High demands on independent study planning
Given the numerous advantages of distance learning, one wonders: what it takes to study remotely? Oh yeah! It’s always worth looking at both sides of the coin. Because many an apparent advantage could sooner or later turn out to be a huge disadvantage.
Freedom of time and location is a stumbling block
The freedom of time and location is undoubtedly one of the advantages of distance learning. Nevertheless, if there is a lack of self-organization, the “great freedom” can quickly turn out to be a stumbling block and a serious disadvantage. If you don’t take care of the organization of your studies, grind your learning and let yourself be constantly distracted, you will never finish and will have to abandon the distance learning sooner or later.
To pursue a distance learning course over several months and years until successful completion requires a high degree of organizational talent, time management, discipline and perseverance.
The longer you make, the more difficult it is
Basically, the longer the distance learning course, the more difficult it will be. A correspondence course lasting several weeks is easier to complete than a bachelor’s degree, which extends over three, four or four and a half year. In the meantime, there will be summers when friends meet up for a barbecue while you cram yourself for the next exam. And pre-Christmas weekends when the family bakes cookies at home in a contemplative mood while attending a face-to-face seminar. On the other hand, some tutors help in coping with such engagements, such as A level biology tutor at StudyMind.
Self-organizing breaks your neck!
The high demands on self-organization have literally “broken necks” for many distance students. What sounds so simple in theory can turn into a tough chunk in practice that has to be conquered. When do I learn? Where do I learn? Where do I have my peace? How much learning material do I work on? How long do I study? These are all questions that you have to answer yourself.
There is no timetable, no attendance list, no fixed dates for lectures, seminars, exams, etc. There are even alternative dates for the compulsory attendance phases in distance learning. If necessary, distance learning can also be extended or even paused. There are enough back doors to leave open. That is of course not the point.
Fast completion needs sacrifices
If you want to graduate relatively quickly via distance learning, you have to make sacrifices. In simple words, it means: less time (for partners, family, friends, hobbies, etc.) and/or less money (e.g., through job breaks, part-time work, etc.). Full-time workers have a particularly tough time as their day is already packed with commitments. Get yourself up to study after work while others watch TV and relax on the sofa. Partners, family, friends and hobbies have to be accommodated “somehow”. Distance learning doesn’t make life easier.
On the contrary: distance learning is tough. Only if he has the necessary will, bite and a sound motivation (“What goal do I pursue with distance learning?”), But above all can show perseverance in the form of perseverance, has a chance of successfully completing the distance learning project.
In particular, the limiting factor of time must be sufficiently taken into account. The initial motivation quickly evaporated. Many prospective students underestimate the actual time required to study and overestimate their time capacities. Anyone who, when working through the first study documents, finds, for example, that their own previous knowledge of mathematics, statistics, etc. is insufficient, will have to refresh them. This can take some time and mess up the organization of your studies.
Time management considerations should ideally take place before the start of your studies. Based on the time available (with sufficient security buffers), considerations can then be made with regard to the study time model and the number of modules/courses to be taken.
If you have already been to school or study several years ago, it is urgently recommended to refresh the necessary basic knowledge before receiving the first study documents in order to be able to continue the learning process seamlessly.
By the way: self-organization doesn’t always depend on you. The personal environment, i.e., partners, children, other family and close friends can and should be included in the project. After all, it is not unlikely that they will be particularly considerate during their studies (e.g. so that you can study in peace at home) and have to show understanding (e.g., because you have less time for them).
You have to manage studies with job
If you want to complete distance learning alongside your job, you should think twice. if necessary also to initiate the employer. It does not always have to make sense (e.g., if there is no connection between the distance learning course and the professional activity or if a job change is sought). In that case, the current employer will certainly hardly be interested in support. After all, he must expect to lose a good employee.
But if the content of distance learning is also useful to the employer (direct transferability to practice) or the distance learning is even intended for career advancement in the company, the employer should become part of the plan.
The professional obligations cannot always be foreseen over several academic years. If restructuring takes place in the company in the form of changed working hours and new areas of responsibility, this can thwart the study plan. Overtime or relocations to new offices (possibly longer journeys, less time to study) also mess up the schedule. At this point, consideration and understanding from the employer, for example in the form of vacation for stressful learning phases before the exams, can be worth gold.
Not too much, but cost
Usually, distant learning, offered by universities, have a significant tuition fee. Since they effort in scheduling and making course structure, they provide exceptional study material that helps in grooming. Some recognized distant learning institutions cost more than conventional studies and classes (face-to-face) learning. However, student must have to consider its cost before enrolling and ensure whether he or she can bear through the entire period of studies.