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Distance Ed vs. Classical Ed.

Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges & Seminaries' started by Martin, May 30, 2005.

  1. Martin

    Martin Active Member

    Jan 1, 2005
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    Like many today I have studied in two formats: online/distance and classical/on campus. I earned both of my undergrad degrees (one in sociology, the other in computer science) the classical way (on campus). I have attended Bible College on campus and Southeastern Seminary (for one year). I have also now all but completed my first MA from Liberty via distance education. So I have experience with both.

    I am interested in how people who have studied via both formats feel about them (pros and cons). Those who have NOT studied by both have no experience and therefore are not who I am interested in hear from. I want to hearing from those who, like me, have done both.

    The Classical Method

    Pro: Live in a classroom.
    Con: Difficult to work full time and attend classes full time.

    Pro: Teacher in person.
    Con: Most of the time you can only talk to the professor via email or phone, sometimes in their office but only with an appointment.

    Pro: Other students in class going through the same material.
    Con: Sometimes the class moves too fast or too slow for my taste. I have been in classes about to fall asleep while others were struggling (and I have been the struggler).

    Pro: Can make new friends (etc).
    Con: That is not so important to me. I have made friends each time, but my focus is on the study time and not social time. School, in my view, is only for education.

    Distance Education

    Pro: The DVD/Video/Audio professor can be forced to repeat information as much as needed.
    Con: No direct access for questions.

    Pro: Material can be covered as quickly or slowly as needed (not dependent upon other students).
    Con: Sometimes there is too much material (more than on campus).

    Pro: Can attend class and do assignments at any time (some schools have assignment due dates, others just have class deadlines).
    Con: Have to wait longer for grades and instructor responses to questions (usually a day).

    Pro: No Pop Quizes!!
    Con: Proctored tests.

    Pro: No putting up with professor mood swings.
    Con: No extra credit.

    Pro: No interuption from fellow learners.
    Con: Only communication with fellow students is over the phone, email, or by blackboard messages.

    All in all I say both have an equal amount of weakness and strengths. My general view is that one must determine what works best for him/her. I would suggest everyone, if possible, get their undergraduate education on campus (at least..if possible). I would also suggest one not get all of ones degrees via distance education or via the classical method (I know that last one shocks some. But distance education is the future of graduate level education, like it or not. Like the microwave it is not going away.).

    For me distance education works better than on campus studies. I am a independent learner. I don't like teachers breathing down my neck or interuptions from other students. I also like being able to work at my own pace (with deadlines). My brother, on the other hand, would dare not do distance education. He would flunk every class because he is not organized enough. My other brother could probably pull it off but he is in the medical field and that is not a field where a program can/should be completed via distance/online education (though some can). So it is not for everyone.

    What does everyone else think?

    Pros vs. Cons of each.

    Again: Please only those WITH experience in both reply. I am sure everyone else has opinions but I think it would be better only to hear from those with personal experience (no offense [​IMG] ).

    In Christ,
  2. Rhetorician

    Rhetorician Active Member
    Site Supporter

    Feb 1, 2005
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    What about the professor of both? Do you want an opinion from him/her?


  3. Martin

    Martin Active Member

    Jan 1, 2005
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    sure (though I think I know the answer a prof will give)
  4. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob Administrator

    Jun 30, 2000
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    I've taken both. Above the MA level, university without walls programs are not a problem.

    For the BA/MA levels, the class interaction and campus life is a tremendous "teaching" tool. Above that, it is much research, mostly individual, with some guidance and some teaching and can be done via distance without much problem.

    I've only taught at the BA/MA levels and enjoy the classroom interaction. I am working on courses through our seminary that will be external and individualized. But only for those working on higher level programs.