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Advantages and disadvantages of online learning

Online Learning
Online Learning

Advantages and disadvantages of online learning

Online technology can be applied to almost any aspect of life these days – including learning. In these modern times, students don’t have to be in an actual classroom or lecture theatre, to learn. There are now a lot of learning platforms online that cater to this niche, including websites, blogs, social media, video-based sites, and so on. These avenues provide a plethora of materials that are beneficial to people wanting to learn. However, as with everything in life, there are some drawbacks. This article will address the advantages and disadvantages of online learning.

Advantages of online learning

1.    Convenience

This is the major advantage of online learning. After a hectic day, you might not have the energy to travel to lectures. Also, the stress of having to commute to school, might weigh you down. With online learning, you will have the opportunity to take your classes in the comfort of your own home. You can start your classes at a time you feel is right for you. You could even decide to attend class in another environment (for example, when traveling on a train or coach). 

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2.    Flexibility

With you not needing to be in a physical classroom to receive classes, you will have the opportunity to create a schedule that suits you best. While taking online courses at home, you can take your classes at your own time. 

3.    Affordability

One of the reasons why online learning is celebrated, is the fact that learning institutions are able to save a significant amount of money. They don’t have to secure buildings for lectures to be held. This subsequently ensures that students can save money, as they won’t need to commute to a classroom. Additionally, they won’t need to buy as many books or supplies and they won’t have to spend money in shops to buy breakfast, lunch or even dinner.

4.    Increased interaction

You might think that being in an actual classroom instead of in front of a screen, might improve interaction between students and their teachers, but this isn’t always the case. For online classes, shy students can ask questions by initiating a private chat with the instructor. Any students who uncomfortable with being broadcast to the rest of the class, can disable their webcams or mute their microphones and still be attentive in lectures.

Disadvantages of online learning

1.    Isolation

Some students can work perfectly well by themselves, while others find it harder, preferring the comfort that a campus community provides. Even though online learning has been making progress in bridging this gap, it is clearly still a drawback for many at the moment. The social aspect of learning provided by actually being with other students, cannot be replicated by online classes.

2.    Self-discipline

When you’re studying online, you’re likely going to be alone. This is in stark contrast to being in an actual classroom – an environment which increases accountability. Being in an online class, a student who isn’t receiving the appropriate guidance, may not have the self-discipline required to study properly.

3.  Technical issues

Even with all the advantages discussed earlier, the biggest disadvantage of online learning might be facing technical problems. It can be frustrating and disruptive when an online class encounters video, audio or even connection issues. This is something that doesn’t affect physical classes.

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