Online learning has been around even before the pandemic started. It is a form of distance education. Starting from using parcel posts, distance learning has evolved to use radio and television, and currently, the internet.
In America, more than 6 million people are using the internet to earn an online education. Students who pursue an online education are mostly 32 years old. This age group encompasses experienced professionals who earn an online degree to advance or switch their careers.
Around the world, people who wish to learn the English language hire an online English tutor because of its convenience. Aside from this, online learning has several benefits and, along with it, some challenges.
Benefits of Online Learning
Among the several benefits of online education include flexibility in schedule that results in better time management, the opportunity to practice self-motivation, leadership, and collaborative skills, and developing critical thinking and a broader perspective.
Let’s delve into each of these benefits one by one.
As mentioned earlier, most of the people who take online courses are professionals. Hence, it is difficult to juggle between work and physical class. Online classes give these professionals the flexibility they need to manage their time better.
When taking an online master’s degree, a professional can learn on his own time. It also saves people time, stress, and hassle from daily commuting from the office to their university. A family man or woman can also take advantage of online education. This gives them the opportunity to properly balance family life, work, and studies.
Ability to Revisit Past Materials
Sometimes, in a regular class, it is hard to process information quickly. Additionally, introverted students are too afraid to answer or ask questions in front of the class to clarify a point. In online classes, these problems are eliminated.
Studying online allows a person to readily revisit learning materials. A student can pause the material for a while to fully process and understand a concept within a course. Organising and reviewing notes is also easy when studying online.
Improvement of Soft Skills
A person’s wisdom is not only seen in what they know; it can also be seen in how they deal with different situations. Soft skills are important when dealing with any situation in life; these skills are what employers look for in an employee. Studying online can help a person develop soft skills such as leadership, collaboration, and self-motivation.
An online education develops a person’s independence in tackling and fulfilling tasks. It involves serious self-motivation to accomplish these tasks. Studying online also teaches leadership skills because, at home, a student is their own leader. They have to make decisions about best practices to finish different school tasks.
Additionally, collaboration is important when it comes to online learning. Discussion boards are venues where a student collaborates with classmates. Since it involves virtual communication, a person’s clarity in delivering and pitching ideas is honed.
Despite the many benefits of online learning, it is undeniable that students also face challenges when learning through the internet. Some of these challenges are dealing with technical issues, distraction, time management, and motivating oneself.
Time management and self-motivation
If you notice, time management and self-motivation are both a benefit and a challenge for online students. This is because of the many distractions available on the internet. At the same time, staying at home exposes you to family members who also serve as distractions.
To solve this problem, it is best to talk to family members when doing school work. Ask them not to distract you so you can finish your tasks on time. To motivate you to do school tasks, find a perfect workspace. A great workspace should help you become more productive.
Since online education is highly dependent on internet connectivity, a technical issue is the main problem for any student. For some areas, high-speed Wi-Fi isn’t available. This is a challenge when it comes to videoconferencing, the main venue when discussing online.
As this problem is inevitable, adjustments must be made by both students and professors. For instance, when students miss a discussion because of a spotty internet connection, they can ask their professor or classmates to record the class session. This way, a student can easily catch up and will not miss out on any class highlights.
Despite the challenges that online education has, its benefits trump these challenges. Hence, online learning is a valuable advancement in the field of education that will be continuously used for years to come.