Benefits & Challenges of Online Education in 2020
The e-learning industry has experienced skyrocketing development over the past few months due to Covid-19. As a result, Students and organizations using an online platform for learning as they connect students and educators. New tools are introduced based on cutting-edge technology that helps teachers reach their students more effectively. Online Education isn’t new to everyone — as before the global pandemic, many instructors were already conducting online classes.
A flexible environment with all basic needs for online classes allows students from any corner of the world to learn at their own pace with various courses available. You need a Subject name, a google search, dedication, and curiosity, and you have a lecture ready to develop your skills. Online education is still a debatable topic with more pros compared to cons. Flexibility, Scheduling, fast pace, management helps students in learning. Simultaneously, cons such as Connecting with academic peers, self-dependent, network issue, eye pain, communicating with the instructor, and maintaining a personal social life are challenges of online education. Let’s get into deep that what are Pros and Cons of E-learning.
Pros of Online Learning: 8 Online Education Advantages
1. Flexible Learning
Students have freedom for Digital “classrooms” in how, what, when and where they learn.They can customize the pace, place, and mode of learning. Flexibility also helps in working full-time while earning an education. Students can also experiment with various learning methods.
2. Individualized Learning
It is a teaching method in which content, instructional technology, and pace of learning are based upon each learner’s abilities and interests. It helps student engagement with learning. Each student’s learning needs, interests, abilities, and aspirations, individualized learning creates more engaging and dynamic classrooms.
3. You have more time to Think
In an online environment, e-learning can be your platform, tailored to you and your learning needs, tracking your progress and allowing you to set the pace according to the time you need to think about problems. Students can spend as much time as they want thinking about and honing their own ideas, bringing great confidence while learning.
4. Save Time and Money
Online education can work into any student’s schedule, available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Students can take classes late at night, early in the morning, throughout the weekend. You can also save money from the commute and class materials, tuition, traveling fees. Pre-made educational materials may include lesson plans, activities, exercises, reading materials, assignments, tests, quizzes, etc.
5. Self-Paced Learning
Students can complete work at convenient times. The lack of pressure from teaching, class timings, and personal schedules leaves students with a positive attitude to attend online classes. They can repeat the lesson as many times as they need.
6. Technical Benefits
Online Learning can help students gain technical skills, which is a plus for job seekers. Technical skills can include learning new software, troubleshoot common issues, performing in-depth research online, and communicating effectively in discussion boards and teleconferencing.
7. Opportunities for Students of all Ages and Needs
Anyone with any age can learn new skills and courses through a few clicks. You need a device, microphone, camera, and good internet connection to learn anything while sitting at any corner of the world. Multiple resources are there, such as multiple documentaries, videos, chapters, and units for all the courses and class lectures to be suitable for all ages.
8. Retention Rates Are Higher
The Research Institute of America found that eLearning increases retention rates by 25% to 60%. In comparison, face-to-face learning is very low 8% to 10% because fewer metrics could contribute to low coursework performance. Online class from home is more comfortable. Material is undoubtedly easier to digest at a comfortable pace instead of restricted specific class time.
Read also: HOW COVID-19 CHANGED OUR LIVES?
Cons of Online Learning: 6 Online Education Disadvantages
1. Struggling to Adapt
The sudden switch to online classes due to COVID 19 is much harder than it sounds. Many students like passive listening and making notes in a traditional classroom, which’s not the same in online classrooms. Students who have always been studying in the traditional classroom mindset cannot focus on online platforms.
How to Overcome Adapting challenges in Online Learning ?
- Communicate with your instructor
- Know the expectations
- Establish a functional workspace
- Utilize your resources
- Manage your time wisely
- Actively participate and expand your network.
2. Connectivity Issues
Many students are not well equipped with a reliable internet connection or readily available device. Due to a slow internet connection, there’s a chance that they may miss any live sessions, or may find difficulty in downloading some information related to the subject.
Overcome Technical issues challenges in Online Learning
- Students can opt for high-speed Internet.
- Upgrade your computer with apps and software required for E-learning.
- Start the session a little early and leave a buffer of time for login or other issues.
- Reach out to technical support or watch technology-related issues video tutorials.
3. Time Management
It’s not easy to take the online class seriously. In traditional classroom learning, you have specific schedule and time at a specific place. But in an online class, you have Flexibility, which can create issues for students who have trouble maintaining a schedule, so students need a scheduled planner to complete all the requirements of the programme – assignments, readings, etc. in an effective manner.
How to overcome the Time Management challenge?
- Set up a good learning environment
- Avoid Multitasking
- Create To-Do List
- Avoid Distractions
- Reward yourself
Students need social interaction and to be with their peers. Many of the students and teachers who spend much of their time online can start experiencing signs of social isolation due to the lack of peer to peer interaction, which can lead to several mental health issues such as stress, anxiety, and negative thoughts.
- Connect with other online students and Educator.
- Participate in group activities to increase interaction.
- Maintain a personal social life
- Participate in a blended learning environment
5. Data Security
If remote access isn’t secure, hackers can sneak in and control the entire network. Personal data of students, teachers, alumni, and administrative staff can be leaked. Social engineering and phishing attacks pose major IT security risks to schools.
Solution to cybersecurity risks for online education:
- Use Vpn that offers secure remote access.
- Enable two-factor authentication (2FA)
- Use Updated antivirus
- Attend training and awareness sessions on Social engineering and phishing.
6. Physical Health Risks From Overusing Computers
Due to increases usage time of mobile, laptop for online classes triggers new problem: stress, eye problems, disturbed sleep patterns, focusing difficulties and addiction to the internet. As classes go on for longer than expected, it can lead to social isolation, reduced academic achievement, and even mental illnesses like depression, boredom, sullenness, and anxiety.
Overcome Health risk problem in Online learning
- Use external speakers and over the ear headphone
- Take a break of 15 minutes after a continuous viewing period of 45 minutes.
- The viewing screen should be kept 20 degrees below the eye level, and no bright light should fall on the screen.
- Stick to desktop computers or laptops over mobile phones.
- Follow the 20-20-20 rule to reduce eye strain.