Everyone I’ve ever talked to about distance learning (whether they’ve participated in this form of learning or not) has a strong opinion. My personal experience with distance learning is the same experience I have had with everything in my life: I got out of it, what I put in to it. I can say the same thing about the four years I spent getting my undergraduate degree at a traditional university, the 23-years I’ve spent with my spouse, and the time I spend volunteering. I’m an instructional designer, so I’m aware that a poorly designed course, an unfit facilitator, poor quality course materials, inappropriate technology, and disruptive or uncooperative participants can have a devastating effect on a course, but that applies to traditional courses as much as it applies to distance courses.
Roger Renteria, of TechWhirl, shares his opinions on the value of distance learning courses for technical communicators in his article titled Professional Development in Tech Comm: Is Distance Learning Worth It?
What are your thoughts on this topic?