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Students often take distance courses because they are convenient and cost-effective, while others take them because they have an added value that meets their preferred learning style or their unique situation. Distance courses at Wenatchee Valley College offer the same academic rigor as face-to-face courses, and they provide the same credits, objectives, competencies, content, and transferability. For example, distance courses and face-to-face courses use the same textbooks, assignments, discussion questions, and exams.

Benefits of Online Classes

Convenience and flexibility:  Online learning is particularly beneficial to adult learners, with multiple responsibilities and highly scheduled lives, that otherwise could not fit face-to-face course schedules into their daily routine.

Cost savings: Distance students save on travel costs (gas, meals, parking, etc.), childcare expenses, and money from hours they would have given up at work. 

Increased learning options: Some students take a distance course because it is a practical option that meets the requirements of their educational program.

Accessibility: Distance classes hold great potential to help students who could not otherwise attend face-to-face classes on campus due to geographic locations and/or physical limitations: for example, limitations in note-taking or mobility. However, this doesn’t suggest that distance learning is the answer for all students with disabilities.

Personal comfort: Some students enroll in distance courses as a personal learning preference. For example, distance learning lets them attend a class when fully awake and attend in increments of convenient time blocks.

Equal participation and thoughtful contribution: Distance learning students often feel that they can better listen to the questions or comments made by their peers, take time to digest the message and provide thoughtful responses. Students may ask for clarification of any comments that are unclear, and everyone has an equal chance to contribute.

Career skill-building:  Students learn to be courteous and respectful to others. They improve writing and technological skills through constant communication and interaction with technology-enabled content. These are critical skills to the workplace of the 21st century.

Please keep in mind that distance learning is not for everyone. Students that need daily contact, whether due to educational experience or learning style, may prefer a traditional classroom setting. Those who need daily social interaction and immediate feedback may also do better in traditional classroom settings, as would those who have difficulty managing time and need a more structured environment. For more information, see Course formats.



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