Is Online Learning Effective or Not? An Expert's Perspective

Online learning has become increasingly popular in recent years, and for good reason. There is strong evidence to suggest that it is generally at least as effective as traditional learning formats. In fact, research conducted by Karl Alexander at Johns Hopkins University and many others has shown that students, particularly those with fewer resources at home, learn less when they are not in school. The advantages of virtual courses are clear: they allow students to access lessons and exercises and interact with teachers in ways that would have been impossible if an epidemic had shut down schools even a decade or two earlier.

Therefore, it is time to embrace and improve online learning. Reliable, easy-to-use technology is critical to a successful online program. However, even the most sophisticated technology is not 100% reliable. Faults can occur at any point in the system, from server crashes to individual PC problems to Internet connection failures.

When these issues arise, technology can detract from the learning experience. On the other hand, online study has been found to reduce tutor workloads. Most online notes and books are available to students, meaning tutors do not need to search for materials or prepare lessons over and over again. Furthermore, e-learning allows students to choose the best environment to study and this promotes their ability to understand.

IBM has found that participants learn five times more material in online learning courses using multimedia content than in traditional in-person courses. A Brandon Hall report on online learning within companies found that this learning style generally requires 40 to 60% less employee time than learning in a traditional classroom. However, there are some challenges posed by the method. The negative effect on graduation for students who decide to take an online course is stronger than the negative effect for the average student.

Additionally, adapting to the transfer of in-person instructions to online instructions can be a challenge for some students. Research on teachers' perceptions and attitudes toward online learning emphasizes the role of instructors in facilitating communication and earning income with students. Therefore, it is important to recognize the role of teachers in making online learning successful. Overall, it is clear that online learning can be an effective way of teaching and learning. It allows students to access lessons and exercises at any time of day and reduces tutor workloads.

However, reliable technology is essential for a successful program, as well as recognizing the role of teachers in facilitating communication and earning income with students.