The term “online learning” is defined as a use of the Internet to deliver instructional content to students, either for education or training purposes. It is often abbreviated as e-learning .Online learning facilitates access to information, courses, systems and services worldwide through relatively inexpensive computer networks
Essay on Online Learning, Importance, Advantages & Disadvantages
Online learning is the process of learning through an online platform, working at one’s own pace and time. This offers many advantages like 24-hour access to courses that enable learners to balance their career and education with ease. Content of such courses includes lectures, videos, animations and demonstrations; covering a wide range of subject levels from straight forward elementary level to postgraduate level.
Online learning has shown great improvement in recent years and will continue to expand into the future. It is an excellent opportunity for students who want to take charge of their education and improve themselves through focused and independent study.
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Importance of Online Learning
Online learning is very advantageous for students who want to expand their knowledge and learn at their own pace. It gives them access to a variety of courses that they can choose from, and the ability to work whenever they would like instead of being forced into a rigid time schedule.
Online courses give students an opportunity to find out about themselves and what direction they want to take in their lives. They are able to find out what they are truly interested in without being pressured into embarrassing themselves, or being forced to follow a particular path that was decided for them before they had the chance to choose.
By taking charge of their own education through online courses students are no longer limited by social structure or the restrictions of their family. They can follow a path that is correct for them and make the most of an education they deserve without being bullied or forced into something they do not enjoy by those around them.
Advantages of Online Learning
Following are the key benefits of online learning. They include;
- Flexibility: The best thing about online learning is that it allows students to study at a time and place of their choice. They can enjoy flexible schedules, especially if they have a job or need to care for children or other family members. It gives them the option to continue with school from whatever location they choose, be that from home, a place of worship or any other location that is convenient to them.
- Affordable: Online learning makes higher education available and affordable to students that might not be able to go to school otherwise. Courses cost about the same as they would in an offline setting because they don’t include equipment and supplies. They do, however, provide everything that students need to take the courses and receive a good education.
- Convenience: Students can access their lessons from anywhere there is an internet connection, which means they always have the ability to learn when it is most convenient for them. They can take breaks from what they are doing or study in between other tasks without having to wait until they can get to their computer.
- Experienced Tutors: With online learning, students gain access to experts in the field and receive training from experts who have had years of experience with that particular subject. Online tutoring also gives student more flexibility and opportunity for mentoring and one-on-one training than an offline setting might including face-to-face tutoring.
- Flexible Schedules for Online Learning: Online learning allows students to schedule their lessons accordingly, especially if they are also working, need to take care of children or older family members or have other obligations that would prevent them from attending traditional classes on campus. This flexibility makes it easier for people with less free time to continue going to school without worrying about when classes are occurring.
- New Curriculum: Curriculum may be tailored specifically to the needs and desires of individual students when they sign up for classes online because it can be easily changed or updated to meet their needs in a timely manner. This also enables them to learn at their own pace and not be rushed by a class schedule.
- Increased Student-to-Teacher Ratio: Because online learning makes it possible to take classes from anywhere, there is no concern about students losing out on the one-on-one time they would normally get with their instructors if they were in an offline setting. This allows for a greater student-to-teacher ratio enabling instructors to more easily give time and energy to students who need it.
- More Study Options: Students can study entirely on their own if they so choose, or they may have the option of teaming up with a group of fellow students to form a study group that meets online for class. They may also have the option of joining an online chat room or forum where they can network with other students who share their interests.
- Student Reach: Students are no longer limited by location when taking courses because many institutions offer online learning to people from all over the world, providing them with opportunities they might not have otherwise had if their school was only available in their area or region.
- Faster, Easier Access to Information: Since students don’t have to worry about spending time between classes traveling from one place to another, they can spend more time studying and learning the material in their courses. This means they are able to learn faster and make better use of the information they are given.
Cons of Online Learning:
Following are a few cons of online learning. They include;
- Lack of Interaction: While some schools do allow for live chat functionality to supplement the lessons, this is not always available or feasible with other schools. This can sometimes lead to a lack of interaction between students and their instructors, which may be problematic depending on the situation.
- Poor Quality Lessons Sometimes Offered: Some online courses may not provide the same, high-quality lessons or lectures that students would find in an offline setting. This is usually because they lack the same motivation to create interesting content when they know students can access it from anywhere and at any time.
- Distance Learning: Some online courses do not offer distance learning options which means students may need to travel to school in order to participate. This can be particularly problematic for people who live in rural areas or have young children that prevent them from being able to leave their homes easily every day.
- Lack of Accreditation: Accrediting agencies do not always accredit online courses, which means students may not be able to use the lessons they learn from them to get their degree. This is usually because these courses do not meet all of the same standards that offline programs may be held accountable for.
- Decreased Teacher Accountability: When a course is entirely online, students have very little reason to care about how well they perform in it since they still receive credit without attending classes or meeting with their instructors on a regular basis. This can be particularly problematic for teachers trying to maintain control over their classes and enforce discipline the way they normally would if students were in an offline setting.
- Increased Cheating: Because there is no oversight or authority figure who can regulate what happens inside of an online course, students may not face any consequences when they cheat on their exams. This can cause some students to give up on learning and instead try to cheat their way through in order to earn a high grade without needing any actual knowledge or skill.
- Poor Student-Teacher Interaction: Students may feel like they are losing out on the personal interaction that takes place between them and their instructors in offline courses. This is because they are unable to speak with their instructors outside of designated times or locations, which may lead them to feel isolated from the rest of the class and alone in their work.
- Difficulty Finishing Assignments: Since many online students have other responsibilities that prevent them from being able to spend as much time on their coursework as they would like, they may struggle to finish assignments or complete them in a timely manner. This can lead to their grades suffering and problems with passing their courses on time.
- A Decrease in Job Opportunities: Since some employers are reluctant to hire people who took classes entirely online, students may not be able to use that education to get a job. This can be problematic if they are unemployed or need the extra money that is provided by their jobs in order to pay rent, bills, and other expenses.
- Expensive Tuition: Online courses often cost more than many of the offline options available, which means students may not be able to afford them due to a lack of money. This can be problematic if they need to take classes in order to improve their skills and earn promotions at work, get into college, or do well on the job market.
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Online education has become an increasing trend. However, it is important for students to think critically about whether taking online courses would be the right choice for them before enrolling in them. They should consider whether they would actually be able to meet the demands of the class with their current obligations and whether or not they would benefit more from taking a traditional course instead.