VigorBuddy.com | What Are the Pros and Cons of Taking Online Classes? | Ever since the 1990s, online learning has been on a steady rise. In an ever more connected world, people want to use the opportunity to get into prestigious colleges or simply take an online course without ever leaving the comfort of their home.
Mind you, apart from the upsides of online learning, there are downsides to educating yourself over a computer screen.
Con: The significance of social interaction
Education experts agree that Zoom classes will never be able to replace live classes. Social interaction is a vital segment of education. The apple you give to the teacher after class and chatting with your college friends before class are just as important as the learning materials themselves.
Online learning does include group classes but peer interaction is constricted. Texting s colleague is not the same as meeting them at the local pub to go through an assignment to name just one example.
Moreover, follow-ups on part of the instructor are usually in the written form, so they cannot transfer all the knowledge they have.
Pro: Saying goodbye to commuting
Distance was among the main reasons why people failed to get a good education in the past. Even if the learning center is located in your city, you still have to commute, spending money on fares/fuels and wasting time.
In fact, you can take an online course pretty much anywhere, whether it is in the comfort of your home or the local coffee shop. Furthermore, if the course is prerecorded or it doesn’t require you to turn your webcam on, you can attend classes while still in bed.
Con: The Internet has its limits
You might not spend time on the bus or the train but the scale of classes offered online has its limits. Following instructions displayed on a computer screen isn’t suitable for every profession out there. To name just one example, it is impossible to master surgery through an online course.
On the other hand, there are jobs that you can only learn in theory online but you will never have enough to perform them on your own. We are speaking of professions such as a lumberjack or an offshore platform worker.
For such and similar occupations, online classes make only one part of the complete education, mainly the theoretical one.
Pro: The variety of learning materials
Modern learning management systems such as e-Skilled offer a wide variety of materials. In most cases, these materials are 100% free and are included in the course’s fee. This is not the case with live courses that you have to print the textbooks and workbooks for, if nothing else.
During a virtual class, you are able to focus on the lecturer or the instructional video instead of having to write everything down. Materials are usually available for download after the class is over.
Con: Lack of scholarship opportunities
For students who aren’t well-off, it might prove hard to finance their schooling. Luckily, various organizations offer scholarships that help them get a degree. However, online courses have profits in mind, so scholarships and discounts are rare.
This problem is an extension of the lack of social interaction and awareness of online courses. The best students who lack sufficient funds can hope for is a discount if they pay in full or the ability to pay in installments.
Pro: Online courses are flexible
Online education comes with another perk. Unlike the traditional educational system, online education is much more flexible, as students get to pick the timing of classes and even set their own deadlines for homework.
Most courses just give you a time limit within you has to pass the final test, taking the stress off your shoulders, as the big day approaches. In fact, folks who are forced to work and study at the same time prefer online education because it’s more flexible.
Con: Lack of exterior motivators
You remember how in elementary school you went over to your friend’s home for a study night? This is just one form of staying focused on the common learning goals. However, online courses have individual goals, which can differ significantly.
For some students, completing a single online course might be too much and they will drop out because it’s just them and the computer; no enough to keep them motivated for months or years.
Pro: Study at your own pace
The final advantage of online learning is the tempo. Namely, your progress doesn’t depend on the students, although you might be taking classes with them. This enables learners to take certain lessons slow, while they can speed up the course when easy lessons pop up.
When it comes to learning languages, this feature is useful, as you won’t get stuck in a class that is way below your present level of proficiency.
Taking classes online a trend that isn’t going to go away any time soon. However, before you are ready to start an online course, you first need to weigh all the advantages and disadvantages of online learning platforms.
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 sites.