Distance learning allows adults a chance at a college education who may not be able to attend traditional college classes on campus. Distance learning courses should be a more widely available option along with traditional campus-based learning. This makes college education more accessible and gives opportunities to people who are probably lower income to begin with,.
Distance learning, especially over the Internet, is a great way for institutes of higher learning to save time, money and resources. Almost everyone has access to the Internet and there is no better way to learn interactively for basic courses that don't need hands-on experience. Even law degrees can be done online since legal services are more about knowing case law rather than being in a trial.
I believe that distance learning should be used more often for higher education. I am an instructor who has used distance learning and it is a great educational tool. Distance learning can reach people who might not be able to attend a traditional university setting. You can also teach larger number of people at the same time. It enables more people to obtain higher education.
I took some of my college courses long distance from a college that offered at-home learning, since my college did not. I still got a very valuable education in those courses, and also more exposure to other teachers who were not at my college (other viewpoints, different curriculum, etc.). There are things that are missed out on when you learn from home, however. You won't get to know your teachers and fellow students face-to-face, and thus will miss out on some social aspects. It can also be more difficult to ask questions. People who do distance learning also have to be diligent since it is often self-directed. But it can definitely yield a quality education.
Not everything of value in college is in the subject matter. Students learn appropriate behavioral skills, time management, social interaction and how to put it all together into a schedule that is both fun and informative. I met my best friends in school and many of the extra-curricular activities in college would just not be as fulfilling or even available in an online setting. There are many subjects that
would be fine being online, but it should not replace physically being in class in a higher learning setting.
No, distance learning should not be used more for higher education, because there are good, positive things that a person learns from being in a classroom. Like appearing for work, a student learns responsibility when he or she has to appear for work every day. Students also benefit from interaction with other students in a classroom. The teacher can better gauge student reactions and adjust their teaching.