This article discusses the positive as well as the negatives of Online PhD Programs.
What is Distance Learning?
Distance learning or online PhD Programs are educational programs that are conducted through an online platform. This process allows students from all over the world the ability to conduct their educations at their top choice universities without having to foot the travel and moving costs. There are different challenges that a distance learner experiences that traditional students never encounter. They are also many positive aspects of the distance learning programs.
Online PhD Programs – Pros
Education is a wonderful experience and opportunity. Online PhD programs allow even the busiest students the opportunity to study. Some of the most positive aspects of online PhD programs are listed below.
- Flexibility: Sometimes life happens and you don’t always get to focus on just your education. Many people have prior commitments to family or work that they cannot get out of. Distance learning provides these students with the opportunity to participate in their education in their own time. The online distance programs normally provide at least a week worth of academics at a time and allows the student to log on in their spare time in order to work through their programs.
- Support: Universities strive to provide the same amount of support for all their students regardless if they are traditional or distance learners. The main difference is that students who are distance learners will conduct their meetings through skype or other online avenues. They typically also have to check in more and keep in constant contact with their supervisor.
- Attendance: At times during online PhD programs it becomes important for the student to make the travel to the home university. This is usually done for a few days and majority of the universities will help foot the cost of travel and other expenses as long as you meet their attendance requirements. This also provides students with the opportunity to meet face to face with the team that is helping them succeed as well as gives them an opportunity to do some hands on research at the university library. It also serves as a way to keep students accountable towards their educations.
Online PhD Programs – Cons
With any educational program there are some issues that will arise when conducting a PhD program via distance learning. Some of these issues are addressed below.
- Limited Availability: Not every university in the world offers online courses and for those that do offer these distance learning opportunities not all of the programs are offered online.
- Limited Resources: This is a problem seen with many Online PhD Programs because if you are studying at home you do not have immediate access to labs to conduct research. Students are also limited to research books that are in their immediate area or that are provided through the schools online library system. This can put a damper on research because there is not an immediate availability.