The educational system is continually evolving. Just think about the schools your parents attended; compare them to the ones you see today — modern, technologically equipped, and … remote. There is no doubt about it, online learning has indeed gained momentum over the years. However, how effective are virtual classes? In this article, we’re going to take a closer look at the pros and cons of virtual learning and what it has to offer compared to conventional in-class learning.
The IT industry provides dozens of solutions, capable of enhancing the functions of a diverse range of institutions. As such, it also presents many opportunities for both students and teachers in the educational sphere. In 2020, many schools and universities switched to e-learning in education due to COVID-19. This necessary transition turned out to be a very promising type of learning, complete with many advantages.
Online Learning – The Pros
As many educational institutions have begun applying e-learning tech, it is essential to see what makes this approach so enticing for users. Let us examine what aspects of e-learning in education attract people nowadays.
Stunning Agility For Everyone
The Internet never fails to impress us with the speed with which it enters all layers of life. As such, it was just a matter of time before cloud-based spaces became part of the educational process. Today, tutors and pupils alike can store massive amounts of learning materials online. There are even electronic learning apps that allow students to share their homework assignments with their teachers on-the-go.
What’s more, the fact that all of these digital materials are always accessible allows users to view, edit, and download whatever they want, wherever they need. If you’re attending an online course held during your regular working hours, no problem, you can simply check out the recorded lecture when the time permits. It’s undeniable that such agility adds more flexibility to a learning routine.
Enhancement Of Technical Skills
Digital education tools for teachers and students require some technical skills. No matter how advanced or simple the study tools are, you will need to learn how they operate first. As the number of educational instruments grows, chances are, you’ll likely acquire some handy new technical skills which can be helpful in the future.
Less Pressure Within Online Lessons
Even though online classes require the participation of all students, there is a feeling of autonomy and personal space when you are studying as a group, online. There are no shortages of interactions during the academic year: between classmates, educators and students, administration, and even between teachers and parents. With the right software, it is possible to create an atmosphere where all parties participate together.
A Low-Cost Solution
All you need to participate in online academic life is a stable Internet connection — that’s it. Sure, it will take some time for an institute to purchase all of the valuable e-learning tools for teachers and the programs to equip and teach the students; however, the end results are absolutely worth it.
Electronic materials are readily available for everyone. No more expensive books, textbooks, maps, etc. At the same time, equipment like chairs, chalkboards, desks, and so on are all eliminated from an institution’s budget — everyone benefits.
We live in an era when all of humanity is mulling over the possible ways to create a more eco-friendly world. This is yet another area where online learning shines. Thanks to online learning, hundreds of copies of assignments and supporting materials don’t need to be produced. If a teacher needs to pass along some helpful articles or extracts, she can do so online, using Google sheets for instance. Just try to imagine how much paper just one school uses on a yearly basis — with e-learning, this problem disappears overnight.
Enhanced Interaction With Parents
It is not a surprise that parents have a hard time attending parent-teacher meetings. There are many different reasons for this. In most cases, it’s simply due to a lack of time, as many parents are at work during the allotted times. Nevertheless, it is crucial to keep in touch with parents to articulate all the vital things that are going on in the study lives of their children. Luckily, there are plenty of video conferencing tools that make parent-teacher communication both comfortable and practical. Many organizations tend to favor Zoom or Google Meets, which are relatively easy and convenient to use.
Effective Online Assessments
It may not be easy to evaluate academic success every day at school or university. Nevertheless, the current pandemic has demonstrated that it could be somewhat effective to carry out assessments using electronic forms at the beginning of online classes. Some kids feel uncomfortable in the classroom. Having a digital format of an assessment paper may help them feel more relaxed. A teacher can even assign a task to a group of students, who will then prepare their task for the next lesson to solidify knowledge.
A Few Cons To Consider
Self-motivation And Time-Management Skills
Although many people tend to believe that a switch to a new learning approach can undermine the ordinary routine of a group of students, overall, more people see the benefits. An often overlooked aspect of online learning is that virtual learning teaches students to organize their own time, dividing time between lessons, homework assignments, and personal needs.
When attending an on-premise school or university, people have to stick to the requirements, rules, and schedules created by the institution. On the other hand, with online learning, you’re the master of your schedule and you alone decide which tasks have higher priorities and which are less critical. Still, if it’s hard for you to structure your daily schedule and stick to it, there is a chance that you will need more time to get used to a new study approach.
The lack of communication with a real person can be challenging for some students and teachers. While online lessons, lectures, and virtual discussions with classmates presuppose communication, artificial intelligence in e-learning excludes physical interaction. It’s biology, there is nothing strange about this — every human needs human interaction.
Overall, e-learning in universities grants students many opportunities. It would not be wise to abandon it because a machine cannot replace human interaction. We can fulfill that void through plenty of other extra-curricular activities.
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