Technology

Advantages and Disadvantages of eLearning

Advantages and Disadvantages of Online Learning

eLearning has often been used to educate students. However, since COVID-19 entered the picture, this teaching and learning mode became necessary. Even some studies reported students scored better in academics through online learning than their pre-pandemic performance. 

There’s no denying online learning has transformed the concept of education. Studying online has become the “new normal” due to the pandemic. You can utilise various tools to attend classes and attempt your quizzes and assignments. It’ll continue to revolutionize the educational sector for generations to come in the future. 

However, if there are benefits, there would be some drawbacks too. For example, even though students are learning and performing better, we may not know the impacts of eLearning on students’ mental health. 

So, let’s weigh this coin on both sides and see whether eLearning is worth the buzz or not. 

Advantages

Reformed teaching ways

One of the best outcomes of eLearning has been the use of innovative techniques for teaching. Instead of delivering boring lectures based on a slideshow, teachers now incorporate other interactive ways. For instance, streaming a YouTube video in class or assigning students to listen to an informative podcast. 

Meanwhile, if a student is hesitant to approach you in class, you can conduct a one-to-one Zoom or Google Meet session with them. You can also utilise online whiteboards, flowcharts, and graphs for visualising purposes. In this way, you’ll be making your lectures more fun and interesting. 

Furthermore, you can use work planners to organise your lectures and document management tools for keeping track of assignments submitted by the students. 

Increased convenience and flexibility

Let’s be real no one likes to commute for long hours and that too for studying. After bumping into people all day long, you just want some solitude. Online classes have made it possible as you can attend lectures from the comfort of your home. 

This comes as a huge relief, especially if you’re a part-time employee, as you’ll have a much easier time keeping up with your classes. You can even record the video lectures and watch them as you commute to work. However, a reliable internet connection and a smartphone are essential for that.

As long as your teacher uploads the lectures, such as on YouTube or Google Drive, you can access them from anywhere at your convenience. 

Reduced costs

Online learning has resulted in reduced costs for daily expenses. Compared to traditional classes, which include student transport, meals, and building costs, online learning saves you a huge amount of money. In addition, parents don’t have to pay for additional costs, such as laboratory or library use. That saved money can be used to buy a decent internet package for home.

Many educational institutions are purely relying on this system of learning to keep them going. Otherwise, they’d have to deal with in-house development and equipment. But, on the other hand, with all the course material available online, there is no paper wastage either. Thus, you’d kill two birds with one stone. 

Attentiveness and Retention

No one is a backbencher in an online class. Everyone gets to have equal attention. At times in a classroom, a student might hesitate to ask questions. But in a virtual classroom, they’re more likely to ask any questions they have from the teacher. If a student is uncomfortable attending with the entire class, ask them to mute their mic or turn off their camera.

Also, through eLearning, teachers get real-time feedback from the students almost immediately. For example, if they conduct pop-quizzes, teachers will know who’s attentive in their class and who’s dozing off. In addition, teachers can ask students to resolve questions on the same board through the whiteboard sharing option. 

Take on new challenges

One of the best things about online learning is it opens doors to explore new opportunities. For instance, apart from your online classes, if you’re interested in a foreign language, you can sign up to learn it online. You’ll find various trustworthy sources for it even. As long as you commit to it, you’ll be acing foreign language quizzes in no time. 

Furthermore, you’ll get more time to work and concentrate on your coursework. However, if you’re having a hard time, you can get law assignment help from trustworthy services in your law courses. 

Disadvantages

Excessive screen-time 

It’s almost unavoidable in 2022, but we spend an alarming amount of time in front of screens. Unfortunately, online learning contributes to this dilemma. Excessive screen time can cause various physical problems, such as bad posture and headaches. However, it can also be a personal issue for students who have difficulty learning from or focusing on displays. 

Poor attention spans often result, especially when the internet is designed to divert students’ attention away from studying. On the flip side, many online learning platforms and software provide numerous tools and features to assist students in being attentive and staying focused.

Lack of social interaction

Everyone learns in their unique way. For example, some students can work independently, while others feel comfortable in their campus community, where they have easy access to lecturers and fellow students. 

We’ve relied on the idea of traditional learning so much anything else seems foreign to us. Sure, there’d be times when a teacher would be more comfortable teaching face-to-face. But with new challenges, one has no choice but to adapt. Hence, while the lack of interaction might make students feel more isolated initially, it is now unavoidable. 

The good news is virtual classroom platforms attempt to bridge such gaps. They can create a community in the virtual environment, enabling learners to participate in live sessions actively.

Self-discipline and time management 

eLearning can be somewhat tricky because students have to take accountability for studying independently. If the whole class doesn’t submit an assignment, you won’t feel bad. But if you miss out on any assignment alone, you’d be overcome with guilt. Such a situation happens a lot during online learning. 

Apart from self-discipline, another issue most students face is time management. E-Learning requires you to be a responsible adult. As a result, it is up to you to develop a studying routine. Otherwise, you’ll never get the hang of making the most out of online learning. Moreover, since you have no teacher to remind you every day to submit tasks, you have to do it independently. 

Lack of hands-on eLearning

Some topics can be hard to understand virtually, and your teacher can do so much when you are not physically in a classroom. For instance, you may not learn to solve a particularly tough mathematical equation online. You’d need the time and patience of your teacher to explain it step-by-step – liberties you don’t have in remote learning. Although, it might help if your teacher conducts a whole session entirely for you. 

Furthermore, eLearning usually involves discussing theories rather than applying them. Hence, you can say online learning cannot beat traditional classes. 

For example, someone can teach you all about basketball. But, unless you play the game, you may not know the technicalities. Similarly, law essays teach you everything you need to know about the courts, but you won’t make a good lawyer unless you practice the law yourself. Practical knowledge is a must in some scenarios. Hence, eLearning won’t be fruitful in those particular cases. 

Teaching the teacher

Online learning requires teachers to have a fundamental grasp of using digital platforms. However, this is not always the case. Some teachers may have a limited hold of the technology. They may not even have the requisite resources and tools to conduct online lessons at times. 

Often, teachers who are well into their middle-ages have difficulty navigating technology. Thus, making it harder for them to teach and lose their touch while teaching online. Even though they are successful professors in their field, they might find it hard to grasp the modern ways. 

In the end, the debate on which form of learning is better may continue forever. However, the bottom line is we must adapt to the times while keeping the essence of teaching and learning alive. 

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