Advantages And Disadvantages Of Online Learning
E-learning has been around for over a decade, but only in the recent years it has started to get more and more popular. These days online learning is the preferred education channel for all the kinds of learners: from school-aged children who require special schedule to adult workers who want to study a new profession. E-learning is a constantly developing and changing industry with its pros and cons, and here is a more detailed look at both.
Advantages Of Online Learning
It’s safe to say that the invention and development of e-learning has been one of the most revolutionary things that has ever happened to education. Most importantly, online learning has given us the following benefits.
One of the biggest reasons why online learning really took off since the 2008 recession is that it’s a cost-effective learning channel that can be afforded by nearly every learner. It’s a low-cost education solution for both parties. Schools and training companies don’t need to spend money paying the instructors, preparing visual materials, renting out classrooms, and dozens of other expenses. For this reason, companies with thousands of members of staff who all need to undergo the newest training, consider online learning to be their holy grail in terms of the budget.
Students can study from their own home using online resources, which eliminates the expenses on transportation, textbooks, writing materials, and even food and drink expenses during the studying process. All the student has to pay for is stable internet connection and a device compatible with the software used during the lessons — and then they are good to go.
There are several learning solutions for students who work full-time jobs, but none of them is as effective and convenient as e-learning. There are evening classes and community colleges, but all of them require you to be in the same place on the same time several days a week. With e-learning, where you are free to choose your own time to study and set your own schedule, this problem is absolutely nonexistent. You can work night shifts and study in the afternoon or work a regular 9-to-5 job and begin your studies immediately after work.
Those who have never tried e-learning are often surprised to find out that there is nothing limiting your choice of locations for learning. As long as you have a stable internet connection and a laptop/tablet/smartphone, you can study from anywhere. Is there a 30-minute break at work? Use it to listen to another lecture! Are you spending a weekend at your grandma’s house?
There is more than enough time to do some online learning! Are you going on vacation with your family? Make sure to pack up your laptop and you’ll be able to learn as much as you would do at home. This is one of the major benefits of online learning for students of all ages!
4. Better understanding
While learning in a regular class gives the student a number of advantage, such as the chance to consult a teacher, get instant explanation of a particularly complex topic or ask for more clarification, studies show that students can actually get by without these benefits. If you often have trouble comprehending difficult concepts, you will find online learning much better suited for your learning needs.
When you’re studying online, you can rewind the necessary fragment and listen to it again and again as many times as it takes for you to fully understand the issue. Plus, most online learning courses provide various tools for collaboration between you, the instructor, and other learners. Together you will find the answer even to the most complex questions! Whether you are an e-learner or a regular student struggling with an assignment, a professional essay writing service is exactly what will help you get closer to your academic goals.
5. Entertaining learning
If you choose online learning, your education is anything but boring. Being able to share your learning process with other students in similar situations is very refreshing. You get to communicate through online channels, which feels very natural to any young student today. Plus, many e-learning students prefer to share their progress with friends and family on social media. This gives you the encouragement and energy to continue learning.
Even when you’re stuck on some particularly stubborn rule or formula, talking to one of your e-classmates will not only help you understand it better, but will also entertain you and give you the much-deserved break.
Disadvantages Of Online Learning
While it’s hard to argue with the fact that e-learning has positively transformed the education industry in the past few years, there are also major drawbacks to this type of learning. Most online learners will sooner or later encounter the following challenges.
One of the biggest advantages of regular education over e-learning is the fact that in a real classroom you are constantly being motivated and organized by your teacher. It’s true that some students can successfully organize their own learning process and motivate themselves to study regularly, but most young people today don’t have enough self-organizational skills.
They require constant guidance from the teacher, clear deadlines, patterns of tackling particular tasks etc., which influences their motivation greatly. In online learning, you are on your own, and if you don’t have a skill of managing your educational process to the smallest detail, you are almost guaranteed to struggle to finish the work on time.
While we described the way e-learners can communicate with their online classmates and instructors, there is still no denying the fact that sitting alone in your room instead of attending a real classroom can feel rather lonesome. Of course, you can always talk to your fellow students via online chat and ask your instructor any questions, but it still feels very different to a regular school or college classroom.
If you are quite a sociable person, online learning can be rather challenging for you, especially if you don’t have much communication outside of your family or school circle.
There are usually very specific requirements for the use of technology in online learning. Most e-learning programs are designed for high-speed internet and modern computers or portable devices. If you still use the cheap internet connection and don’t have any advanced devices, starting your online course may become quite a challenge. If you decide to upgrade your primary device and invest in faster internet, it will mean additional expenses. If you don’t, you may experience troubles trying to keep up the connection or completing the tasks.
Plus, with e-learning, you also need to account for the time differences between you, the instructor, and classmates. The time differences can happen for a variety of reasons: for example, if you live in a different time zone or if you can only study at night after work — in that case you will need to wait for your instructor’s response until morning.
4. Assessment and feedback
Feedback is one of the most crucial instruments at all the stages of learning. Without feedback from your instructor, it’s difficult to know whether you are doing alright and what you need to change in your studies. Proper feedback from a person you trust is a key element of success and the most effective way to guide a student through the learning process.
Unfortunately, with online learning, feedback is less personal and informative than in the classroom setting. You will have to ask your instructor for feedback, but even then, you may not get what you expect.
Assessment is another known challenge of e-learning. Classroom teachers have a variety of grading methods, from written assignments to oral exams. With e-learning, you will do most of your homework in a form of tests and papers. Many critics of online learning believe they are not enough to assess a student’s success in studies and teach students a formulaic approach to education. Until a better grading system is designed, assessment will remain a weakness of online learning.
While security isn’t as big of a concern for online learning as it is for banking and social media, it is still a subject of many debates among fans and critics of e-learning. With a typical online learning program, there is no way of knowing whether the people claiming to be the students and the instructor are truly who they say they are. There have been cases of students submitting homework, which later turned out to be written by a completely different person. As long as you don’t share your most sensitive data through e-learning chats, you shouldn’t worry about security too much. However, you should also remember to be careful at all times.
While e-learning has a long way to go in terms of convenience and fair assessment, it is still the most modern way of studying that will most likely become the primary learning solution in the future. It’s the most suitable or even the only way to study for millions of people around the world, and we believe everyone will benefit from the development of online learning.