The world has changed dramatically in the last couple of years. We saw the meteoric rise of teleworking and online learning caused by the 2020 pandemic. But what started as a necessity to stay safe and healthy has become the norm. Even though in-person training is still an option, the demand for online education continues to grow, according to McKinsey & Company. Who is driving this demand? Anyone from undergrad students and employees willing to learn new skills to lifelong learners.
Online learning, or e-learning, is knowledge transmitted and acquired over the Internet. It can be carried out as lectures via Zoom, MOOCS (Massive Online Open Courses), learning platforms, among other options. Let’s discuss the advantages and disadvantages of this remote modality.
The Advantages of Online Learning
Online classes are accessible from wherever you are, you just need an Internet-enabled device. Also, you choose when and where to take a class. You simply log on to a platform and away you go. Your learning can be built around your busy schedule, work, or family. You just need to carve out the time.
There is no excuse to miss class! However, if for any reason you do miss a lecture, you can download it and watch it at your leisure, rewinding it as many times as you need to understand a point.
Every student has a different learning style: auditory, visual, kinesthetic, among others. Or some students get distracted by large groups. So online learning offers different options and resources that can be personalized to your needs.
The various formats like presentations, videos, or tutorials make learning engaging and make it easy to learn the material. You create your own path and study at your own pace. However, you need to develop self-discipline and time management skills if you want to succeed.
Value for Money
Studying online means no commuting costs and wasted time. Also, you save on books, manuals, etc. because the reading material in online. You’re helping save the environment!
Some students may find it difficult to attend class in person for mobility reasons. Or they may be hearing or visually impaired, so a physical classroom may not be the best learning environment. Online learning is fantastic for students with disabilities, as they can use screen readers, voice-to-text software, or subtitled lectures. Additionally, online classes can be trigger-free.
What Are the Disadvantages of Online Learning?
Limited or zero social interaction
This is probably the biggest disadvantage for most students, barring technical issues, humans are gregarious by nature and thrive on social interaction. MOOCS don’t allow for any interaction, but synchronous classes may have breakout rooms for group discussions.
This learning style suits some students but can be detrimental to others and cause a sense of social isolation, anxiety, stress, and other mental health issues.
If you want to succeed, you need to develop self-discipline to stay on course. Set up a schedule, or carve up time if you’re busy, to attend classes and complete assignments. And stick to it! Here’s your chance to develop and reinforce time management skills to juggle work, study, and family time.
Remember that completing an online course shows that you’re driven, disciplined and independent. Any employer will respect these qualities.
It is possible to get distracted by social media, emails, messages, Whatsapp notifications in class. If you struggle to focus on a screen for long periods, set some rest time at regular intervals.
How to Manage Distractions
Here are a few tips on how to manage distractions that can ruin the online learning experience.
- Put your phone away or on mute and resist the temptation to check it often. Wait until after the lesson.
- Turn off all other devices and focus on your computer screen.
- Block apps and websites that can cause distraction for the duration of the class.
At English Services, we provide online language classes and double-impact programs through our 24/7 platform. We believe that learning should be fun, so we apply elements of gamification and the neurosciences to our lesson plans. Get in touch to find out more about our language programs!