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North American University

Education Department
M.Ed. in EDLE & CUIN

Name: Oznur Dalkiz Date: 10/22/2017

Topic Selected (3):

What does the research say about advantages and disadvantages of distance education?


With the help of developing technology, learning and teaching activities are not just
occurring in regular classrooms, but also online classrooms as well. Online classroom is one
of the other option for most people. There are different names for this term such as distance
education, online education, online course, remote education, distance learning and etc.
Distance education can be defined as listed:
It is a method of study where teachers and students do not meet in a classroom but use
the Internet, e-mail, mail, etc., to have classes.
It is institution-based, formal education where the learning group is separated, and
where interactive telecommunications systems are used to connect learners, resources,
and instructors.
Education that uses one or more technologies to deliver instruction to students who
are separated from the instructor and to support regular and substantive interaction
between the students and the instructor synchronously or asynchronously.
Technologies used for instruction may include the following: Internet; one-way and
two-way transmissions through open broadcasts, closed circuit, cable, microwave,
broadband lines, fiber optics, satellite or wireless communication devices; audio
conferencing; and video cassette, DVDs, and CD-ROMs, if the cassette, DVDs, and
CD-ROMs are used in a course in conjunction with the technologies listed above.
Distance education serves different kinds of learning opportunities to everyone along
their entire life. It depends on development of information and communication technologies
(Kiryakova, 2009). Kiryakova (2009) also states that distance education can be as efficient as
traditional education when there are appropriate methods and technologies about its

History of Distance Education:

Distance education merged on 19th century via posting mail by Isaak Pitman in Great
Britain. Teachers used to send the materials (lectures, instructions and assignments) by mail
to learners. The learners used to return the completed assignments back to the teachers and so
on. Next, Germany started distance education with the same way to teach language. In 1873,
American women started having distance education opportunities by the help of Anna
After using posting mail method, developing technology served more opportunities
such as radio and TV to learners. These two main tools took the distance education one step
further. Video and sound materials created visualization beside the printed materials. Later on
them, the common use of computer and Internet makes the distance education more than
easer before for learners. The learners can easily communicate and interact each other
without waiting for postal services or other non-immediate communication systems.

Advantages of Distance Education:

It serves flexibility and independence to learners.
The learners can choose a convenient place and time and study on their own pace.
It can have wide learner audience.
Learners who are from different regions or counties can take part in distance learning
courses as compared to traditional education.
It is open to everybody and serves accessibility to all age groups.
Distance education removes all borders for specific groups of people such as older or
and disabled people. Next, people who live far away from learning facilities or are
supposed to work can keep having education with distance education. Last, it
balances inequalities between age groups, geographical expansion of education
access, delivering education for large audiences, offering the combination of
education with work or family life, etc. (Buselic, 2012).
It provides life-long learning experiences for learners.
People can study throughout their whole lives in different fields of knowledge.
It offers increased interactions within learners. In particular, introverted students who
are too shy to ask questions in class will often open up when provided an
opportunity to interact via e-mail or other individualized means (Franklin, Yoakam &
Warren, 1996, p. 126).
It serves different kind of affordable options to learners and economical
effectiveness. The learners can have courses on the comfort of their own house or
family house without paying any extra rent or dorm fee. All in all, it reduces expenses
for learners from almost all aspects.

Disadvantages of Distance Education:

Readiness of instructor and learner:
The most important issue regarding distance learning is instructors preparedness and
students attitude (Buselic, 2012). If students do not perceive the technology as
useful, they will be not receptive to distance education (Christensen, E. W., Anakwe
U. P. & Kessler, E. H., 2001, p. 267).
Lack of immediate feedback:
Distance education does not serve immediate feedback. While in a traditional
classroom setting, learners performance can be immediately assessed by questions
and informal testing or instructor share his/her thoughts about the topic, in distance
learning activities, learners have to wait for feedback until the instructor reviews their
works and share feedbacks on them.
Lack of communication skills:
Learner cannot have opportunity to work on oral communication skills. The learners
in distance learning courses do not get the experience of practicing verbal interaction
with professors and other students.
Lack of motivation and self-discipline:
Motivation is the milestone of distance education. If learners lose their motivation
toward class, that will be concluded with negative results. To finish the course on a
time or on a specific year, learners should motivate on completing their education.
The key of this situation is self-discipline.

In my opinion, the advantages of distance education overcome the disadvantages of it

for some reasons. First of all, I am a fulltime worker and do not have time to follow up an in-
campus schedule to have my master degree. With the help of distance education, as happens
now, I am having my master degree. Secondly, instead of going to a university campus, I can
study my courses in the comfort of my house by specifying my appropriate time. Next, online
courses-distance education forces me to work more than a regular in campus course because
to complete my assignments I have to read and study more so that by the help of extra
studies, I may increase my horizon on my scope. Last but not least, from the all aspects, it is
cheaper than regular campus life because there is no extra expense such as taking way to the
campus, paying for dorm or home and etc.
I had a Distance Education course in my college years. The professor created a group
on Facebook and she opened a different topic every other week for us. We, students were
required to share our thoughts about the weeks topic and make comment on our classmates
posts. Also, she created an emailing group with another university group. Two different
universities students shared their thoughts on a specific topic. These two experiences were
great starting for me to understand the importance of distance education.
On the other hand, to admit that there are some disadvantages as well. For example,
there is no way to ask our questions to the professors immediately. There should be an email
traffic or we should wait for upcoming webinars to ask the questions. Next, we may have a
college or master degree without having classmates or socializing with others. To me, this is
really important to learn how to get along well with other people and colleagues.
I want to implement distance education into my teaching activities. Unfortunately, I am
an elementary school teacher and I cannot make it run with my little students but if I teach in
a high school, probably I can make my upper graders work at home and complete online
assignments by following my class website and the directions.


Bichelmeyer, B., Kennedy J. (2012). Definitions of Distance Education for SIS Coding and

Compliance Review and Reporting Credit Hour Allocations. Retrieved on Retrieved

on October 23, 2017 from https://teachingonline.iu.edu/doc/iuonline-term-


Buselic, Marija (2012). Distance Learning concepts and contributions. Oeconomica

Jadertina, 1/2012. Retrieved from https://hrcak.srce.hr/file/124393

Christensen, E. W., Anakwe, U. P. & Kessler E. H. (2001) Receptivity to distance learning:

the effect of technology, reputation, constraints, and learning preferences. Journal of

Research on Computing in Education, 33 (3), 263 279

Defining Distance Education. Retrieved on Retrieved on October 23, 2017 from


Definition of Distance Learning. Retrieved on Retrieved on October 23, 2017 from


Franklin, N., Yoakam, M. & Warren, R. (1996). Distance learning: a guidebook for system

planning and implementation. Indianapolis, IN: Indiana University.

Kiryakova, G. (2009). Review of distance education. Trakia Journal of Sciences. 7. 29-34.

Retrieved on October 23, 2017 from