Pros and cons of online learning: Should you go online?

What is distance learning?

Distance learning we call the educational process, which is based on the use of computer technology.

Education can be pre-school, school, university or further vocational training. Children can study remotely to prepare them for school, and adults can complete their education and learn new professions. It is easier than ever before - you can, for example, enrol in a study programme at a prestigious university, complete it and get your diploma.

For experts, online training is a great opportunity to share their knowledge with an unlimited audience and monetise it. An expert creates a training programme or starts an essay writing and distributes it online.

To avoid distance learning becoming a disappointment for you, you need to analyse the pros and cons. This applies to both the learners themselves and the online training organisers.

Advantages of online training for organisers

Organising distance learning has its own peculiarities. It is different from face-to-face meetings between an expert and trainees. In the training preparation phase, the advantages of the e-learning format are considered to be.

Increased number of trainees

A limited number of learners can be gathered for a face-to-face workshop or course. This is because of the geographical distance of those wishing to attend and the limited capacity of any venue. The Internet expands the possibilities and allows you to bring in any number of students from different cities and countries.

Reducing costs

With online training, you don't need to pay for venue hire and other organisational costs. You don't have to pay for travel and accommodation to invite the best speakers, or to hold an event in several regions.

Training automation

Online learning systems allow you to automate routine processes. For example, the platform automatically maintains a database of students, generates reports on their progress, checks their test assignments and sends reminders to students to study the material.

Wide range of working tools

Teachers can use different online tools for learning. For example, video, screen sharing, presentations, chat and interactive teaching methods.

Learning monitoring and learning analytics

Distance learning platforms make it possible to keep track of the students' progress. The teacher, for example, can see the student's statistics and marks from the completed lessons at any time.

No localization

Organisers can involve experts from any city in the training. This is also convenient for the experts themselves. They can lecture from their own living room, without affecting the quality of the training.

Convenient planning

The trainee and the instructor can choose any convenient time for the lessons. And if the training is asynchronous, i.e., does not imply real-time lessons, the teacher can prepare the material and check the students' answers at any time.

Disadvantages of online training for organisers

There are some disadvantages of the distance format in the process of organising and delivering training.

Inability to use online tools

When an educator moves from an offline format to an online one, he or she may not know how to work on the training platform and other software required for the training the first time.

Technical challenges

Efficient training requires a stable Internet connection and the proper functioning of programmes and devices. Sometimes technical failures occur, which an untrained person cannot cope with.

Difficult to keep students' attention and engagement

When the training takes place online, the teacher most often has no visual contact with the learners. He cannot see their commitment and appreciate their level of attention and involvement. This makes it difficult to make sure that students are immersed in the material, understand it and have no questions.

The benefits of e-learning for students

The Internet has made all kinds of knowledge accessible. There are interesting benefits for learners at the stage of selecting a programme.

Wide range of courses

A person can gain any kind of knowledge and skills - learn a foreign language, learn a digital profession, learn an applied skill or a hobby. He can choose where and with whom to get that knowledge - from free courses to top experts' programmes for big money.

Practical knowledge

Online programmes are most often taught by practitioners who work in large companies and have a good understanding of what they are talking about and how it works in practice. Whereas traditional universities are usually taught by theoreticians. The knowledge they impart may be different from reality.

Saving your budget

Online courses are cheaper than face-to-face courses because trainers don't have to pay for premises and equipment. And there are many courses available free of charge. You also do not need to buy teaching materials. All aids are provided digitally.

No discrimination

Online education is accessible to all. For example, distance learning is a great way for people with disabilities to get an education on the same basis as a healthy person. Everyone learns on equal terms.

Arbitrary pace of learning

The student himself chooses the pace of learning - he can learn a new skill quickly and get a profession or on the contrary study at a relaxed pace. Nobody rushes him.

Instant knowledge test

Having studied the lectures, a student performs practical tasks to consolidate the new material. For example, he answers tests and open-ended questions. They get their results instantly.

Chat with the teacher

The student is able to contact the teacher at any time and ask questions. They can do it in the chat room, in a private message, or in the lesson comments. No more need to haunt the teacher between lessons.

The ability to revise lectures

It's not easy to understand complex material the first time you hear it. And to keep in mind all the information learned. That's why it's convenient to be able to go back to the lectures and practical exercises you've completed.

Disadvantages of distance learning for students

Distance learning has disadvantages, let's look at them.

Unrealistic expectations

The artwork and buzz words do not guarantee that the course will be helpful and that you will obtain the results you were promised. Good publicity may conceal poor quality materials.

Not enough face to face interaction

A student may lack personal contact with the teacher and other students. Especially when the course consists of recorded lectures and a student cannot get an answer to a question he is interested in from the teacher while studying the material.

Not being able to organise their own learning process

Effective online learning relies on the discipline, responsibility and motivation of the learner. Otherwise, you are likely to spend all the time allocated for learning on social media.

Information overload

The learner adjusts the pace of learning. In order to speed up results, the trainee may be tempted to complete a half-yearly course in a month. There is so much information that you become overwhelmed, and you lose the will to learn.

Hitting The Inbox
Must Read