Distance learning has opened doors for many students, especially for those who cannot afford to pay for the high fees of full-time courses. Although online distance learning courses have many advantages over on-campus degree courses, many factors come into play in order to make this a success for students. Due to the differences in the way that education is being delivered and acquired; adjustments and changes in approaches need to be undertaken.
Selecting the right distance learning school.
The first element for success is to choose the right distance learning school. There are many unscrupulous “degree mills” around in the market that are only keen to sell their degrees without providing good education and ample student support. As a result, the degrees offered by these institutions may not be recognized, or may sometimes even be regarded as bogus degrees. In order to prevent this, do the proper background check on the institution you are considering with the relevant authorities to verify on their accreditation and authenticity before registering.
Some students enroll in an online distance learning course without doing a cost benefit analysis of taking the course in the first place. It is a known fact that obtaining an education requires a hefty sum of investment. However, this should be compared with the potential additional income that can be generated from the degree that is earned. Only then can the full rewards be reaped from gaining an online degree.
Degree positioning to employers.
There have been many cases where employers were wary of the validity of online degrees. With so many online institutions selling degrees, it is justified for employers to exercise caution. Although a distance learning degree may be 100% legitimate, it would help if you provide adequate explanation on the accreditation of the degree in order to avoid misunderstanding. By stressing that the accreditation body which accredited your institution or your program is recognized by the US Department of Education as well as CHEA, you can then eliminate any doubts that employers about the validity of your degree.
Exercise discipline, determination and time management.
In the actual course of study, many students lack discipline and focus and therefore are unable to keep up with online lessons and assignments. It is very important for distance learning students to have great determination to succeed, as it is very easy to get de-motivated and distracted when you are alone with no peers. Good time management along with communication with other students would make excellent measures for success.
Make full use of facilities provided.
Much distance learning online courses offer online lectures and email correspondence to facilitate communication with lecturers, tutors and other students. These facilities should be utilized as much as possible as it provides a link back to the education institution. Furthermore, this would be a great source of motivation in order to keep progressing through the course of study.
Utilize credit transfers.
Most distance learning institutions allow students to transfer their credits from other courses that they had taken from other universities or colleges. This way, students will not have to repeat what they have already learnt. In order to do this, it is important for distance learning students to obtain transcripts and results from their previous schools and send them to their distance learning online university to obtain credit transfers.
Good utilization of technology for education.
The final element for distance learning success it the ability to make full use of the conveniences that technology has to offer. Many online universities provide students with online research resources that are valuable for completing assignments or producing research papers. The cost of facilities such as virtual libraries and online books has probably been factored into the fees paid and therefore it makes good sense to utilize these facilities to the fullest.
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