The upsides and downsides of learning online – words Alexa Wang
The digital age has left a strong impact on many fields, and education is one of them. Web-based learning, E-Learning or Online Education is just a few terms that refer to the process of learning whatever you want online. E-learning allows its students to attend video conferences via the web, get their lectures through videos or email, view live lectures, join online discussions, and access a large amount of academic materials.
Before, online learning was limited to specific courses. Today, however, many popular universities shared their coursework online for a much easier method to spread knowledge. E-learning is a great way to get the education you need; however, there are upsides and downsides to learning online.
The Advantages of E-Learning
The popularity of E-Learning has grown over the years for a number of reasons:
The great thing about E-learning is that it’s easily accessible to anyone. It’s often hard for students travelling abroad for the specific education they need, but online learning facilitates and simplifies that by allowing any student to sign up to their online education without having to travel. E-Learning also benefits those who didn’t get a proper education for any reason as it encourages them to seek one, no matter their age or if they have a day job.
Provides flexibility and mobility
The beauty about online learning is that it can be accessed anywhere, thus allowing you to study by using your phone or your laptop. It also allows you to work on your own pace, which is ideal if you have a day job. According to United Medical Education, accessing the courses for certification or training can be done 24/7 from the comfort of your own home. This means that you can study during any time of the day; a flexible learning environment only needs a good internet connection. You’ll also access the course’s resources anytime and anywhere you want.
Saves you time and money
E-learning is relatively cheap compared to traditional methods of learning. First of all, students will save commute or travel money if they’re studying at a remote location. Students will also save money on textbooks as all the online learning material can be accessed through our laptop. You’ll also be saving time because completing an online education takes less time than traditional university degrees. It’s also a time saver for the educators since they don’t need to spend too much time giving and re-giving their lectures; it’s only recorded once and stored for a lifetime of educating many students.
The Disadvantages of E-Learning
As much as E-learning is helping many people, it still has its drawbacks:
Depending too much on technology
While it seems that it gives access to many people who don’t have the best educational opportunities, the fact that it requires a good internet connection can be a hindrance to many. Not everyone has a proper connection to the internet or access to proper computers, or even has the opportunity for an equipped laptop ready to handle the software that E-learning uses. These are all potential risks that will prevent students from learning.
Learning approach and lack of feedback
Not all students will prefer this learning method because it doesn’t give them the necessary feedback or experience they need to grow. It’s quite challenging to tailor online courses for many types of learners, and more often than not, students do not enjoy their experience. Not getting the right one-on-one feedback from your instructor is a downside as well since a lot of students’ progress depends on getting constructive feedback. This may discourage the student and he/she will fall behind.
Universities don’t just provide education, but they also provide a lifestyle and an experience that fosters personal growth. Going to college means you socialize, meet different people, enhance your personality, and gain emotional intelligence. E-learning, on the other hand, might limit human interaction. E-learning students only react with others through chat rooms and emails, thus giving the student a sense of isolation and lack of human connection. This lack of support might discourage some students to continue.
As much as online learning is helping many, it still has its fair share of pros and cons. E-learning can become an ideal method of getting the education many international students deserve. It can also be a hub of risks waiting to happen. By understanding the pros and cons of E-learning, you’ll be able to make a better decision when it comes to pursuing an online education or not.