It’s time to step up to the plate and get passionate about your work commit to making eLearning courses that don’t bore people to tears, but instead inspire and motivate them to learn a new skill, change a certain behavior, or improve their performance.” -upasna sunil wadhwani

One of the most oft-used terms after the pandemic is the term “new normal.” The new normal in education is the increased use of online learning tools. The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered new ways of learning. All around the world, educational institutions are looking toward online learning platforms to continue with the process of educating students. The new normal now is a transformed concept of education with online learning at the core of this transformation. Today, digital learning has emerged as a necessary resource for students and schools all over the world. For many educational institutes, this is an entirely new way of education that they have had to adopt. Online learning is now applicable not just to learn academics but it also extends to learning extracurricular activities for students as well. In recent months, the demand for online learning has risen significantly, and it will continue doing so in the future.

What Are The Advantages Of Online Learning?

1. Efficiency

Online learning offers teachers an efficient way to deliver lessons to students. Online learning has a number of tools such as videos, PDFs, podcasts, and teachers can use all these tools as part of their lesson plans. By extending the lesson plan beyond traditional textbooks to include online resources, teachers are able to become more efficient educators.

2. Accessibility Of Time And Place

Another advantage of online education is that it allows students to attend classes from any location of their choice. It also allows schools to reach out to a more extensive network of students, instead of being restricted by geographical boundaries. Additionally, online lectures can be recorded, archived, and shared for future reference. This allows students to access the learning material at a time of their comfort.

Thus, online learning offers students the accessibility of time and place in education.

3. Affordability 

Another advantage of online learning is reduced financial costs. Online education is far more affordable as compared to physical learning. This is because online learning eliminates the cost points of student transportation, student meals, and most importantly, real estate. Additionally, all the course or study materials are available online, thus creating a paperless learning environment which is more affordable, while also being beneficial to the environment.

4. Improved Student Attendance  

Since online classes can be taken from home or location of choice, there are fewer chances of students missing out on lessons.

5. Suits A Variety Of Learning Styles 

Every student has a different learning journey and a different learning style. Some students are visual learners, while some students prefer to learn through audio. Similarly, some students thrive in the classroom, and other students are solo learners who get distracted by large groups.

Online education is becoming more and more popular amongst students around the world. Although many people consider an online degree to be a lesser form of education, they would be surprised to learn that a recent study undertaken by SRI International (on behalf of the U.S. Department of Education) concluded that “on average, students in online learning conditions performed better than those receiving face-to-face instruction.” This study echoes the sentiments of many students, whether they study English, Economics or Engineering – it is time to start taking online education seriously.

So what are the pro’s and con’s of studying online?

Pro: Increased Flexibility

The biggest advantage to studying online is the increase in flexibility. You can study when you want to, how you want to, where you want to. This does not mean that the workload is less for a student studying online, only that they have more flexibility in when, how and where they study. This flexibility is why an online education is very popular with mature-age students who have other commitments, such as work or children.

Con: Reputation

Many firms and institutions are quick to dismiss an online education. If two candidates are interviewed who are exactly in the same in every respect, except one studied at a conventional university and the other studied online, in many cases the student who studied online will miss out.

A positive sign is that many traditional universities, such as the Melbourne Business School, have extended enrolment to online students. But until online education becomes more commonplace and accepted in society, reputation remains a definite disadvantage.

Pro: Ease of Access

All you need to study online is a computer with internet access. All of your study materials, lectures and assignments are sent to you via email or some kind of file transfer system. Even your correspondence with lecturers are wired, with email and video calls via Skype widely used.

Con: Lack of Social Interaction

One of the biggest disadvantages in studying online is the lack of social interaction. This is especially relevant for young undergraduates who should be making friends and having a great time. University is important for your career, but don’t forget that you will meet friends at uni that will last you a lifetime.

Pro: More Affordable

Studying online dodges many financial bullets that regular students have to bear the blunt of. Transports costs can add up to hundreds per week, the prices at the cafeteria can be, at times, ludicrous and textbooks can set you back thousands of dollars per semester. The student who studies online has to pay a set annual fee, and that’s it.

Con: Fewer Courses

The internet is an emerging phenomenon; it is still in the infant stage of its development and so it should be of no surprise that there are some shortcomings to an online education. Courses that required hands-on experience, such as Neurology or Chemistry, are simply unsuited to online education.

There are both advantages and disadvantages to studying online. With this article in hand, you will be able to make an informed decision on whether to study via traditional means, or to study online.