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10 Long-Standing Myths About Distance Learning


To say that opinions on distance learning programs vary somewhat would be an understatement to say the least.  The fact that the quality of online learning has evolved so quickly over recent years has made it inevitable that many are entirely out of date with their presumptions.  Which is why it’s far from surprising but there are still so many longstanding myths and untruths about distance learning that really could do with being ousted once and for all.

So for those considering enrolling on a distance learning program though slightly concerned about the gossip, what follows is an overview of 15 genuinely harmful myths that have absolutely no grounding:

Myths – Most Online Schools Are Scams

Fact –  While there will always be online colleges that exist solely to defraud customers, they nonetheless represent only the tiniest fraction of the wider industry.  Diploma mills are becoming increasingly rare as it is becoming extremely difficult to get away we even remotely dishonest operations.  As such, while it is comprehensively easy to find an outstanding quality distance learning college, you’d have to search pretty intensively to find any truly dishonest dealers.

Myth – Distance Learning Courses Are Easier Than Traditional Courses

Fact –  Exactly how difficult or otherwise your course will be is determined entirely by the level of the course selected.  If you decide to choose a simple entry level course to begin exploring a new subject, chances are you’ll find the program relatively easy.  By contrast, if you choose a higher level diploma, it will be necessary to invest a great deal more time, efforts and commitment in order to succeed.  Distance learning itself has no bearing on course difficulty – it is all about the level of the course and the subject you choose.

Myth – Employers Do Not Place Any Real Value in Distance Learning Qualifications

Fact – According to a survey carried out a while back by the Society for Human Resource Management, no less than 79% all employers stated that they had recruited at least one person within the last year with an online qualification.  Not only this, but more than 90% stated that the value and quality of distance learning programs had increase exponentially over recent years.  In largely every industry and setting, a recognized distance learning qualification can help you take the next step in your career.

Myth – The Best Tutors and Professors Choose Not to Work in Distance Learning

Fact – It may surprise you to learn that not only are most distance learning tutors also fully employed and experienced college/university lecturers, but some of the most respected institutions in the world now also offer distance learning courses.  From Cornell to Harvard to Boston University to the University of South California and so many more besides, this myth is untrue for the simple reason that some of the most reputable and capable tutors in the world do indeed work in distance learning.

Myth – Course Quality Is Generally Lower with Distance Learning

Fact – Certainly not according to the Sloan Consortium, after a study revealed that 70% of leading academics figures surveys said that the quality of online educational programs is either equal to superior to that of conventional classroom courses.  Once again, it all comes down to the quality and stature of the online college you choose to study with.

Myth – Online Students Are Aimed at Those Unable To Get Into Traditional Colleges/Universities

Fact – Just because online learning is open to anyone with an interest in improving their education does not make this particular myth in any way true.  In fact, research has shown that somewhere in the region of 50% of all online students already have a college-level education or higher.  Distance learning programs are designed to be as flexible, accessible and accommodating as possible, in order to suit all backgrounds and capabilities.

Myth – Distance Learning Is Wholly Antisocial

Fact – While it’s natural to assume that there would be very little person-to-person interaction when it comes to distance learning, this isn’t necessarily the case at all.  Along with being provided with ongoing support and assistance from professional tutors, candidates also gain access to extensive and invaluable student forums.  This in turn allows them to reached out to and develop strong relationships with their fellow students – many of whom end up becoming friends for life.

Myth – Distance Learning Programs Are Too Expensive

Fact – While it’s perfectly possible to spend substantial sums of money on distance learning programs, this in no way means that all high quality online study opportunities are overpriced.  If you choose to study for a degree with Harvard University for example, you cannot expect anything other than a steep price tag.  Nevertheless, there are courses available to suit all interests and every budget across the board – right down to entry level courses available 100% free of charge.  And when you factor in the kinds of costs associated with traditional classroom study, distance learning programs are comprehensively more affordable.

Myth – Online Courses Make Too Easy to Cheat

Fact – This particular argument centres around the fact that when it comes to distance learning, candidates are under no direct watch or supervision.  As such, it is assumed by some at this promotes cheating and plagiarism.  But when you think about it, very little of the actual work that takes place during a standard university course actually happens under supervision in a classroom.  Not only this, but given the fact that college and university students at all levels now have the opportunity to buy completed and assignments if they choose to do so, it’s not as if cheating isn’t just as easy with any standard course.  Chances are that if you pay good money for distance learning program, you will want to get the most out of it – which certainly does not mean cheating.

Myth – There’s Always a Schedule and Deadlines to Meet

Fact – Last but not least, this again depends on the type of course you choose and who you choose to study with. Here at Oxford Home Study College for example, every single course we offer is 100% free of time restrictions and deadlines. You study in your own time at your own pace and can take as many breaks as you like along the way. Some distance learning providers impose time limitations and their own set deadlines – we do no such thing.