Distance learning has become increasingly popular in recent years. In days gone by, the only education people were able to benefit from was delivered at school, college or university. For those who had the benefit of a supportive family, financial security and teachers who genuinely wanted their pupils to learn, gaining qualifications was a relatively easy and enjoyable process. Those who did not enjoy such benefits were often confined to performing limited jobs or careers that did not utilise their talents, and which paid meagre salaries. People who did not do as well at school as they would have liked did not appear to have many options other than to consider that they had missed their chance to get into a career, and to continue working in roles in which they were unhappy. Fortunately, the idea that ‘you had your chance’ to benefit from learning as a teenager is no longer considered reasonable or fair. People of all ages, from all walks of life, are now able to restart their education in any direction of their choosing. Distance learning is an option that suits many, as they are able to combine their studies with other commitments such as families and paid work.
You will get much more out of your distance learning experience if you are engaged in a course that genuinely interests you. Don’t choose a course because you think it is what you should be doing, or because of potential future earnings. If you are studying a subject that you really enjoy, studying will not be another chore to overcome; you’ll want to read, write and question everything, and it will become a pleasure.
Maintaining a routine can be a great way to ensure that you benefit from a distance learning course. Fortunately, as you set your own schedule with home learning, you don’t have to follow a prescribed timetable. However, human beings are creatures of habit. If you establish a routine of studying for your course at a certain time every day, you will become so accustomed to this that it will not feel difficult to get started: your learning will become a natural part of your daily activities that you begin without questioning.
If you want to ensure that you benefit from everything that distance learning has to offer, it is a good idea to establish a positive relationship with your tutor. The tutor is there to help you to get the most out of your studies, so don’t be afraid to ask questions. Even when your questions are answered, don’t hesitate to use the tutor as a sounding board for your thoughts and ideas.
Distance learning does not have to mean that you are not able to enjoy the advantages of interacting with your classmates. Join online forums and groups, and use these to share ideas, discuss problems and forge working relationships.
Learning at home can be a life enriching experience. In order to reap all the benefits, you should choose your course carefully, create a workable routine, and engage with your tutor and classmates. It might just be the best choice you ever make!
I'm a former English teacher and private tutor who is passionate about education. I've been writing professionally for the past three years and have written educational worksheets for use in schools as well as contributing to an educational journal. I've also written on every other topic under the sun!