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Online education has become the new standard practice among educational institutions all over the world. The popularity of COVID-19 has accelerated the spread of e-learning, but is it sustainable for learners in the long run? Let’s learn more about both ends of the spectrum – the benefits and drawbacks of online education.
Online learning has numerous advantages, as we discussed in an earlier post. According to the Emeritus Impact Survey, 94% of respondents believe online education has a positive impact on their careers. In general, it enables students and professors to communicate from the comfort of their own homes, even if they are hundreds of miles apart. Students can attend classes and save time on their commute. Another benefit is that it allows for asynchronous learning. Students are not required to attend live lectures or discussions and can access instructional material at their leisure. Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of online education:
The aspect of convenience is a significant advantage of online learning. It enables students in cyber classes to communicate with professors and peers in real time. Students are investigating scenarios in which the convenience of online learning outweighs the face time required in traditional courses.
Another advantage is the ease with which virtual classrooms can be accessed. The ability for students to interact asynchronously is one of several aspects of online education. Online learning allows students to communicate in real-time chat rooms or asynchronously via bulletin boards and other similar forums.
Due to tight schedules and rigid timetables in the physical setup, students are frequently unable to contact their professors. Some of them may be too shy to raise their hands in class and ask open-ended questions. With online education, they can contact professors immediately by sending them a direct message on their designated learning platform. Furthermore, if there is a suitable gap between lectures, they can collaborate with their peers to work on group projects.
Students can learn from anywhere and at any time with online education. As a result, students can meet deadlines by completing assignments at any time of day. Furthermore, not having to travel to the institute saves a significant amount of time. According to the Emeritus Impact Survey, 81% of respondents find it easy to balance education with their personal lives through e-learning.
When students enter the workforce, time management becomes critical. This skill is developed in students while taking online classes, which increases their overall efficiency. They must create a study schedule while also keeping track of attendance and other responsibilities.
Each student has a distinct learning style. While some people identify as audio-visual learners, others learn best during lectures. Many online tutors use a combination of these to help students fully absorb the material. With online education, students can tailor their learning styles to their specific needs.
By far, it appears that online learning has numerous benefits for everyone involved. However, while cyber learning has a positive impact, it also has some drawbacks. To avoid major setbacks, we must adequately consider, plan for, and account for these challenges. As a result, let us learn more about the drawbacks of online education.
Even though many students dislike teachers’ constant prodding, it is effective in increasing retention. A lack of face-to-face communication with the instructor, on the other hand, limits and minimizes feedback, leads to social isolation, and may lead to a lack of motivation. Furthermore, a lack of focus is detrimental because it increases the likelihood of students dropping out. As a result, finding motivation to complete courses requires a more committed individual.
Online education strategies are extremely effective in increasing students’ academic comprehension. However, there is a lack of development of communication skills. During online sessions, we frequently overlook this area. Furthermore, because of the lack of face-to-face communication in a digital environment, students may be hesitant to collaborate effectively when given assignments and group projects.
Because of the digital learning environment, the need for reflection, solitude, and a lack of connection is all too common. Long hours of online learning will almost certainly result in signs of social isolation. Social isolation combined with a lack of communication can result in mental health problems such as excessive stress, nervousness, and anxiety.
Students may encounter technical difficulties such as insufficient internet access, device hardware failure, and unreliable electricity. While internet penetration has increased significantly in recent years, access to a consistent connection with adequate speed remains a challenge for some, resulting in a loss of learning coherence due to a lack of regular internet access.
Following firsthand experience with the benefits of online education as a result of the pandemic, it is clear that it is here to stay. Because of the unpredictable nature of COVID-19, online learning is a critical approach to ensuring that learning never stops. Online learning has created a pathway for students and professionals to learn new skills in a variety of industries. With upcoming technological advancements, it is likely to evolve and become more accessible to learners.
Because of the virtual nature of learning, students are much more independent than in the traditional setup. Students have a sense of responsibility because they must account for themselves when deciding whether or not to study. It allows students to do more than just rely on textbook content; it also expands their knowledge through internet research. In addition to these, consider the following long-term advantages of online education:
The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the shift to digital learning. Learning is an ongoing process. It rarely ends with a degree. Most people continue to learn digitally and develop new skill sets to help them with their jobs and keep up with the latest technological breakthroughs. According to the Emeritus Impact Survey, 78% of respondents saw an immediate improvement in their work after acquiring new skill sets through online learning. Overall, the importance of online education in the aftermath of the pandemic cannot be overstated.
While online education bridges the geographical divide between two people, academic institutions have another advantage. They can bring in faculty and experts from all over the world to teach their students. It is a huge benefit for students because it allows them to connect with them and gain firsthand knowledge from them without leaving their homes. Normally, this would be highly improbable and costly.