The COVID-19 pandemic has made online learning the “new normal” for many of us. But is that a good thing? In this blog, we'll explore the advantages and disadvantages of online classes, and help you decide if online learning is the best option for you.Online courses require more time than on-campus classes, but they also make it easy to postpone things. Online courses require good time management skills, and can create a sense of isolation. On the other hand, they allow you to be more independent and offer greater flexibility in choosing the best time to study.
Looking at digital screens has a myriad of negative effects for both adults and children, including eye fatigue, circadian rhythm disturbance, headaches, and neck and back pain. Completing online courses means increasing that screen time, so students should take steps to avoid the symptoms of spending too much screen time. Teachers became teachers because they love teaching, not necessarily because they have an affinity for technology. This became very clear during the COVID-19 pandemic, when teachers were tasked with moving entire courses and curricula online.
Online classes may not be a good option for those who are already feeling the negative effects of spending too much screen time. They can also make focusing on the class a challenge due to distractions such as phones, Xbox, or tasks such as washing clothes or walking the dog. The lack of structure means that students must be good at their own time management. Your interaction with your peers is significantly reduced in an online learning community.
For the most part, students complete online classes alone, asynchronously, and any peer interaction occurs in discussion forums and chat rooms. Often, online classrooms can lack a sense of community and cause a sense of isolation. They also reduce the opportunity to network with others, which can be a disadvantage as students finish school and begin to look for new job opportunities. Online learning has been seen as the future of education. To combat the disadvantages of online learning, educators can incorporate creative strategies to engage students.
This will solve some of the challenges of isolation, lack of productivity, and lack of hands-on learning. Online courses often require a greater amount of reading and homework than traditional classes. Programs in general are improving the quality of their online courses, and this means that students will need to do more to demonstrate that they are fluent in the material. Moving to real-time, virtual classes instead of just online courses provides a greater sense of responsibility. Online learning also opens up courses offered in course markets such as Udemy or online courses created by entrepreneurs such as those offered in Thinkific. Everyone from parents, faculty, students, and education authorities has the dilemma of offering online classes for elementary and middle school standards.