IELTS Essay 1197 - Distance-learning programmes cannot bring the same benefit as attending colleges does

IELTS Writing Task 2/ IELTS Essay:

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Write about the following topic:

Many people join distance-learning programmes (study material, post, TV, Internet) and study at home, but some people think that it cannot bring the same benefit as attending colleges or universities does.

Do you agree or disagree?

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.

Write at least 250 words.


Sample Answer:
Distance learning, a modern phenomenon, has become widely popular especially after the invention of the internet. In the pre-internet era, it was confined in posts, TV and could attract a nominal number of leaners. Despite a boom in home-based learning trend, it is not as much beneficial as attending a formal educational institute, as far as I am concerned.

To begin with, a university does not aim to teach only some textbook lessons to its pupils. Rather it focuses on creating an enlighted generation through a favourable environment where students learn to interact with each other, discover the diversity of cultures, and learn to face challenges. Some video scripts and printed documents cannot teach them how to use those in the practical world. For instance, someone who learns a skill online finds it difficult to implement it in the real world. Thus their poor performance in professional life is imminent.

Moreover, instructors have extensive experience in dealing students from different backgrounds and modify their lessons according to the capacity of the students. This is completely absent in distance learning method and thus the single-package-fits-all model is less productive. Taking an online course to learn to play the guitar could be a classic example. A recent study by the University of Sussex reveals that nine out of ten online guitar learners fail to master it due to the lack of motivation and this is where the formal education comes in - motivating students. Taking distance learning courses for learning a programming language, or how to cook a cuisine can be useful for many. But this can never be the alternatives to education we receive from the colleges or universities.

To conclude, we attend colleges or higher educational institutes to learn about life, to bring out the best in us and become an enlighted citizens, not to memorise lessons and pass exams. While distance learning can be an added bonus to our already enlighted mind, it can never be the same as studying at a college or university.

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