In the last few decades, technological advancements have brought far-reaching reforms in different fields and sectors of the economy. Starting with the advent of the internet and following developments in digital technology, every industry has seen major improvements and the same goes for the course of education.
Most countries around the world have launched schemes and initiatives to improve the quality of education and inclusive education. With this in mind, many institutions have started offering distance learning or online learning programs with certificates to students for impactful learning at home. Online learning has become a popular choice among students because of its flexibility, and in this current pandemic time when the schools, colleges, and coaching institutions are shut, E-learning has paved a way for many to continue with their education.
Pros of Online Learning
Easy To Access
Unlike On-Campus learning, Online learning gives you access to all available educational resources in just a few clicks, while sitting at home and without having to travel to a campus or any other place. Not only this, a student can access it anywhere, whether at home or anywhere around the world, all he/she needs is a computer and an internet connection. This gives the student the freedom of mobility and ensures that his/her learning never stops regardless of the geographical location.
Digital or Online learning provides affordable education as while studying online a student can save money by averting expenses like transportation cost, caution fee, library charges, etc. He/she only has to make a one-time payment to start with an online course and to access all the study material and resources available in it. Nowadays, many online learning platforms have mushroomed in India offering affordable crash courses for students preparing for competitive exams like banking, SSC, RRB, and UPSC exam, etc.
A major advantage regarding E-learning is that it provides the flexibility of time and place. A student can study at any time, whether in the morning, evening, or at night that fits his/her daily routine. Also, the student can go through the educational resources from anywhere i.e., at home or while traveling for which he only needs a proper internet connection, a device, and his/her login credentials.
Access to Available Online Resources
After starting with an online course, a student is provided with various educational online resources such as lecture videos, study material/notes, quizzes, and practice tests, and more, to offer complete guidance and assistance in the student’s learning. Students can also clear their doubts or can interact with the teaching faculty through comments, emails, chats, etc in real-time. Apart from this, they are also given assignments and tasks for self-assessment and to track their progress.
Offers more Student-Centered Learning
Generally, during classroom teaching is that an instructor has to teach a class of students, and therefore, giving individual attention to each student seems impossible. But with E-learning, a student-centered approach is given priority. As we know that every individual student has a different way of learning and understanding therefore, keeping this in mind special attention is given to each student by the teaching and technical staff to resolve any issue or problem faced by them.
Cons of Online Learning
Low Internet Accessibility
This is a problem mostly faced by the students living in lower economic strata or in rural areas, where technological advancement or internet accessibility is very low. And without proper internet, it becomes impossible for these students to take advantage of the online learning opportunity to gain knowledge and develop skills. So, there are still a large number of students that are deprived of the online or digital learning experience because of inequitable access to the internet and technology.
Concomitant Technical Issues
Sometimes, issues like buffering, low internet bandwidth, web pages not loading properly, and more disrupts your E-learning experience. Technical issues like these are common and concomitant to Online learning. To avoid the above-mentioned issues, students would have to bear the additional expenses of high-speed internet connection along with learning and developing his/her technical troubleshooting skills. While this solution is work for some but is impossible for the students belonging to young age groups i.e., elementary/secondary school kids.
Restricts Social or Physical Interaction
Another limitation of digital learning is that it doesn’t offer equivalent social interaction among students or between the students and the instructors as in classroom learning. This is a major disadvantage for students who like socializing. But with new features such as live classes, real-time chatting, and more, E-learning platforms are trying their best to make their platform more user friendly and socially interactive to students, so that students can remain in touch with their classmates and instructor.
Not for Everyone
As E-learning programs are becoming more evolved, teachers, as well as students, are trying hard to keep pace with it. As for senior teachers still relying on the traditional way of teaching are finding it difficult to adopt this modern way and system of teaching. Also, students at a tender age find it hard to stay driven and disciplined throughout their course or program. Another important point to note is that online courses take a proper chunk of the student’s daily time and demand that they manage their time well, this at times becomes difficult for students who work alongside studying.
Increase in Screen Time
Attending online classes daily and studying regularly through online programs require a student to spend a considerable amount of time in front of the computer screen. For instance, aspirants gearing up for GATE exam 2021 (which is conducted in online mode) are expected to spend extended periods of time in front of computer screens for mock tests on a daily basis. This can cause strain to their eyes and other side effects. In this case, E-learning loses the battle against classroom teaching. The only solution to the above problem is taking regular breaks in between study sessions and giving your eyes proper rest.