During the last 18 months distance learning has moved from the side-lines to centre stage because of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. It really has come into its own because it has allowed everyone from every walk of life and at every age or education level to continue with their studies and safely.
It’s always been a good concept of course because of its inherent flexibility. It allows people to fit their learning around work and home life and learn at their own pace. Students can decide exactly when and where they study, in the bedroom, in a café, even on the bus and because distance is no issue then they can sign up for courses anywhere in the world.
A larger percentage of those who enrol for distance education are actually people who are working, so it’s ideal for upskilling and reskilling purposes. Online education also combines video lectures, tutorials and eLearning materials meaning students of differing abilities can understand the course in as much detail as they are able or desire.
Is Distance Learning Affordable?
Affordability is another major benefit. Online courses are generally less expensive than campus-based programmes and for institutions it can save time and money, while scores of learners can be accommodated in one lesson or programme.
Of course, distance education was already gaining popularity before the world was turned on its head in March 2020. And it’s easy to understand why. Distance learning helps those who are unable to attend campus-based or full-time courses to realise their educational aspirations.
However, the pandemic has seen even the usual routes to education blocked, meaning educators and students have had to pivot to online portals to adapt to the continually shifting educational landscape.
Mercifully Industry 4.0, namely the digital revolution is in full swing which has made enforced distance learning more possible. Who knows it might became ‘viral’ as the world take its time to navigate itself out of the health crisis with some experts asserting that online learning will become the norm. For many on both sides of the training/learning fence distance learning has been the only means available.
The ability of institutions to move over to distance learning has been quite extraordinary, pulling programmes together very quickly and seamlessly. It’s meant that students who were forced to return home wherever that might be, even overseas, haven’t been held back because they can continue with their studies.
Distance learning has also been really important for the economy during this pandemic period. Many sectors have skills gaps as well as qualified people leaving that need replacing. There are also new sectors that have immediate talent demands and the world won’t wait. So distance learning is and will continue to play its part in reskilling and upskilling.
Are There Drawbacks?
Naturally there are drawbacks too. Distance learning cannot replace the classroom experience, the social interaction and in-person collaboration which generates ideas and debate which are at the heart of education. Distance learning is safe and flexible, but nothing beats physical interaction, that ability to ‘show and tell’. Quite simply not everything can be taught in a Google Classroom.
Other disadvantages include not having the right equipment or the full ability to use or fix it and also the design and delivery of every course can differ greatly.
At Asset Training that is not a problem you will need to consider. We have expert trainers delivering a wide range of courses. Completion leads to accreditation and provides valuable additional skills for the world of work which many employers see as highly advantageous. What’s more many of courses can be accessed freely via funding.
Distance learning though has been vital in the last 18 months, helping people achieve their ambitions through education. It is also proving vital in helping the world rebuild as the worst of the pandemic abates.
And when it does will you be ready? Visit our distance learning pages now to find a course that’s right for you.