E-Learning During The Pandemic: Pros And Cons Of Online Learning
Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the status of formal education appears to be in limbo. Governments have ordered schools to close to keep students and teachers safe. As a new term approaches, nations are looking at e-learning as the new learning arrangement.
But how practical would online classes be? Here are some advantages and disadvantages.
- Allows You To Stay Safe
With the coronavirus being highly contagious, people are now in quarantine to avoid catching and spreading the disease. With e-learning, students will not have to report to class physically, and they can practice social distancing.
Staying at home means they don’t have to meet others face-to-face. They can also avoid contact with others when they commute to school.
- Various Mediums And Resources Are Available
When learning online, students have a variety of mediums available to them. Videos, graphs, infographics, maps, texts, audio, and the like can contribute to a holistic approach. Teachers can easily compile all these resources to enrich the student’s learning experience. They won’t be limited to a blackboard in a classroom.
- Study At Your Own Pace
For older learners, another advantage of distance learning is being able to go at their own pace. As professors may give extended deadlines, the student can then follow a personal schedule.
Some individuals may work better in the evening than during the daytime. Others may want to take a few weekdays off and study during the weekend. With e-learning, they can choose when they do the work as long as they meet the deadline.
- Is Not Accessible To All
Recently, the United Nations has recognized the internet as a human right. During today’s age, it appears to be so. Billions of people now connect through the internet for personal and professional reasons.
However, there are still areas that do not have access to electricity, let alone the internet. And while millions of people now make use of smartphones and laptops, many more do not. Thousands of low-income families already struggle to put food on the table and cannot afford a computer or phone.
- Requires Self-Discipline And Great Responsibility
Because teachers aren’t physically present to check on students, learners will have to rely on themselves to do the work. They have to show responsibility and self-discipline to follow lessons even when nobody is watching them at home. Although a teacher may still be available online to remind them of their work, students have to be mostly self-reliant.
Other students may also have additional responsibilities that may interfere with their studies. “Unfortunately, some students might experience difficulty maintaining their academic standing: They may get sick, a family member may get sick or they may have to work,” says Viji Sathy, Ph.D.
- Possibility Of Academic Dishonesty
We all know how convenient Google is. If you have a question, you can quickly search for answers online without having to think or analyze it yourself. With online classes, it can make it easy for students to search for answers online. They no longer need to come up with the solution for themselves, which is terrible for the brain.
One problem that may arise from this is plagiarism. Learners may copy what they find online and turn this in. Unless the teacher runs them through a program or checks each sentence, it may be challenging to detect plagiarized work.
Likewise, during graded activities, they may easily search for answers or have “cheat sheets” nearby.
- Requires Adult Guidance
While college or university students might be able to handle online learning, younger learners will still require some supervision. A child may not be able to immediately digest information as a teacher is not physically present to guide them.
A challenge arises when parents may not be capable or available to oversee online learning. Some moms and dads still have to work during the quarantine and cannot stay at home. For other families, the parents may not also be capable of teaching if they haven’t had formal educations themselves.
The coronavirus pandemic has brought about more than a health issue. It has affected all aspects of our lives, including education. More schools are deciding to go online to continue to provide students with formal learning. While this arrangement isn’t entirely new, it does have its pros and cons.
E-learning allows students to learn from a safe distance, enriches their studying experience, and lets them go at their own pace. However, it may not be an option accessible to all. Online learning also requires great responsibility as well as parental guidance.