By Spencer D Gear
I’m pursuing a PhD (British model of dissertation only) through distance education. These are some of the disadvantages, as I see them, of pursuing distance education:
- Since I pursued my BA and MA in a classroom environment, I miss the interaction with people of different perspectives. The dynamic of the classroom is absent – Big Time!!
- Being able to ask (and get answers) from professors in an immediate context is missing. At the beginning of the academic year, I sent material through to my supervisor but it will take him 3 weeks to get to it as he is also teaching in the classroom. Getting immediate feedback is an issue.
- Accessing library resources is a challenge as many journals are available online but many other academic resources are not. Most resources in my technical area are not available at or through my local library. I have to travel many km (miles) to access books that I need.When a journal article is not available, I do have access to a librarian assistant who has been very helpful in tracking down most articles. However, there is the occasional article that was not found as the University did not subscribe to that journal.
- How can this issue of distance education be solved?
- Webcam and Skype could be used more effectively in interacting with other students and supervisor. More online interaction with other students could be promoted, but busy students don’t always have an interest in the small focus of my dissertation. I’m also seeking interaction at a local theological college to see if there are students and faculty interested in my topic. But that also involves considerable travel to the location of the College.
- Loneliness is the BIG issue for me. Doing it all alone takes a lot of discipline when I try to work 6-7 hours a day on the dissertation.
- I completed my dissertation and graduated in September 2015 after 5 years of research with the University of Pretoria, South Africa. My PhD is in New Testament.
|Copyright © 2013 Spencer D. Gear. This document last updated at Date: 29 October 2015.|