With technology comes Online Learning where as of now, education is a field that is changing a lot, and recently that process has been getting faster and faster. Almost every day, we learn about new things and methods which improve the educational system. COVID-19 made people understand that online education is also possible and has both good sides and challenges.
Today, online learning can also be considered an addition to the traditional school that offers lucrative benefits and downsides alike for both students and teachers. Realistically, many people prefer taking online courses simultaneously with work or education to enlarge their knowledge and get new skills and experiences. Thus, it’s quite a revolutionary tool for us all.
Many traditional colleges and universities have begun adopting online teaching/learning strategies. Those who are inexperienced with the concept of online learning could be unsure about their decision. In a nutshell, we can say that online learning is a great tool that allows students to have greater control over their learning process in terms of time and place.
However, one downside to note is that students often experience unwanted negative emotions due to the lack of emotional support while interacting with online learning content. That said, we are going to have a look at a few points that outline the benefits and drawbacks of online learning. So you may have a better understanding of what this education system entails.
The Basic Academic Libraries Online Learning Literature Review
Online Learning refers to instruction that is delivered electronically through various multimedia and Internet platforms and applications. It is used interchangeably with other terms such as web-based learning, e-learning, computer-assisted instruction, and Internet-based learning. From far and wide, this is a topic that has received a lot of attention from many angles.
Basically, the study of learners’ engagement with online learning platforms in developing countries is still equivocal. For one thing, transnational universities have increased the need to bridge the communication gap between learners of developing and developed nations. Online learning providers are also beginning to identify students in need of remediation.
More so, as likely beneficiaries of online learning. Nearly 20% of FLVS students are reported to be either at risk or in need of credit recovery — a term used to refer to the need to retake courses previously failed or to accumulate more course credits to meet graduation requirements. In the past, distance education, in general, has been shown to benefit nontraditional students.
Especially, those with daytime responsibilities, since asynchronous learning allows for flexible scheduling. However, poorly performing students are a relatively new focus of online learning providers. Previously, only academically successful secondary students were thought to have the skills and motivation necessary to work independently.
But, online learning providers argue that an online curriculum that increases individualization and provides specialized support to nontraditional or poorly performing students can keep some students in the education system who would otherwise be lost. So, what are some of the benefits that we can borrow from this form of the education system?
Some Online Learning Benefits That You Should Know
First of all, Online Learning and Multimedia (OLaM) is the use of software programs to instruct students in content and skills. As well as to facilitate learning in and out of the traditional classroom setting. OLaM is prevalent in most American school settings and is often used with little regard for the emotional effect on children and related academic outcomes.
It may be delivered via a desktop or laptop computer, mobile phone, tablet, or even via a dedicated hardware platform such as an Xbox or PlayStation. Secondly, online learning systems have been used to deliver a completely new and seamless online curriculum. In addition, they are also used as supplementary components to help in offering face-to-face instructions.
As an example, the River City Project is an interactive computer simulation — it embeds standards-based content and learning activities into a 3D virtual world. It teaches middle-school students disease transmission and scientific inquiry. Sloodle combines Second Life, a 3D social game environment, and Moodle, an open-source CMS, for well-managed learning.
Although the research on 3D virtual worlds is still in the initial stages, researchers have found these online learning systems extremely helpful in facilitating collaborative learning, peer mentoring, and learning community building. In addition to supporting situated learning in immersive, psychosocial contexts. Generally, online learning systems have two basic forms.
The two online learning systems are:
- Online CMS and Three-Dimensional (3D)
- Immersive Online Learning Environments
Typically, a CMS mimics the traditional course organization and structure — it usually consists of user and content management components. Common online learning management systems include open-source systems like Moodle and Sakai, and commercial systems like Angel and Blackboard. While 3D virtual-learning systems provide interactive environments.
Oftentimes, these interactive environments attempt to provide a more immersive and social learning experience. Using an online educational platform allows for a better balance of work and studies, so there’s no need to give anything up. Studying online teaches you vital time management skills, which makes finding a good work-study balance easier.
Having a common agenda between the student and teacher can also prompt both parties to accept new responsibilities and have more autonomy. Be that as it may, there are so many other benefits that we can consider.
1. Not Expensive
For a variety of reasons, online education can be more affordable. For instance, there are no transportation costs. The cost of using public transportation, petrol, parking, and other mobility-related fees have no bearing on the online student. Or students will not have to spend money on books because they can get the online version of the literature.
Unlike in-person education methods, online education tends to be more affordable. There’s also often a wide range of payment options that let you pay in installments or per class. This allows for better budget management. Many of you may also be subject to discounts or scholarships, so the price is rarely high. You can also save money on the commute and class materials.
Essentially, which are often available for free. Not only that but there are also plenty of scholarships available for online studies these days. In other words, the monetary investment is less, but the results can be better than other options.
Due to the lack of a set timetable, students can balance their work and education. In a typical classroom, meeting hours are predetermined, and students cannot change them, forcing them to plan their calendars around these times. Most people who select online education typically have other obligations and choose this learning format since it gives them more control.
Particularly, over how they will allocate their time to their many assignments. There’s no need to discount the skepticism surrounding education through the internet. It’s hard to understand the notion of leaving behind the conventional classroom, especially, if it’s to face this vast space called The Internet.
3. Course Variety
The greater diversity of educational opportunities is another reason why some choose online education. Students can enroll for the courses that interest them the most, as they are not required to attend campus for sessions that are scheduled at specific times and days. Students in an online program can enroll in the course of their choice as per their learning demands.
And then, they can complete the study whenever it is most convenient for them, eliminating the need to alter schedules. Online programs provide students with the information they need to complete their degrees or improve their careers. You may get the same degrees that you can in a typical school environment by taking online courses.
4. Seamless Integration
Many online learning platforms build their website by WordPress, which gives a lot of new opportunities for both students and teachers to check their knowledge and learn new skills by using different tools. One of them is WordPress Quiz Plugin, schools always include this plugin in their website to make the learning process more interesting.
What’s more, some of them use it for some exams. You can quickly and easily create effective and captivating quizzes, tests, and examinations with the Quiz Maker plugin. Numerous settings are available in this WordPress plugin to create totally personalized, challenging tests. There is no limit to the number of tests and questions you may create.
There is no cap on the number of test takers concurrently taking the exam. It features a user-friendly UI and a responsive design, so your website users will like taking your quizzes.
4. Immediate Feedback
Technology integration into the classroom has several benefits. You might often receive quick feedback following examinations rather than waiting days or weeks. Students upload digital work for their lecturer to examine in online courses. Professors grade student work online and provide electronic comments. Students consequently get comments immediately away.
In a regular classroom, students may have to wait a week or two before receiving feedback on their assignments. Students who receive feedback sooner can learn more rapidly and adjust the assignments that follow.
5. Career Advancement Opportunities
Virtual learning, like traditional classroom courses, may provide you with many opportunities for work advancement. Because they control their own schedule, virtual learning students are better able to continue working while pursuing academic credentials. Unemployed students might also utilize academic work to explain any gaps or gaps on their CVs.
The advantages of virtual learning may be seen on a resume in every setting. Given that it’s easily accessible and readily available, online education is a sensible choice whether you’re a teenager or an adult. As a student, this can be a useful learning method for sharpening your skills in a difficult subject or learning a new skill.
While, in the same fashion, it can help digitally-elevated teachers and trainers to share their experiences more effectively.
6. Enhanced Time Management Skills
While one of the benefits of online learning is the ability to complete homework at a time that is convenient for the student, the student must still employ time management skills to complete their assignments by the deadlines set by the professor.
Online courses assist students gain better time management skills since the student is responsible for participating in the course rather than simply attending class on a specified day and time. As a result, students improve their time management skills and get new knowledge from their education.
7. Networking Opportunities
Through virtual group projects and meetings, students enrolled in online courses have a better opportunity to work with their peers. The message boards and grouping features of online classrooms allow students to express their views on readings and other work and respond to their classmates.
With virtual learning, students may spend more time one-on-one with their professors, which is beneficial for networking and learning. Students can post work for evaluation and contact their lecturer through the director.
8. Personalized Education
Online classes may be useful for people who find it difficult to concentrate in a classroom setting. When conversing online, less confident students may have more opportunities to join in class discussions. Working at your own location and studying at your own pace may result in a more personalized learning experience.
Students in online classrooms can complete readings and activities at their leisure. Because the coursework is online, students may do it from any location with an internet connection.
The Most Common Online Education Challenges To Note
On one hand, the emotional state of the student can directly affect both attitude and performance in school. The emotional state of students, on the other hand, is often marginalized as unworthy of consideration in mainstream educational settings. In addition, it’s also good to note that the design of OLaM has an effect on cognitive load and, by extension, academic growth.
With that in mind, below are the most common challenges that students use to face during the online learning process. The overall awareness alone can come in handy in proper online learning curriculum planning for learners and teachers as well.
1. Lack of motivation
Most students start online courses warmed up and ready to learn, but as the lectures go on, they lose interest in attending classes. Because there is a less face-to-face connection in online courses, some students find it difficult to concentrate. When lecturers or classmates are physically missing, students lose the sense of urgency and drive necessary to attend on time.
They may also not be able to effectively meet deadlines, and advance. Gradually dropping grades and procrastination may occur. Contrary to common belief, lengthy books, challenging homework assignments, and exams don’t assist and may even make students less motivated to attend class.
2. Being isolated
Humans are naturally gregarious creatures—most individuals like conversing with and getting to know others, especially in social settings. Furthermore, while students can speak with their friends via Zoom or Google Meet, the face-to-face connection is different. Students may study, work, and follow other interests all at the same time thanks to online learning.
However, the absence of classmates and lecturers in the immediate area may cause youngsters to feel isolated. They begin to feel alienated from the class and might not participate as actively as they would in a physical environment. Therefore, it is not surprising that students turn off their cameras during online sessions and fall asleep.
In addition to encouraging indiscipline, this hinders kids’ academic success since teachers cannot individually cater to each student’s requirements.
3. Focus and distraction
The Internet offers numerous distractions in addition to its delights and conveniences. We cope with information overload daily through various digital media, including videos, blogs, and, most importantly, social media. The same goes for cell phones, which have greatly facilitated our lives but also increased distraction.
Students may need help focusing on courses and homework due to the frequent alerts they receive from several sites. And once these alerts divert a mind, it is impossible to avoid falling down the Internet’s rabbit hole. This is one of the students’ most significant difficulties when learning online.
4. Technical Issues
The known Gen Z and Millennial generations are generally technologically savvy. However, this does not mean that they are never confronted with technological challenges. Students who study on computers must be able to use a variety of applications, some of which have difficult learning curves.
If a student was encountering technology issues on a physical campus, the IT staff might be instantly called for assistance. When attending online classes, the student is required to sort things out on their own. If they’re lucky, they’ll have someone to help them, but that person will most likely only be around on occasion.
But technical problems are more than just a problem for students. Low internet bandwidth, discontinuous reception, and video hiccups are just a few of the issues teachers encounter. These problems cause learning to become tiresome and to flow poorly.
5. Bad Time Management
Managing your regular day-to-day tasks can be challenging even without being a student. It might be difficult to manage all the obligations online learning adds to a student’s to-do list. While online learning gives students unmatched freedom to engage in other activities, they must still be competent time managers to complete their tasks efficiently and effectively.
6. Disabilities and Special Needs
Due to learning challenges or other limitations, some students may need help in online courses. To achieve academically, students with impairments such as dyslexia, autism, poor eyesight, hearing loss, and others require exceptional support. They can only receive that in a physical education class.
7. Lack of Technical Equipment
Students require a device with a reliable internet connection that they can write homework on, such as a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet with a keyboard, in order to participate in online classes and excel at distance learning. These gadgets are pricey, especially for kids from low-income families.
Technically, Online Learning and the professionals who provide online instruction are under a myriad of pressures to constantly adapt to emerging user needs. And to look forward to new directions and approaches. Online instructors have moved from “sage on a stage,” attempting to duplicate regular, face-to-face instruction to “meddler in the middle.”
While, at the same time, facilitating interactive, technology-driven learning experiences. Librarians are the consummate “meddlers,” partnering with instructors to provide meaningful information literacy learning in the distributed learning environment. Generally speaking, the concept of traditional education has changed radically within the last couple of years.
Being physically present in a classroom isn’t the only learning option anymore — not with the rise of the internet and new technologies, at least. Nowadays, you have access to a quality education whenever and wherever you want, as long as you can get online. Whether we like it or not, we are now entering a new era — the revolution of online education — it’s here to stay!
All in all, as you see, Online Education can bring many advantages for students and professors and has challenges if you are mainly used to the traditional learning process. If you decide to go online learning or stay in a traditional classroom, some of the points mentioned in the article will greatly help you understand which option will be best for you or your children.