Monday, July 5, 2010

Benefits of Online Degrees for People with Learning Disabilities

computer Online education has revolutionized the way we learn in more ways than one; it has opened up opportunities for people who were hampered by location, cost, and other circumstances in their quest for a degree; it has made possible continuous learning at any age and from anywhere; and it has enhanced the use of technology in the field of education. While most people know and are aware of these benefits of technology, what they don’t realize is that online education is a boon to people who are slow learners or who have learning disabilities because:

· It allows you to set your own schedule: Online education is an opportunity for people who don’t have the time to dedicate to a full-time degree because it allows learners to choose courses that are suited to their schedules. And so you have business professionals opting for degrees that have most classes during weekends and others who prefer flexible assignment and class schedules. This flexibility is a boon for those who are slow learners or have learning disabilities of any kind because it allows them to set and learn at their own pace without worrying about having to keep up with the rest of the class.

· It eliminates the pressure of competition: In a traditional classroom, the slow learners are hampered by more than their learning disability; they’re also restricted by the fear of having to compete with their classmates who have normal or above-normal learning capabilities. This sets them back even more because they’re unable to perform at their usual level when they feel the pressure of having to compete and keep up with the rest of the class. Online education removes this unnecessary stress and allows them to blossom in an environment that is relatively free of competition.

· It facilitates anonymity: And last, but not the least, online education facilitates anonymity which ensures that slow learners and those with other learning disabilities are not subject to the ridicule, scorn or pity of their classmates and staff. Learners are able to grow in confidence because their disability does not cause a bias in the minds of their fellow students which gives rise to preconceived notions and potential cause for mockery or ridicule.

Students who are plagued by learning disabilities can enhance their online education experience by reaching out to their instructors and asking for additional help, enquiring about assistive technology, and setting a schedule that is suited to their pace. Most schools are more than willing to accommodate special needs students, so if you aim to earn a degree, make the most of your experience with a college that understands your limitations and works with you to overcome them.

By-line:

This guest post is contributed by Anna Miller, who writes on the topic of online degrees . She welcomes your comments at her email id: anna.miller009@gmail.com

Posted on the Successful Teaching Blog by loonyhiker (successfulteaching at gmail dot com).

Original image: 'MacBook Pro 15" Unibody'
http://www.flickr.com/photos/36645776@N00/3682719799 by: Steve Keys

6 comments:

Joan said...

See new blog on postsecondary transition at: http://www.conquercollegewithld.com

loonyhiker said...

@Joan Thanks for the link!

emapey said...

Hi Pat, while I don´t fully disagree with the post, it shows only the advantages from distance education for disabled learners.

But they need to know the disadvantages also, such as:
- have web skills
- be a self learner
- schedules are not easy to meet
- requires more participation from the student than f2f

and as you know, online or f2f learning success for students with disabilities depends very much from the support from the teacher and institution

I will post a research on this topic

loonyhiker said...

@emapey Thanks so much for giving a different perspective. I look forward to seeing the research. I think it will help people get a big picture of how online degrees can affect them.

Anonymous said...

I completely agree....being an online teacher and an online student I think the online environment caters to students with disabilities. I personally believe it has to do with the pace at which you learn, visual aids, and my online students have headsets which also is an auditory aid for some students with learning disabilities.

loonyhiker said...

@anonymous Thank you for the suggestion of headsets. I had forgotten about them.