There are many advantages of online learning and many disadvantages. You must be aware of these factors before you decide if this mode of learning will work well for you. If you are going to take up an online course that requires certification, there are some things you need to consider. Some of the disadvantages of online learning include time constraints and financial constraints.
There are some advantages as well, which make it a very attractive option for people who would like to learn more about a subject but do not have the time to attend classes in person.
Online learning advantages
Online learning provides great advantages such as convenience and flexibility. Online learning is far more convenient and cheaper than traditional learning through a conventional classroom.
The lessons are of high quality because they are created online and therefore it is easier to fit in an entire lecture into an hour than in a classroom where each of the students has a half-hour of lecture time.
With online classes, there is also the issue of having a class schedule that you can workaround. You are in control of the lesson schedule, skipping lessons you do not want to learn, choosing when you want to study, and even blocking out certain times from studying so that you do not have to deal with traffic on the way to and from the classroom or lecture hall. Traditional classrooms are often packed and you might have to squeeze in other tasks such as getting dressed, eating lunch, or just making it to the class on time. In an online class, you are in control of the lesson schedule and you can skip lessons that you do not need to be attending.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Online Learning
Another advantage and disadvantage of e-learning lie in the lack of classroom or instructor-facilitated social interaction. Traditional classes have both instructors and students interacting in an environment designed to promote learning. There is a facilitator – another student – who acts as a link between students and the instructor for interaction and clarification.
This helps to make sure that students understand the subject matter and that they are not lost in the sea of text. With online classes, there is no one to help students apply what they learn and make them apply it.
E-learning does have its disadvantages. One of the most common problems is that when people are learning a subject matter, they tend to memorize information rather than comprehension. As a result, when they attempt to teach something else, they usually fail. Another problem is that e-learning does not provide a one-to-one instructor-facilitated learning experience; instructors may be able to get to some extent by video conferencing but there is no teacher-student interaction, which makes for an unhappy learning environment.
The main disadvantage of online classes is that many times, the instructor may not be available. It can also be difficult to supervise the class. Since no face-to-face interaction is maintained, there is a chance that mistakes will be made, and the lesson may go off track.
One way to overcome the disadvantages of online classes is to ensure that the lesson is taught at the right time and in the right format. This means that the lesson needs to be well thought out, well organized, and needs to be repeated many times before it gets mastered. The problem with many lessons is that there is no set schedule. For example, during a lesson on traveling, the student might spend half the lesson reading about the airplane ride and then go ahead and do the rest of the lesson about business.
A benefit of using a good lesson plan is that the classroom atmosphere can be converted into an efficient learning environment. Many times this is done by simply rephrasing a concept using words that the student has encountered and understood before. The other method is to have the students write out their homework, using the techniques they have learned in class.
This way the teacher can review the homework, review the techniques the student has used, and have the next lesson begin exactly where the previous one left off. The beauty of this method is that it allows the teacher to teach the material to a group of people, who are in the same classroom, at the same time, so all the students learn at the same pace.