This is a guest post from ICS learning
The advances in communication technology that the Internet has brought into almost every home have had a particular impact in the way that people gain access to different levels of possible educational achievement. There are now a great many non-profit and for profit organisations that offer an incredibly wide ranging prospectus of various subjects and qualifications, from the highest level Masters Degrees through to vocational and employment specific related programmes and diplomas.
The idea of learning from home used to carry something of a stigma of being second rate, a cut price version of qualifications which ultimately weren’t as good as ‘the real thing’. Today more than ever before this has been proved to be complete nonsense, with some of the finest universities in the world now embracing new technologies to pass on their resources and teachings to students based in off-site in locations all over the world.
Home study coursecan generally be divided into two different groups, ‘synchronous learning’ and ‘asynchronous learning’. The first is basically a ‘virtual’ classroom, utilising Internet conferencing or videoconferencing based around a shared timetable. It also includes educational television, which the UK’s ‘Open University’ popularised in the 70s.
Photo credit: Rob3d
Asynchronous learning is where people organise their own schedule around course materials and this flexibility means it is perfect for those who may already have time consuming obligations. This allows them to fit their study around existing employment restrictions or family responsibilities such as caring for children or sick relatives.
Off-site learning can also provide the perfect solution for those for whom geography is itself an issue. For many reasons it is impractical for people to change location or travel great distances to attend courses based at specific physical locations. This can be for issues relating to health or mobility challenges as much as it can be for financial considerations.
For some people, age is also an issue. The idea of ‘going to university’ is very much connected with a particular phase of life, generally starting at the end of the teenage years and going on through the early 20s; depending on how far into academia someone wishes to travel.
Consequently some are put off of the idea of taking up further education options because they would feel out of place as a ‘mature student’ amongst people of much younger ages. This is another way in which distance learning can be a practical way of solving issues which might otherwise stand in the way of achieving educational goals.
So whether you are simply looking to top up your certificates collection with another GCSE or you are looking to complete a doctorate or Masters Degree, the idea of using home learning programmes could be the perfect solution. The qualifications gained from these courses are in no way inferior to those obtained via the traditional route and mean you can benefit from the opportunities these provide no matter how old you are when you obtain them.