After 2 weeks of intense learning in this subject matter, I can confidently say that YES, it is worth taking distance learning courses. There are many benefits that outweigh its challenges.
Here are a few reasons I believe that distance learning is worth it:
- It’s good for bridging time and space (Dr. Kowch, 2012). When you are a busy mom and are working full time, it’s nice to have the flexibility of doing courses when you can find time. Whether that means you dedicate a night to course work or certain weekends, you can be flexible.
- It enhances the learning experience (Heinich et al., 2002 as cited in Simonson et al., 2012). If designed well, a distance course can provide me with multiple ways of accessing and viewing materials. This can be done through audio, videos and visuals (diagrams/pictures/3D images). As Amber stated in class: “if you have a very good visual, it will make it easier to access the harder concepts” (Amber Mazur, 2012)
- It allows users to review content several times. I like having the option to review course notes, reread assignment/group work expectations and deadlines. I can refer to discussions made in class by reading notes that were posted online.
- “If it’s designed well, engagement won’t be a problem” (Brian ‘t Hart, 2012). It won’t be difficult to keep student’s attention if the content is interesting, well presented in various ways, allows for interaction and reflection.
So, the next time you are offered an opportunity to take a distance course, take a look at how it’s structured and designed and then enroll yourself in the class. If it’s well designed then you won’t be disappointed.
Kahramaner, D., Rodriguez, J. & Kallman, B. (2012). Remote Learning Project. Retrieved from http://remotelearningproject.com/