Education Gone Digital: The Rise of Distance Learning

Over the past twenty years, the number of online college classes has gone from basically zero to too many to count. The industry of online education has mushroomed since the mid-1990s, and there is little sign that it is ready to slow down. What has this change in educational modality meant to students? Is this an improvement in methods? There are pros and cons of online education that all students should keep in mind before signing up.

Benefits of Online Education

There are many benefits of online education that make it attractive to students. Some of these are quite obvious, but others are not nearly as evident at first glance. There have also been studies that show that  online students do better in some circumstances than their counterparts at face-to-face schools.


Online education contributes to a greater degree of freedom. Students have the freedom to work on class when they have time (within reason and the guidelines of due dates). Students can complete assignments from just about anywhere on the globe. This can be good for both truck drivers and jet-setting businessmen. On-site classes have to meet on a regular basis at a set time. Those who miss a class miss a whole day or week of notes and interaction. Online classes allow students to make up work more easily because all of the course materials are online.


Online classes can be cheaper, depending upon the educational institution chosen. Those who shop around for education are more likely to get better deals just like those who shop around for any commodity or service. Many students have to move to go to their dream school, and moving always costs money. Those who take online classes can access them from anywhere in the world, making moving unnecessary.


Many online courses have open enrollment. This means that anyone can access them. There are some people who cannot handle a college education, but there are also smart people who only started applying themselves after high school. These people may benefit from the open enrollment practices at these schools.


Online courses provide a level of anonymity for students. Most web-based classes require extensive interaction, and some students find this a scary proposition in a face-to-face setting. People who are naturally shy often come out of their shells in an online environment, and this can greatly enhance their learning experience.

There are also negatives that can be associated with online education. Prospective students should take these into consideration before taking classes over the internet.

Asynchronous Course Setup

While the asynchronous aspect of most online courses can be a benefit to self-directed learners, this can be a major negative for those who are dependent upon a teacher to merely dispense information. Online classes are better suited to those who are ready to take control of their own learning rather than those who are passive and are not ready to participate. Those who have trouble staying on task might find onsite classes easier.

Lack of Immediate Feedback

All classes, regardless of modality, will have a lag in feedback when it comes to tests or essays. Face-to-face classes have the benefit of automatic feedback on discussions, and allow for more extensive interaction on a personal level for those who are willing to get involved. This is not the case for web courses. Students will have to wait hours or longer to get answers to questions that could be answered immediately in an in-person class.

There is little doubt that online learning is here to stay. This form of learning can benefit students immensely, but it also has its drawbacks. All students should carefully assess their individual situation before embarking on any type of educational program.

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Guest article written by: Ty Whitworth for the team at; Chicago is a sweet town: be sure to visit Kendall to see their information on Chicago colleges and degree institutions.


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Guest article written by: Ty Whitworth for the team at; Chicago is a sweet town: be sure to visit Kendall to see their information on Chicago colleges and degree institutions.


5 thoughts on “Education Gone Digital: The Rise of Distance Learning”

  1. I guess, distance learning is a good idea. However, in my experience a person needs to be surrounded by other people pursuing the same objective. Why is this? Because, it is easier, to stay and still and actually finish school. Online education is for people with strong discipline foundations.

  2. With lot of freedom and low cost, internet is becoming the best option to study. There is ton of material available on different websites in the form of text, ebook, videos, tutorials which makes it easy for knowledge seekers to gain as much as they can in a very affordable manner.

  3. Distance education does not suit me. I tried to learn Android development using the tutorials available online, but offline courses was better….

  4. Digital learning is far most interacting and engaging activities than a traditional education method. I really liked your post. Very well explained .Thanks for sharing it.


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