Different people may support or oppose technology, but all they cannot deny that its role in a learning process increases every year. The Internet has long become a suitable learning tool, allowed people from all over the world to find information of interest in seconds, watch educational videos, download electronic textbooks, communicate with tutors without leaving home.
The leading universities create online departments for remote students. In addition, there is a great number of narrowly specialized courses. It is possible to become a good specialist and receive a degree on such platforms. The E-learning industry is going to develop in the future. Is it a good trend? There is no unambiguous point of view in society.
Online education has both advantages and disadvantages which are considered in the material below.
Pros of online education
Here are the features that make remote study attractive for many people:
- Your choice is not limited to courses and universities available in your home town. You can attend virtual classes in a foreign university without solving immigration problems, paying money for a trip abroad, renting an apartment or a dorm room.
- Most people hate waking up early in the morning, having breakfast and brushing their teeth in a hurry, spending considerable time in transport. Online learners can sleep longer, participate in seminars and study lectures right in their room.
- You can choose an individual learning pace. Nobody will say that you take notes or read way too slowly, and you will not have to wait for groupmates if performing some task earlier.
- As a rule, online courses take less time than traditional degree programs. Professors narrow down a curriculum, discard non-core disciplines, so you will receive only practically applicable knowledge necessary for professional growth and receive a diploma faster.
- You can ask all the questions of interest and get answers quickly. It is rather difficult to consult on-campus professors because they are always busy and leave a lecture hall right after a bell rings. Online tutors may be reached through e-mail, Skype, different mobile messengers. There is no need to wait for a new lecture to receive important information. You will have an opportunity to fully comprehend a previous topic before starting to learn a new one.
- Online courses are student-centered because the competition is tough in this market and each platform aims to provide the most comfortable conditions.
- All learning materials are easily accessible. You will not have to search for textbooks in book stores because they will be provided in an electronic form. In addition, the Internet is the vast universe where the most relevant works of the best researchers from all over the world may be found.
- It is very convenient to juggle online education and work. You will not have to ask your boss for days off to attend lectures or pass exams. Videos and electronic lectures may be viewed in the evening or on weekends when nothing distracts you and it is possible to focus on learning. Essay writing services can help speed up the execution of tasks, while doing the job at a high level.
- You can study not only at home but also in a cafe, a country house, a park – any place where the Internet is available. It is not even necessary to carry a laptop with you. Most materials may be opened on a smartphone. There is a whole new world of knowledge in your pocket.
- If participating in international courses, you will make friends with foreigners, find out interesting facts about their country, culture, and history, maybe even visit new acquaintances in the future.
- There is no racial, religious, ethnic discrimination, prejudices based on sexual orientation, age, clothing style or physical appearance in a virtual space. You can hide your personality from group mates and professors.
- All students have an equal right to participate in a discussion, so some particularly talkative guy will not draw all attention to oneself.
- If you are an introvert, there will be no annoying crowds of people around you.
- Online learning is suitable for persons who better memorize visual material.
Cons of online education
As any learning system, a remote study has some disadvantages:
- Lack of communication. You will have no dorm parties and interesting memories from student life.
- Online networking is less effective than teamwork in a physical classroom.
- It is difficult for professors to access each student’s knowledge level and develop an individual curriculum, understand whether information they convey is well absorbed.
- You may miss a lecture or even fail an exam if the Internet or electricity turns off suddenly.
- If you have an old computer, it may be not suitable for some advanced e-learning programs. The same applies to cell phones. Modern apps may work slowly or incorrectly on smartphones bought five years ago. So it may be necessary to spend money on technical upgrading and high-speed Internet.
- There are many scammers on the web. They pretend to be specialists in a certain area but know only its theoretical side. For example, lecturers who have never engaged in entrepreneurship may teach business. It is very difficult to check their qualifications and professional background.
- Most employers still believe that on-campus education is better than remote learning and discard candidates with diplomas from online courses.
- We hope that this article helped you to understand what benefits and challenges you will face and decide whether it is worth enrolling in online courses.