Making the move into further studies is a hard enough choice, but it’s important to also consider the delivery methods available. Studying through distance learning, or in class, both have their advantages and disadvantages and these tend to differ with every student.
Let’s take a look at these two options in more detail and help you determine which might be best for you.
In-Class Studying– In Person, Hands-on and a Whole Lot of Fun
Let’s face it, in-class studies tend to be a very attractive option for most students, with the vast majority choosing this delivery mode when they choose to go to a Polytechnic or University. Whether you want to study courses in Auckland or courses in Christchurch; having the option of attending physically is very appealing to a lot of New Zealanders.
Attending classes holds plenty of allure, including have resources such as teachers readily available, as well as more practical, hands-on elements. Many school-leavers choose this options mainly for the social engagement, after all, there’s nothing quite like being surrounded by like-minded peers and having the opportunity to make life-long friends.
- The Interactive Environment- Attending classes and lectures in an academic environment can definitely be a motivator to learn more. The resources and materials available can far exceed those available at your home and is one of the main reasons so many students come to attend classes ‘in the flesh’.
- The Teacher Support- there’s nothing more convenient than being able to approach a staff member or teacher and ask them a question directly. After all, some queries and concerns are time sensitive and need to be answered straight away. Sending an email asking when an assignment is due always has the added risk of not being answered in time.
- The Social Scene- nothing beats the lifelong memories and friendships that can be formed on campus and being surrounded by those going through the same course can act as a great support network.
- The Location- just being about to leave the house, go somewhere different and explore the surrounding area of a campus is a great benefit. Not only that, but having facilities such as a library readily available can help cut back on time otherwise spent procrastinating and getting distracting, which is always a possibility at home.
- Sticking to a Schedule– Let’s face it, sometimes things just come up and being held down to a structured learning schedule just doesn’t always suit. Missing out on attending a lecture or a class can easily put you behind but isn’t always so easily avoided. Attending higher education comes with the responsibility of being in charge of your own study, and when that laziness kicks in and the idea of getting out of bed to attend an 8am class is too much, no one else is going to be forcing you to go.
- The Dreaded Compulsory Attendance- Some Universities and Polytechnics make attendance a mandatory requirement, with this sometimes being an addition component to your overall assessment. If you miss or skip a class, it can have consequences which can stick around.
- Travel- Not everyone has a campus nearby, while some choose to attend somewhere that’s in a reasonable distance from home, not every institution provides all courses at all levels, meaning that this isn’t always an option. Traffic, unreliable public transport and the draining commute can all effect motivation to attend, not to mention make it outright impossible for some to access further study.
Distance Learning NZ– Available Wherever and Whenever You Need
Online study is a booming industry, with more people choosing distance learning in New Zealand every year to help them gain their desired qualification. Not only can you access it where ever you like, you have the opportunity to balance your studies around your commitments.
- Convenience – Imagine being able to access an abundance of resources, support and material right from your very own home? Well, now you can, with all this and more provided through the hundreds of distance education options in New Zealand across virtually every qualification level and study area.
- Learn at Your Own Pace- Juggling work, life and personal commitments are hard enough, but choosing to study as well can make this seem impossible. Studying courses online through distance learning is not only convenient, but can allow you to choose what you learn and when you learn it. There’s no schedule to stick to, no commitment to a specific time, just available to you at your earliest convenience.
- One-on-one Support- Universities and Polytechnics in New Zealand have thousands of students, which significantly reduces teacher’s ability to give individual support when its needed. Online study often comes with smaller, more intimate support options, with many teachers and learning staff available whenever you need.
- No Need to Even Leave the House- Attending a lecture in your PJ’s? It’s possible through distance learning, at least in a virtual lecture. Having the convenience of studying wherever you like, there’s no limit on when you can access your studies. If you go overseas? No worries, all you need is internet connection.
- Little Interaction- The main downside of distance learning? Interaction tends to be minimal. Some courses may need a small portion of in-person attendance, but for the most part, this delivery method comes with a lack of social interactions and has the potential to have communication be a problem.
- Reliant on Technology- If you’re not good with rebooting a laptop when it decides to unexpectedly switch off, or always forget to save your work; these can be major issues for you if you choose distance learning. Due to everything being stored online, accessing these learning resources can be a problem if your internet isn’t working and not to mention be seriously frustrating.
- Self- Motivation- Even though there’s no structured schedule that needs to be followed, studying a course online still needs a fair share of time management, planning and commitment. Dealing with other commitments can make it hard to remember when assignments are due and being in your own home has the potential to lead you astray, especially if the latest episode of The Bachelor is on TV. Moral of the story: be wary if you’re easily distracted or prone to bouts of serious procrastination.
So, which mode of study will be best for you?
Don’t forget, many education providers offer a blended learning option, which combines the very best of both delivery modes. Not only is the majority of your resources available online where you can study where you want, but you also need to attend the classes that give you that extra support and social interactions only available on campus.