You may or may not be a fan of online learning, but today it’s gaining more and more traction. While the global pandemic did increase the need for this type of education, it already had practical application. Before COVID-19, many universities offered remote attendance through the use of computers, tablets, and phones for students who were unable to attend courses in person. So, let’s discuss the pros and cons of online learning that will show you why this is a great option for the future of education.
Pro: No commuting to get to class
Bad weather, early morning, rush hour, agitated drivers, and crowded spaces are some of the issues every commuter has faced before. But with online learning, you don’t have to even dress for classes! You can attend e-lectures and still be in your PJs, with ruffled hair, and bad breath — no one can see you unless you turn the camera on.
Additionally, you will have more time on your hands to get things done before and after classes that would otherwise go to commuting. Studies even show that commuting may not be good for you most of the time, leading to depression, absence from work, tardiness, and insufficient sleep.
Con: Not being around your classmates
Socializing is important for every individual, even introverts. Meeting with your classmates and talking about the lectures is a good way to clarify things you didn’t understand. Moreover, getting to know other students can help you get learning materials and notes, as well as find tutors or be one.
Not to mention that going to classes is a great way to find new friends and expand your social circle. It may seem that Zoom and other apps can give you that, with cameras and mics. But face-to-face interactions are still unbeatable ways to build real and fulfilling relationships with other people.
Pro: Abundance of resources for learning
Online courses offer more choices for learning materials than those you need for your traditional classes. If you look at the RTO resources and systems you will find a lot of options that cover a wide variety of topics. There are also videos, podcasts, articles, blogs, and other potential online materials you can use, even free of charge.
In the case of this type of information, you will have to be more careful to choose materials that are based on good data. But this can only teach you how to be a better researcher and analyst, a skill that could be useful when applying for a job or studying for extra credit.
Con: You have to motivate yourself
Unfortunately, with even the most perfect conditions for online learning, you are the one that has to motivate yourself. There are no teachers to directly monitor you, no peers to offer healthy competition, and less adrenalin to make you work harder. To avoid procrastinating, you should find things that will drive you to do the same work as you would in the classroom.
For example, go for walks to clear your head, exercise in the morning, avoid carbs for lunch because they will make you sleepy, and other helpful tricks. However, this can be a serious issue so make sure you are honest with yourself and your learning habits to prevent stagnation and find motivation.
Pro: You create your own timetable
Online learning is in most cases flexible. This means that you can control your timetable and make your own schedule for studying. Online courses offer several options for attendance since they are intended for people who otherwise wouldn’t be able to come to the classroom.
Such characteristic is great for people who have to work, have small children at home, or be in any other situation that prevents them from personally attending lectures. Those who are not early risers also appreciate this advantage of online learning, as well as night owls.
Con: Lack of schedule can lead to bad organization
The problem can arise if you are not so good at organizing your time so you end up with too much to do anyways. To approach this practically and avoid the anxiety of bad organization, try making a list of things to do. You can use reminder apps, leave post-it notes on the fridge, or just send yourself emails with tasks to do.
Personal assistant apps are also helpful and come with much more features than simple reminders. Even project management apps can be useful if you have a lot of errands to run during the day besides projects for online classes. Of course, a bad organization may come from an unsupportive environment that believes you staying at home is equal to doing nothing. So, you have to add dealing with other people’s misconceptions to the list of things that can cause bad organization, as well as additional stress.
As you probably noticed, the cons are concerning but nothing you can’t overcome with a little extra effort. The proof of this is that when the coronavirus pandemic started, there was no other option but to switch to online learning. Although challenging for all parties involved, students and people around them showed it can work.