Since the first days of the internet, it was clear that drastic changes were on the way. The accelerated growth of tech companies enabled online learning platforms to explode and offer new learning methods.
Recent demand for online learning platforms led us to conclude that online learning has some downsides. The industry is increasing, so it is taken for granted that everything will go smoothly, which is often not a reality. Let’s explore the two most significant advantages and disadvantages of online learning.
One of the most significant advantages of online learning is accessibility. Online learning platforms provide equal opportunity to all of us, no matter where we live, how old we are, or what languages we speak. Accessibility in online learning also means inclusion for the otherwise excluded groups.
Depending on the particular online learning system, you can usually pace lectures, tests, and other modules per your needs. This is another aspect of accessibility since we are all different, and we learn at different paces. Regarding diversity, online learning offers lectures delivered in various formats – visual, text, and video graphics. The expansion of AR and VR opens the door for new learning paths to be explored and used for education.
Online learning can adapt better to the schedule of anyone interested in a specific topic. With the already mentioned rapid expansion of methods and platforms for online learning, it is challenging to be general. Yet, most such platforms allow users to learn on their schedule.
Besides adaptivity to schedules, online learning platforms are available on different devices, so you can even take your lessons in your pocket with your smartphone. Necessary lectures and materials are always available, making the experience learner-oriented. On online learning platforms, you can obtain digital certificates that are equally recognized across the globe, enhancing your CV without the need to translate diplomas and prove your formal education.
Lack of interactions
One of the massive disadvantages of online learning is the lack of interactions with other students and professors. Even though professional interactions can be enhanced with online platforms, what needs to be added is the personal interactions that we usually have with people gathered around the same course.
Lack of interactions creates a sense of isolation and loneliness, thus increasing anxiety. The consequences of this aspect are very much unknown since the global adoption of online learning started recently. Awareness of this and balancing online learning with some in-person activities is something everyone who prefers to study online should consider.
Less hands-on learning
The theory is only one fragment of the learning journey. One needs to act on the theory and see the real-world experience to learn something. Online learning is still developing to fully support hands-on learning regarding most classes and subjects we can take. The already mentioned AR and VR development is supposed to support hands-on online learning.
Online learning has already developed an advanced system to support hands-on learning when considering digital technologies such as programming, graphic design, and others. This is because, in such cases, hands-on experience is achieved using digital technologies, so it doesn’t matter if it is from your room or classroom.
We are now in the transitional period between the two eras of learning. New improvements are introduced daily, yet the road to the perfect online learning system is bumpy. The ones willing to take the path will benefit from more opportunities through the different innovations online learning offers.
It has been clear for a long time that education worldwide is outdated and flawed, so giving a chance to online learning while keeping real-life interactions seems like a good compromise.