Distance learning can be ideal for a great many people. It affords students with particular time and accessibility issues, to be able to attend college via the internet. This can be the perfect solution for those wanting to receive their degree, but are not physically able to attend night classes for one reason or another.
On the same note, distance learning can be problematic if you fall into the mistakes that these students sometimes tend to make. Online students must learn to manage their time, avoid disreputable schools and use their diplomas to their advantage. Be careful to avoid the following common mistakes.
Choosing the Wrong School: There are schools out there that will charge you a lot of money in order for you to receive a degree that is not worth much. This will probably be your number one challenge. Before you make your decision on which online school to enroll in, make sure it has the appropriate regional accreditation. Do your homework and research the type of programs, resources and support that will be provided. It is important that the school you choose provide a diploma you can be proud of.
Procrastination: All students, distance learners or not, tend to fall into this type of mismanagement of time. Unfortunately, this problem can be much greater when you have the freedom of completing classes at your own pace. The importance of time management becomes a primary focus for distance learners. Many students do not finish their degree because of this. Students need to set aside a disciplined schedule to complete their work on a monthly, weekly and daily basis or this just will not work.
Disconnect with Peers and Professors: A big part of learning is collaborating with your peers and classmates, plus the interaction with your professors. This is hard to when you are a distance learner. Try and take full advantage of the message boards, chat rooms, email and any other resources at your disposal, to develop these relationships. It is a great way to express your understanding of the material and a terrific way to stay motivated.
Paying Too Much: School is going to involve paying quite a bit of money. There is no way around it. Try to measure the pros and cons. Take out loans for the necessary and look for the lowest prices on books and supplies.
Not Getting Credits Transferred: If you have taken college course in the past, make sure to send in your transcripts and ask the counselors to check for course equivalency. Many credits may be transferred and you do not need to start from scratch. You may be able to petition to receive credit for courses that are not quite equivalent or some school may give you credit for “life experience” based on testing or portfolios.
Ignorance of Online Resources: There are many resources for students to take advantage of. Make sure you know where you can get the help you need. Familiarize yourself with the general resources such as virtual dictionaries, online books, and resources pertaining to your field of study. Knowing where to find this information and sites from the start will help you in the long run.