Distance education or distance learning is a field of education that focuses on teaching methods and technology with the aim of delivering teaching, often on an individual basis, to students who are not physically present in a traditional educational setting such as a classroom. It has been described as "a process to create and provide access to learning when the source of information and the learners are separated by time and distance, or both. Distance education courses that require a physical on-site presence for any reason (including taking examinations) have been referred to as hybrid or blended courses of study.
Perhaps the biggest advantage of distance education programs is accessibility. Distance education programs allow people to pursue education from the comfort of their home without having to make major changes to their lifestyle.
Another great advantage of distance education programs is their ability to fit into students' schedules. Quite often, a busy life can get in the way of pursuing an education. And a busy life, while meaningful and necessary for many, doesn't have to be a reason to hold you back from completing your educational goals.
An additional advantage of distance education programs is there may be fewer restrictions placed on the number of students allowed per class. And while there may be a limit to the number of students an e-learning class can ultimately accept, students generally are able to take the classes they want. It may be that online classes are more accessible as a whole.
The main disadvantages for the students are the loss of direct (i.e., non-mediated), visual interaction with the professor and the other students, the loss of immediate feedback, the loss of motivation and the high rate of failures and drop-outs, and the problem of isolation. The main disadvantages for the professor are the loss of the dynamics of the class, the loss of immediate feedback (e.g.,...