Is Online Learning Right for You? Weighing the Pros and Cons
Online Learning refers to the delivery of educational content through the internet. It is also known as e-learning, virtual learning, or distance education. Online learning allows a student to take courses remotely, earn degrees, and even get their homework done. It is becoming popular over the course of time, especially post-Covid-19 and the reason for its popularity is the flexibility and easy access to education. Even though online learning is highly popular these days but still many people are confused about whether online learning would be suitable for them or not. In order to answer that question, you must thoroughly go through online learning pros and cons.
The Pros of Online Learning:
Although many people still consider in-person learning but online learning has its own fair share of pros which make it a game-changing learning method.
Online learning helps teachers to deliver lessons or lectures to students in the most efficient way possible. There are so many tools that teachers can use. From educational videos to PDFs, and from podcasts to one-on-one online lectures that are live, teachers get a wide variety of methods to deliver their lectures.
One of the biggest advantages of online learning is affordability. Online learning is far more affordable than in-person learning. It eliminates the cost of transportation, student meals, and most importantly, real estate. Study material is also available online, which can be accessed at any time making it not only cost-friendly but also environment-friendly.
3. Easy Accessibility
Another one of the biggest advantages of online education is easy accessibility. It allows students to attend classes from any location of their choice and isn’t restricted by any geographical boundaries. On top of that, online lessons can be recorded which the student can go through or revise at any time he wants. It allows students to learn in the comfort of their own homes.
4. Improved Concentration
Online learning most of the time is considered to be one-on-one mostly and because of that, it offers students the privacy they need in order to learn at their own pace. Many students are afraid of being judged for asking questions by their fellow students and because of that, they avoid asking questions. With online learning, students can concentrate fully thereby asking as many questions as possible.
5. Multiple Learning Methods
We all understand that there are various amounts of learning methods and these methods vary from student to student. One of the biggest advantages of using technology in teaching is the application of multiple learning methods. Teachers have the power to use multiple teaching methods as per the student’s needs. Teachers have a wide variety of resources and options to use making online learning a perfect environment for students.
The Cons of Online Learning:
Although there are many online learning pros and cons, and it may be considered more effective and game-changing but it has some of its cons that may not be suitable for some people.
1. Technological Issues
One of the biggest disadvantages of online learning is internet connectivity. While the internet has covered many gaps and has improved over the past few years, but still in small cities and towns, internet connectivity is an issue. Not having a consistent internet connection can result in a lack of continuity in online learning for the student.
2. Feeling of Isolation
Students can learn a lot from being in the company of their peers. In online learning, the physical interaction between a student and a teacher becomes minimal. This results in the student having a sense of isolation. In this situation, it is important for the teacher or the school to make online learning interactive by including games, activities, and group quiz sessions that would allow the student to feel less isolated.
3. Increased Screen Time and Staying Indoors
Parents are concerned about the health hazards when their children spend so much time staring at screens. This is by far one of the biggest disadvantages of online learning. Many students develop a bad posture while some students develop other physical problems such as spending most of the time indoors.
4. Inability to Focus
For most students, one of the biggest disadvantages is struggling to focus during their online lessons. With online learning, there is a high probability that students will get distracted by social media or other sites thereby losing their concentration. Therefore, it is important for teachers to keep an eye on and to have the student engage in multiple student activities.
5. Teacher Training
Online learning requires teachers to have basic knowledge about the technology and the apps they will be using. This requires teachers to be trained properly. Most of the time, teachers have a basic understanding of the technology they will be using and sometimes they do not have the resources or tools to conduct online classes. It is highly important for schools to invest more in teachers’ training.
In the above-mentioned points, we have gone through various virtual learning advantages and disadvantages, but in conclusion, we should see online learning as an extension of the conventional learning method. Some people feel comfortable with online learning while some people are comfortable with in-person learning. No matter which type of learning you are going with, you should pick the one that suits you the most.