E-education has come to stay. The world is seeing an advancement in approach to online classes. This is disrupting the traditional method of learning. Education is the pride of every nation but, online learning platforms pride themselves on providing an excellent liberal education for all.
Business enthusiasts, entrepreneurs, and students can find a program that suits them on most learning platforms. The covid19 pandemic has heightened the thirst for students to learn online to maintain safety measures. The year 2020 economic recession including the outbreak of the pandemic, has increased online learning.
The first thing we will look at is the survey carried out by the social talks(ST) team in learning institutions in India on the impact online learning has on the students. The feedback we got from the few institutions visited is that 60% of learners and students find it comfortable, while 40% found it inconvenient. Some students are of the opinion that online learning is mostly suitable for adults, many others argue that online courses have the same value traditional learning has.
E-learning is the most popular form of learning without a doubt. As our world continues to get disrupted, we will witness more changes in the educational sector. Although, many students would still prefer traditional education if they did not have to worry about costs, transportation, living expenses, and lots more. As humans, we will always try to get the best out of both worlds, yet online learning and E-education is here to stay.
The social nature of people and their unique ways of learning is leading us to examine the pros and cons of E-learning, including online classes.
The Pros Of E-education
. E-learning opens up content to far more people than physical one-on-one sessions would do, and this is a tremendous finding.
. E-learning is fast becoming crucial to meeting the needs of different types of learners across the globe. One of the many advantages is that it allows learners to learn at their own pace.
. E-Learning is the future. The best part about eLearning is that everything invented today, is support e-Learning. This varies from faster internet speeds to extended compatibility, and to any known LMS support tool.
. E-education is making education institutes internationalized. The student base is far-reaching.
. Online learning benefits both students and teacher
. Online learning is offering a more eclectic and interesting way of learning. It offers real-life examples. It's offering students the ability to have a deeper learning approach and to connect with other students from different institutions. They get to discuss, work on projects, and share ideas.
. E-education has more visuals than textual
. Since the start of online lessons, distance is no longer a barrier to learning. Learners now have access to information and can share them virtually with ease from anywhere in the world. Today, everyone has a digital device and without a doubt, this has changed the way learning takes place in the classroom and outside the classroom.
. Online learning is forcing higher education institutions to assist technologically disadvantaged students and to provide windows of opportunities to acquire more knowledge and information about the future possibilities of online teaching and learning.
. E-learning is opening up more opportunities for learning environments. Learners can learn without walls, independent of age, gender, and country. Teachers now see themselves as more than they envisioned. Many now identify themselves as motivators, mentors, guides to fostering skills, and developers of competence in people.
. With online learning, there's no such thing as one size fits all. There's an option that suits each learner's preference.
The Cons Of E-education
. Not Smart Enough
E-learning is yet to become smart in its mode of operation. E-learning needs to be more decisive. It needs to be extremely interactive with the learners and be capable of including the unique learner needs in any specific situation.
Smart e-learning is likened to having a permanent coach. The learner gets to enjoy sophisticated benefits through a competent and strong management tool provided by his/her coach.
Smart e-learning enables learners to have personalized advice sessions with their coaches/teachers. Apparently, current e-learning has a long way to go before it does this. I am of the opinion that if e-learning can become smart, it has a huge future waiting to embrace it.
. Limited Support For Technologies
E-learning has limited support it provides for technology tools. Educational specialists are exploring new tools creatively, but in the meantime, not all learning platforms use universal tools that support all learner's technology and device. E-learning will be very broad and used in many areas, with almost no restrictions. Yet, it needs to provide universally supported technology with increased resources. By so doing, it will gain more ground in the area of teaching and learning.
. High Cost
It's important to note that despite the fact that online learning is fast becoming the new normal, most of the tuition fee is still relatively high. Many learners search for degree programs that are verified and inexpensive, but meet a brick wall when they realize that the fees are high.
Most learners still rely on federal financial aid to support most of their online programs.
. Not Accessible To All
Despite its glorious attribute, e-learning and online classes are still not accessible to everyone. Learners from rural communities, with little or no power supply, poverty, and poor infrastructures do not benefit at all.
In areas of the world where the electricity supply is jagged and internet access is hampered, learners can not access learning content or participate in any learning activities.
E-learning remains a challenge for many students living in rural areas in developing countries. Some of these challenges heighten the barriers to e-learning. For this reason, most educational institutions across the world are opting for the blended approach. This way students who do not have access to technology are not excluded from learning.
. Insufficient Quality Control
E-learning is witnessing insufficient quality control of things that are grouped under the e-learning streamer. This often projects it as a waste of time and effort.
. Technological Challenges
Technological tools have no preferences for the individual using them or where they are placed to work. Teachers who are not digital savvy struggle to use the technologies for online learning. Especially those from rural and third world countries. This geographical constant is a major disadvantage to many teachers today.
The evolution of online learning has enabled students to become lazy in their studies. Before E-education, learners had a strict adherence to their studies and homework as they would get punished in school for failure to do them. This isn't the case today, learners are lackadaisical towards their homework. They believe it can be done at any given time. Teachers don't get to do much follow-up as they have a lot on their plate. It is difficult for most teachers to keep up with the performances of their students online.
. Undue Pressure
The advances of many online learning platforms have led many students to engage in many learning activities. Most of the courses or activities they sign up for are not what they need and so they struggle to juggle them all. This often leaves many of them unproductive and less efficient at the end of the day.
. Education depends largely upon what is being sought by the learner and how well integrated the e-learning tool is to the activity being learned. Yet, it lacks direct guidance. Most learners struggle to use the new software most learning platform provides.
. E-education programs offered for free by many universities, such as MOOCs - education is now becoming accessible to all. This is a positive point. But it's unable to address issues that have arisen in regards to assessment, standardization, and how to offer content to an audience from multi-national backgrounds and cultures, who all have distinct objectives, learning styles, and a collection of ideologies.
One thing is certain, soon we will stop calling it e-learning. It will become just "learning" as it gradually becomes interwoven into every facet of how we learn. Once upon a time, we had what we called a "digital clock", today we don't commonly use the word "digital" when describing a clock. We all know it's a digital clock. The manufacturers also presume that the buyers already know that the clock is digital as no one is interested in analog clocks.
This will happen with e-learning. Learning opportunities will become a part of almost everything we do. We will have the ability to track data, use the internet of things (IoT) to assist in giving instant feedbacks thereby improving competency.
Education is a life business, it never fades. There is always something new to learn from life as it keeps evolving. Millennials students have a lot to learn, and many prefer it online and on a device. Some learn because they are enthusiasts and many others do it just to fit in.
We have only our imaginations to limit us. One thing is certain, software developers are continually breaking new grounds and expand learning platforms. They are unlearning more and more to make room for the new innovations.
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