19-06-2016_Online Learning - The benefits and challenges

It is a thing of the past for students to learn by listening to a teacher who used to use the blackboard and chalk as the teaching tools.

The age of computer-based learning allows aspirants of knowledge to lay hands on comprehensive study material provided by an online interface.

It is through such platforms that students can complete courses that interest them, from any physical location.

Such a learning environment in which the instructors and students are separated by space has its own set of advantages and challenges.

Below is the rundown of the merits and demerits of computer-mediated digital learning, under their respective heads.

The Benefits of Online Learning

  1. Convenience:

Topping the list of advantages of online learning is the feature of convenience.

Students will be able to attend classes, submit projects and sit for certification exams with an ease.

Notwithstanding the fact that you are a working professional or a student, you can sign up with different online educational platforms that have globally renowned accreditations.

The convenience factor is also delivered in the form of online classes that are independent of any physical location.

You can gain knowledge by following the online lectures delivered by subject matter experts, from the comfort of your living room.

While you can work at a pace that you are comfortable with, you will also have an instant access to study materials, online classes, assignments and timetables.

Another element of convenience emerges when you are able to schedule your study time without disturbing your personal or official commitments.

  1. Options Aplenty:

You name a specialization and you have an online course that has already extended a helping hand to thousands of online students in shaping their careers.

When you register with an online educational platform, you will be in a favorable position to exchange notes with students from across the globe. This interaction with global students will help you gain different perspectives coming from multi-cultural backgrounds.

  1. Student-Centric:

While you connect your personal computer to the internet, you as an online student can be at the receiving end of plenty of online offerings that are given out by renowned educational platforms.

It is through such learning platforms that students enjoy a great deal of flexibility.

These courses are curated in such a way that the learning needs of different types of students are taken into consideration.

These online tutorials make room for different learning styles, alongside incorporating a number of interesting and stimulating activities for students to learn and grasp.

This arrangement thus paves the way for students to focus on the topics that need to be mastered.

  1. Ample Career Progression Opportunities:

Once you successfully complete an online course, you will be able to crack job interviews with an air of confidence that you are thorough with all that was taught.

You can check out from a host of online certification courses that are open for professionals who are willing to go the extra mile in fulfilling their career dreams.

Hiring managers across the globe are scouting for certified professionals who possess certifications from renowned online courses.

And when you quote these certifications on your resume, you will have an edge over another job aspirant who lacks them.

  1. Feedback as a Data Point:

As on online student, you can hone your skills through written and personalized feedback coming from your online tutors.

Regular online assessments and their evaluations become benchmarks to your steady progress.

While you can track your progress easily, online classes through the self-paced learning model help you uncover your strengths and weaknesses.

  1. A Perfect Learning Platform:

You can look at distance learning as a perfect means to complete your education.

You can choose from a wide range of specializations that are offered by these online learning platforms and pick the one that is close to your heart.

Added to the umpteen choices of subjects, these online courses come with affordable price tags.

The Challenges of Online Learning

  1. The Survival of the Fittest

There can be many impediments coming in the way of your commitment to learn. There can be technical glitches with regard to internet connectivity or system problems. You need to be prepared for all these hindrances.

What about the time that needs to be devoted by students or professionals who have signed up for an online course?

Since there are no time constraints for online courses, it is important for online students to exercise strong time management skills so as to attend all the online classes.

Only those students who come with a great deal of dedication and good study habits will be able to complete these courses. You also need to be an internet-savvy student so as to follow the online instructions that are given out time and again via online courses.

Completion of online courses requires an ability to manage computer databases and files.

  1. Confusion Prevails

In contrast to a conventional classroom setting where everything goes according to a clear cut plan, online classes do not follow routine schedules. This randomness can confuse students.

An additional worry might emerge in the form of unavailability of an instructor when you are eager to seek an explanation to your query.

Not all students are tech-savvy. For you to complete an online course, you need to adapt yourself to new technologies and most of the students might not be comfortable with such technological demands and changes.

  1. Lack of Personal Interactions

Another striking challenge faced by online learning is that it is a learning environment which lacks personal interactions between you, the tutor and your classmates.

Despite the fact that online chat rooms and discussion boards offer you some degree of the personal interactions, these conversations cannot be placed on par with those that happen in the traditional classroom setup.

  1. Not All Online Degrees Are Acceptable for Employment

While you have signed up for an online course as part of your career advancement plan, you should be mindful of the fact that not all hiring managers attach the same weightage to all online courses.

Distance education still comes with certain misgivings that are absent with traditional classroom learning.

You also need to understand that your online degree or certification might not be the only tool for you to get placed in your dream company.

Key Takeaways

It is but a wise move to go with the flow. There is so much happening on the online front that you should not miss out on its wondrous offerings.

One such offering is the concept of distance education that can offer a plethora of benefits to aspirants looking to climb the rungs of the corporate ladder.

Along with a number of advantages, certain drawbacks of online learning which come from the round-the-clock format of teaching and learning can dampen the scope of formal education.

So it is up to you to enroll yourself with an online training platform that hones your skills alongside helps you acquire advanced professional and job-centric skills.