Online learning has set in a new paradigm. Many are optimistic about it, and others are sceptical too. There are plenty of online learning opportunities, but awareness of the pros and cons is equally essential. It is engaging for some, while others might encounter many difficulties.
There can be challenges and new opportunities in online learning. Let’s discuss the strengths and weaknesses for a better understanding.
The online program became popular in higher education and gave plenty of opportunities to those with limited access to education. A new paradigm of educators developed dynamic courses. Students looking for research paper writing services can also look for online resources.
Students can participate anywhere
Students can participate in a learning situation, as some might find on-ground learning difficult. But now students can participate from any part of the world. All a student needs is a computer and an internet connection.
It also permits physically challenged students to participate better. Active and increased participation is seen in different regions. Online learning has brought a lot of inclusivity.
Students learn at any pace
The accessibility is immense in the virtual classroom. In addition, the online learning format offers a lot of flexibility. Even professionals juggling work and family can manage the new learning pattern.
They can access the course at any time of the day. They can get access to lectures, course materials and discussions. The platform is convenient for many. It saves a lot of time being spent on travel and commuting.
Both instructors and students can go for the online format with ease. The resources and ideas can be shared appropriately. There can be a lot of synergy in the learning process. The student-centred virtual classroom offers a unique learning format, and it is one of the vital traits.
The structure of online learning allows students to be participative and articulate responses. There can be discussions, and the comments are well analysed on the spot. A response can be well checked immediately, which usually gets lost in discussions.
Individuals can quickly respond and put up their concerns. Students get involved in relevant dialogues, which helps the student to control their learning experience. The class discussion can be well-tailored to meet specific needs. In short, students can take charge of their own learning experience. They are also exposed to a unique mix of information.
Focus on content
Online learning is a level playing field, and learners can maintain a lot of anonymity—no major discriminating factors like age, appearance, disabilities, race, or gender.
The critical focus is solely on the content being discussed. Here an individual’s ability to respond, participate and contribute intelligently is also checked.
Read Also : Process Of Learning
Now, we go on to discuss the flaws in online learning. Even though online programs have many strengths and access to quality education, there can be weaknesses while using a medium that can be a threat to any online program.
Accessibility to technology
It is difficult for students from poor economic backgrounds to afford such learning .it is seen that most of them do not have access to the online learning environment. This is a significant issue in rural and lowers socioeconomic places. Internet accessibility is also a prime concern in some areas.
It can be costly for some, and they might not be in a position to afford it. Some students even face issues with limited availability of internet access. Equity is what online education fails to maintain.
It is essential for both the students and the educator to have minimum computer literacy. For example, they must be adept at using search engines, be familiar with email, FTP procedures etc.
An entire online program will be deemed a failure if the facilitator is not able to run the program well and is not computer literate.
Limitations of technology
Students must have access to reliable technology, but even a 100 % reliable technology might not be completely reliable. Online learning is not just about the equipment used; the entire process is running well.
It is seen that breakdowns can happen at any point in the system. Like the server crashed and cut off the learning session, individuals’ PCs were having problems, or the internet connection was failing. So in some situations, the technology can neither be seamless nor reliable. It can distract the learners.
Easy access to resources
Online courses have made the content available to students in any world. The resources can be located in any part of the world, and students can get a hand on them. It is significantly more accessible for the instructor to compile a section and link it to scholarly articles and institutions. Students can easily access the course content for research and extension. A lot of new ways of learning can be implemented here.
Much interactive learning and a creative approach are also required in adult education. It helps improve self-direction, and one can be a critical thinker too. Even educators are applying concepts to make better strides in education and learning patterns. Education is not just about memorisation.
Virtual classrooms are autonomous and are primarily self-directed. So creative and innovative approach makes learning more engaging. The course objective is thoroughly thought upon, and the teaching style constantly evolved to meet the growing needs.
Lack of Student Motivation
The online learning mode is effective for disciplined students. But dependent learners might face difficulty taking on responsibilities needed in an online program. Moreover, even some of the facilitator lack training and cannot deliver content well. So, the quality of a program might be compromised.
An online instructor must create a supportive environment where students can participate comfortably. In addition, both faculty and participant might feel the limitations of a program and might require a proper on-site interaction.
Like when researching for the Nike swot pest analysis case study, students might land in places where the content is not up to the mark. This might create confusion.
Maintaining synergy level
Online learning is mostly about maintaining active dialogue. But in large classrooms, it is seen that the energy level tends to fade away, and the learning momentum gets disturbed. The dialogue tends to get limited, and the interaction among the participants tends to fade. This can be due to flaws in the learning medium.
Although there is enormous excitement for online learning, some subjects cannot be best taught in the online learning mode. There are many hands-on subjects like public speaking, surgery, dental hygiene etc., which are best-taught face to face and in the traditional learning environment. Hybrid courses can only be a temporary solution. But online teaching mode cannot solve all the education needs and goals.
An online must be carefully considered and developed. The need for qualified professionals should not be overlooked. An online mode must cater to group interaction, dialogue and participation.
Online programs are based on instructional environments which broaden learning opportunities. Quality education can be provided through several formats.
An online program will only be ultimately successful if the curriculum, facilitator, technology, and students can take complete advantage of its strengths. They must neglect the pitfalls which might be a cause of their weakness.
Charley Reiley is a leading instructor at a London school. He is also a part of MyAssignmnethelp.com and supports students with research paper writing services. She is a professional nature photographer too.