, this allows for flexibility because you are able to learn from wherever you want with an internet connection. However, some online colleges are better than others when it comes to flexible learning. Therefore, it is important to check how flexible the course is before you choose a provider.
Here at The College of Contract Management, we recognise the desire for flexible learning which is why we offer our courses on the weekends and evenings to fit around full-time work. In addition, we also record many of our lectures so that those who cannot attend live, can access the presentation when they are free.
2. Personal Working Environment
A distance learning centre allows you to set up your own personal space for learning. Usually, the only thing you will need is a good internet connection and a laptop. You can choose where to learn, it could be in your bedroom, office, living room or a cafe. Moreover, the benefit of having a working environment that is tailored to you is that you are more likely to work productively.
It is a common problem that those who work with others in a noisy classroom is too disruptive and those that enjoy independent learning do much better with online learning.
3. Reduced Costs
The next ‘pro’ is the fact that a distance learning centre or online college is usually more affordable than a university or other in classroom centres. This is due to their not being a venue, fewer materials because they are all online and no travel costs. In addition, you will not have to pay for additional accommodation.
This is one of the most desirable aspects of online learning. As an example, you could study for an Advanced Diploma in Structural Engineering, at a much lower cost than a university degree, here at the College of Contract Management. Moreover, you don’t have to neglect great education for an affordable study option as our online course will give you the essential skills you need to enter the job industry.
4. You Can Often Choose When to Study
Another benefit is that a lot of online courses will allow you to choose when you study. This is something that our courses can offer you with our recorded lectures. Although you may miss out on live lectures with the group, you do get the option to learn in all of your personal free time.
5. Efficent Use of Time
Many people are drawn to distance learning centres because they allow you to make full use of your time. With face to face learning, you may have to travel to the centre or university, take time to wait for lecturers to be available or spend time in a session that does not serve you well. On the other hand, online learning can allow you to spend more time on valuable learning as well as have time to do other things too.
Distance Learning Cons + How We Respond to Them
1. You Have to Ensure You Get Sufficient Support
One of the reasons a distance learning centre may put off a learner is the lack of interaction with the lecturer. You can’t have face to face interactions like you do in a classroom. However, here at the College of Contract Management, we notice the importance of interaction between students and lecturers. Being able to ask lecturers questions can be one of the best learning aids. Therefore, we ensured that students got the chance to ask questions over live video chat. Many of our prior learners appreciate the ability to have live sessions so that they can mimic the feel of an online class, excluding all of the unimportant stuff.
2. The Lack of Interaction With Others
Other individuals say that distance learning does not allow for making friends and regular social contact. This may be the case for some learning providers, so it is important that you research how the centre ensures that you still have this contact with others as well as networking opportunities. Our courses are offered all over the world so although you may not be meeting people in person, you will get the chance to network with students from many different countries.
3. You Need to Be Self Motivated
Distance learning involves a lot of self-motivation. As you are most likely studying from home, you do not have a teacher to tell you to do work all the time as you may have in a traditional classroom. Therefore, you have to work hard to motivate yourself. Moreover, the home environment is usually associated with relaxing which can make it hard to keep motivated. The environment of a classroom is solely for learning which puts you in the right mindset. Therefore, if you decide to choose distance learning, the best option would be to study in a room that is not for relaxing. A study is helpful but if you do not have that then sectioning off a part of a room for working is also useful.
4. There is The Possibility of Technical Issues
There are issues that may occur with a distance learning centre. If the learner does not have a good internet connection it could create delays. In addition, learners must understand how to use all of the software to make learning efficient. However, these issues can be avoided with induction sessions demonstrating how to use the software as well as recording sessions for those who may have had trouble accessing it live. Although you could make the conclusion that this could interrupt learning, so can things such as delayed buses and traffic, with traditional learning.
5. Feedback May Be Limited
In some distance learning centres, there is a concern that feedback on work is limited. Moreover, the interaction between the student and teacher could be reduced which would reduce the conversations on student progression. Although this may be true for some distance learning centres, here at the College of Contract Management we ensure the best feedback possible. Not only can you ask the lecturers questions during live lectures and send them emails, but you will also be given feedback at each point to help you improve. A great example of this is our CIOB Professional Review Coaching. Our coaches guide you through every process and give you feedback. They will only recommend that you make your application once you are likely to pass. Moreover, we have a 100% pass rate with this coaching service so it is proven to be successful for your development.
Perfect Courses for Those Who Want to Advance Their Career
All of the courses we offer here at the College of Contract Management will advance your career in some way. However, here is a list of a few of the best courses for those who work full time and would like a carer change or promotion.
This NVQ course is great for those who would like to become a site manager. It is for those who are professionals on a construction site who have some managerial experience. Moreover, this course is great for those who do not have a lot of time on their hands, away from the job. This is because the NVQ is an assessment of your abilities on-site, you are not assessed on learning any new materials. This is one of our most popular courses, offered in the UK.
In addition, our CPD courses are perfect for those who would not have the time commitment for a long course. These CPD courses are only a few sessions long and give you formal CPD hours. These are ideal for those who want to add to their skills in their spare time.
This Level 7 Diploma in Strategic Management and Leadership is for those who have some experience in business. For example, you may have degree in business but would like to advance this further to gain the skills in management and leadership. This could be to help you obtain a position as a leader or to boost skills if you are starting your own business.
In terms of companies, we also offer courses for them. Our in-house courses are great for teams of employees who need to advance their skills. We offer them in many construction-related areas including expert witness.
The final course we would like to mention is our range of coaching services and courses that will enable to you to obtain membership. These are memberships to non-profits and chartered organisations. We offer to coach for CIOB, RICS, APE and ICE memberships. These are the ultimate organisations to join if you want to advance your employability and general skills.
This article has outlined 5 pros (or positives) to a distance learning centre, and 5 cons (or negatives). There are many positives that could be enough to convince you that distance learning is most ideal for you, but if that is not enough, we also demonstrated how we respond to the typical examples of negatives. Furthermore, your decision between traditional learning and online learning is most likely influenced by your personal preferences. For example, you may have commitments for which you must stay home, in which case online learning would be better. On the other hand, you may want to socialise with others and have other experiences in traditional learning.
The most common reason that individuals choose distance learning is when they have been working full time and want to advance their career. You can learn additional skills on the weekends. It may also be those who have already had the school experience and need a more laid back option.
Finally, we mentioned some of the best courses for those who are looking to advance their career. Many of the courses we mentioned in this list are flexible and for those who are working full time. This means that they are perfect for those who need to learn on weekends and evenings and whenever else they can fit it in.
If you want to ask us any questions about how we have perfected our online learning to meet the student’s requirements, you can contact us here.