Technology has revolutionised many industries, and one of them is certainly education. It is alarming that there are still people who don't fully understand the benefit of making use of reputable e-learning facilities. The tools available today have made distance learning one of the fastest and easiest ways to improve your skills and pursue new careers.
Of course, this doesn't mean that campus, or face-to-face learning is obsolete. Attending a facility does come with a number of benefits, but we thought we would outline the pros and cons of learning at a physical institute versus distance learning to help you decide what would be best for you.
Looking at e-learning first, one of the major benefits is the incredible flexibility. Your learning can fit into your schedule, instead of the other way around. By making use of videos, chat rooms and other tools, you can hop in and progress with your studies whenever it best suits you.
Distance learning can have a positive impact on your self-discipline and handling of responsibility; skills which will be required of you when you enter the work place.
Cost is also an important factor. Many online institutions have lower overhead costs, due to the fact that there is no need to maintain a massive facility, which in turn allows for more affordable study fees.
Catching up, or recapping previous lessons is quick and easy, with the ability to redo lessons that may be slightly more difficult without feeling the pressure of having to hold back other students.
Of course, there are some shortcomings, including the fact that uninterested students will feel less pressure to keep pace. There is also a level of isolation which some may struggle with, while technical issues can be a frustration - such as slow computers or internet connections.
Moving to face-to-face learning, the obvious benefit is the fact that you have direct access to instructors. This can eliminate any confusion that you may have about tasks or information within the course, while networking is slightly easier.
The main shortcomings are the added cost of travelling, course fees and having to adjust your schedule to accommodate classes. This can have a major impact on your budget, while in the event of emergencies, you end up in a difficult situation of trying to catch up on classes you missed – as the instructor cannot repeat a lesson in class just for your benefit.
There is not a clear winner, as any studies at a reputable institute are beneficial; however, distance learning has grown in leaps and bounds in recent years, so due to the sheer convenience, incredible learning tools and lowered costs, it is quickly becoming the smarter option for many people around South Africa.