Top Advantages and Disadvantages of Online Learning

Top Advantages and Disadvantages of Online Learning
  • Opening Intro -

    The concept of online learning is hardly new, however, it is undeniable that during the past year and a half, distance education developed by leaps and bounds.

    If you are considering furthering your education this way, considering some of the advantages and disadvantages of this setup may be a good idea though.

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Here are the most important things you should know.

Pro: It saves you time

One of the biggest benefits of online learning is that it’s simply convenient. You don’t have to spend hours every week getting to your classes: commuting becomes a non-issue when all you have to do to enter your classroom is to turn your laptop on.

You get to save a lot of time this way that can help you manage your other responsibilities without having to burn yourself out.

  • Con: It’s very individual

    The fact that you don’t have to get yourself to a physical classroom every day will mean that you won’t get to meet your classmates either. An online environment removes the social aspect of learning, which can prove to be a significant drawback for some people.

    If you are more of an individual learner, to begin with, you probably won’t mind this setup at first, but the lack of social interaction can ultimately be a little demotivating.

Pro:  A flexible schedule

Another benefit of taking online classes is that this setup generally involves a more flexible arrangement. Firstly, deducting the commute time from the equation, you get to sleep longer without risking being late.

If you have a full-time job or other responsibilities, you can also participate in classes that won’t clash with your schedule since the time of an online class is less restricted by physical factors like the availability of space.

If you have great organizational skills, online classes can truly be advantageous.

  • Con: Necessity for self-discipline

    As we just said, online education comes with a higher level of freedom and flexibility. While this is a great advantage, you mustn’t let its negative effects take over.

    More flexibility will mean that you’ll need a higher level of self-discipline to stay on track. This can prove to be a bigger problem for some people than others.

    Without the physical presence of authority or your peers, slacking off becomes much easier, which will hurt your performance and ultimately waste your money. If you have great self-discipline, though, you will manage.

Pro: Access to a wide range of materials

Before online education became widespread, we were all limited to a degree with regard to what classes are available to us. You might have had to give up some of your interests due to issues like this.

If you go for online education, physical distance will not stand between you and the education you wish to get. Even if something is not available in your region, you can learn it online.

And the amount of learning materials available on the internet today is truly overwhelming. If you enroll in a reputable school, you won’t have to worry about their authenticity either.

Today, websites like Compliant Learning provide professionally developed RTO resources to online educators, so your learning quality won’t be compromised.

  • Con: Difficulty staying motivated

    Earlier, we briefly mentioned the potential problems a lack of social interaction in an educational context may entail. Closely related to this, a disadvantage that online learning poses that we must mention is the difficulty to stay motivated.

    Motivation is an elusive notion as it is. When removed from a physical classroom, preserving the drive to put in the effort can become even more difficult if you don’t have a clear goal in front of you. You might need to pick up a few new strategies to stay motivated.

Pro: Contemporary features

As we mentioned in the beginning, online learning has gone through a massive overhaul recently. What this means in terms of advantages is that online learning platforms today offer a lot of useful features that remote students will find great value in.

From a better organization of materials to useful feedback systems, a great online learning platform can make the whole process more streamlined.

  • Con: Lack of hands-on practice

    Finally, the last disadvantage to consider if you are thinking about taking online classes is the fact that this method of education will inevitably lack hands-on practice.

    Some subjects can be learned through online classes without problems. But for others, in-person practice is paramount.

    This disadvantage can, therefore, somewhat limit the subjects you can effectively learn in an online environment. In those cases, however, education establishments may offer a combined program.

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While online learning may not be flawless, neither is the classroom environment. How effective your online learning experience will be depends on individual factors, such as your personality, preferences, strategies, and the subjects in question.

Being aware of the advantages and disadvantages will help you adjust your approach for the best results.

Mike is an Australian business consulting specialist. He’s working with companies that outsource their IT maintenance. He often writes about technology, business and marketing and is a regular contributor on several websites.

Image Credit: advantages and disadvantages of online learning by twenty20.com

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