Distance learning: advantages and disadvantages
For those who have already finished college, studying a specialization adds a competitive advantage to the curriculum. Continuing with your studies is more likely to evolve in your career , reach higher salaries and occupy leadership positions.
This type of training demands investment of time and money, therefore, it may represent difficulties in accessing it for many professionals. But distance postgraduate studies appear to be a great solution.
Flexible and with lower monthly fees, this type of course provides quality training and recognized certification. In order to help you better understand the specifics of this post format, we present its pros and cons. Follow!.
What is how does postgraduate distance learning work?
The online postgraduate course is in the form of distance education (EAD), therefore, it is characterized as training without regular meetings between professor and student. In this teaching format, learning takes place with the support of communication technologies.
To participate in the classes and access the contents, you must have a computer, tablet or other equipment, such as a smartphone, connected to the internet. Regarding the disciplines, they are offered in modules and made available on digital platforms.
Such spaces, known as Virtual Learning Environments — VLEs — have multiple functionalities. Planned to promote maximum interaction to graduate students, they provide modern and efficient resources.
As for the workload, a postgraduate course at a distance provides for a minimum of 360 hours/class. For members of the so-called lato sensu segment , courses structured in this way can be either specialization or MBA .
The latter, whose translated acronym means Master in Business Administration, is not a master’s course. It is a type of specialization aimed at professionals who wish to gain knowledge and skills in management and leadership in certain areas of activity.
What are the advantages of distance post?
Like all distance courses, postgraduate courses have gained enormous space in the educational scenario, as they provide several advantages, such as more flexibility, affordable costs and the development of relevant skills. Check it out below!
The great advantage of an EAD course is that it makes it possible to combine work, studies and other daily commitments. This flexibility makes it possible to fit the learning moments into the daily schedule, however tight it may be.
After all, in distance learning, the student chooses when to access content and do exercises. Thus, continuing studies is very convenient for those who do not have a lot of free time.
The cost of the course is another point that counts in favor of distance postgraduate studies. As it does not depend on physical spaces — since most of the activities take place in virtual environments —, it demands less infrastructure spending on the part of the institution.
This is reflected in affordable tuition compared to on-site courses. There is also the question of the size of classes, which, in the online modality, can be larger than those enrolled in traditional education.
Both differentiated conditions play in favor of the lower monthly fees perceived in distance specializations. Therefore, in this teaching modality the price tends to be much lower than that charged for a face-to-face course.
Another issue that also influences the student’s pocket is the fact that they do not need to spend on transportation to travel to the educational institution, which also represents savings in the budget. Here are still details, such as food and expenses with printed materials.
In postgraduate distance courses, the student has autonomy, as he can choose the best way to study. This is especially important for those who take a specialization course or an MBA, since they are people who work and need to organize their study schedules according to their routine.
Thus, the student studies in the place and at convenient times. If, for example, it was difficult to study during the week, you can organize Saturday or Sunday in order to catch up on the course content. Another favorable point is that, in the virtual environment, the student is the one who dictates the pace of learning.
It is possible to advance faster in the disciplines with which he is more comfortable and revise, as many times as necessary, the subjects that he considers complicated. Unlike a face-to-face class, you don’t have to wait for the whole class to assimilate the content and ask questions to continue the course.
In addition, as in this format the professional studies alone, he is encouraged to seek even more content outside of class on the topics studied, because he knows that he does not acquire knowledge only when he is in the presence of the professor. On the contrary learning can take place anywhere.
Encouraging the development of skills
Those who choose to do postgraduate studies at a distance exercise various skills during their training. Among these skills, time management and discipline stand out, as the smooth running of the course depends on this.
The student is at the forefront of building his knowledge, so he needs to be able to create an effective study routine and dedicate himself to completing the postgraduate course. And another gain developed is proactivity, essential for those who study remotely.
Of course, here, it is possible to count on teachers and tutors to answer questions and help in the production of knowledge. However, the initiative to access content, deepen research and seek support, when necessary, must come from the student himself.
There is also an increase in familiarity with technologies. This gain comes from the frequent contact with the study platform, the AVA, which leads the student to expand their domains of use of digital resources.
What are the disadvantages of distance post?
As in virtually all possible choices in life, distance learning courses have aspects that can be considered disadvantageous. See some below!
Adaptation to the distance format
The greater freedom provided by distance postgraduate studies, if for many it is a gain, for some it may represent difficulty. This is because this teaching modality requires the student to take charge of their learning process.
This responsibility, without the obligation to attend classes and free from the rigid schedule of face-to-face courses, can result in a lack of commitment. From then on, the person runs the risk of accumulating material, losing motivation and even dropping out of the course.
Less interpersonal contact
Virtual learning environments do not replace the experience one has in the physical academic environment. In the classroom, the conditions for productive networking are immense, after all.
We live with colleagues, who generally share similar interests and professional experiences. The exchange of ideas with professors also tends to be enriching in a face-to-face postgraduate experience.
In a distance course these elements are not so present. It is necessary to have more flexibility to circumvent the impersonality of the virtual environment and develop certain digital skills that provide fruitful conditions for networking and interpersonal relationships.
How to do well in online graduate school?
To get around the possible difficulties mentioned above and do well in online postgraduate studies, you need to focus on the goal of advancing your career. In addition, to facilitate your success in studies, we have prepared the tips below. Check out!
Fit studies into routine
The organization of studies for those who face the challenge of reconciling work and graduate studies at a distance depends on several factors. Among them, the routine itself, work schedules and limits — physical and mental — of the student.
One way to reconcile these aspects with your studies is to make a schedule with your daily appointments. And take advantage of the gaps throughout the week to access the course contents, as it will be very valuable to prevent them from accumulating.
The tip is, in addition to getting organized, not procrastinating, choosing a quiet place to review the materials and stay away from distractions, such as social networks. That way, you can concentrate and better absorb the proposed topics.
Build a network of contacts.
If face-to-face contact does not take place in this format, the internet is ready to fill this gap. The idea is to start from the contact on the AVA to add distance graduate colleagues on social networks, especially those with an emphasis on the job market, such as LinkedIn.
Other tools that pave the way for building a broad and relevant network of contacts are Skype and Hangouts — practical means of holding online meetings and meetings. It is also possible to gather colleagues in WhatsApp groups.