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Is there a significant difference in face to face vs distance education?
Do students in distance learning classes perform as well as students taking the same class face to face?

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Asked by cbamford Monday Nov 2nd 2009 in Online Colleges
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Education at a distance differs significantly from the traditional campus-based model. First and foremost, you do it from the comfort of your own home with the option of "showing up to class" 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Of course, you will have assignments with deadlines to meet, but most programs are asynchronous, meaning you are not required to log-in at any set time or day of the week.

Secondly, given the absence of a face-to-face encounter with both your instructor and classmates, there is a greater margin for error in terms of communication. Without the luxury of facial expressions, voice inflection and body language correspondence via discussion forums and e-mail can be readily misinterpreted. Err on the side of caution!

Finally, with the convenience of no set class meeting times comes the added challenge of self-discipline. Online learning requires a greater degree of responsibility, time management and organizational skills than a traditional format. Most folks turn to the Internet to earn their degree because of numerous demands on their time. The upside is that upon successful completion of your degree you can pitch these so-called "soft skills" to a prospective employer!

Sean

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That is a seriously complicated question, and one that cannot be answered quickly.

Let me start off by saying that while distance education is considered to be an equal of traditional education, there are differences between the two, and these difference can translate into either success or failure depending on the learning type of the student.

So in short, yes distance education students can do as well as traditional students, but it will depend on the type of learner they are.

If you are looking to develop a deeper understanding of this topic, which there is a ton of developing articles and research, then I would suggest you take a look at some of the articles we offer in these categories:

Choosing an Online Program

Is Online Learning for You?

The articles that can be found in these categories will aid you in developing a better understanding of the quality of distance education today. Also, most of the articles will include a set of source links that will guide you to some other websites and articles that address this same topic.

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