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Distance Learning is Proven to be Efficient and Popular

By Laura Yaun

Obtaining a college degree is becoming more convenient and affordable through distance learning. Work and family schedules may not always permit a person seeking higher education to start or finish their college degree program. Distance learning allows the student to do their coursework online, on their own time, and help them reach their goals.

Many people live in rural areas, far from any higher-education institution, making it difficult or even impossible to get to campus. Various issues can hold a person back from achieving a college degree. On-campus housing may not be an option or is not affordable, transportation may be an issue, times of classes may conflict with their schedule, bad weather may prevent them from making it to class, etc. Whatever the case, distance learning enables anyone to obtain the education they need to complete their college degree successfully.

In a recent Sloan Consortium survey, online enrollment has recently been rising by 17 percent a year in comparison to the total higher-ed enrollment which has been rising only 1.2 percent a year. The survey also revealed that 73 percent of students request courses to be available for them to take online.

From numerous research studies and questionnaires, The USDLA (United States Distance Learning Association) found that students have an overall positive attitude toward distance learning. The general observation is that they understood the material just as well, if not better, than if they had taken the course in a traditional classroom setting.

The same results are reflected in Hands-On Labs, Inc.’s internal studies.  According to HOL’s Fall 2011 Student Survey, more than 88 percent of students received an A or B in their science courses that used LabPaq. Students that study science at home with individual LabPaqs state they developed a better understanding than when working in a group because they do all the work themselves.

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