What are the advantages and disadvantages of online learning?

As computer and usage of Internet has made the life of the business people easy, companies from across the world have started to consider the fact that information and knowledge can be imparted to people using technology. E-Learning is one such method in this direction.

The E-Learning is a method of providing guidance and/or delivering information to students of university or the employees of companies. Several universities and companies design the courses that can be reviewed using laptop, desktops or other smart devices. These programs are developed in such a way that the individuals don’t need to come to a classroom but can review all the data from any place convenient to them. It can be their home or their office.

Such courses are designed in such a way that people can progress slowly or at a pace, they can manage. These courses help an individual to assess their knowledge online. This is done using the built in evaluation tools like quizzes or multiple choice questions.

These courses are sometimes, stored in a directory or a server, from where the students can access and copy them on the compact disc or other data storage device. In either case, the program is developed in such a way that the student needs minimal interaction with a human tutor to understand the information being shared.

The biggest advantage of E-learning is that it helps to provide information to a large group of individuals who cannot attend an institution. It also reduces the need for one to go to a specific place to learn or to share information. The E- Learning provides an opportunity to the student to complete the course at their speed. Several product development companies develop programs for E-learning the business in schools and universities. Today even a young child from an elementary school knows how to use a smart device, a device that helps in interactive learning. The universities from across the globe keep offering the on-line courses. This is possible through e-learning. The e-learning may even provide the students a the platform to share their thoughts and have live or online discussions for clarifications.

Advantages of Online Learning

The following are the advantages of online or computer-based learning:

  1. Class work can be scheduled around work and family.
  2. Reduces travel time and travel costs for off-campus students.
  3. Students may have the option to select learning materials that meets their level of knowledge and interest.
  4. Students can study anywhere; they only need access to a computer and Internet connection.
  5. Self-paced learning modules allow students to work at their own speed.
  6. Flexibility to join discussions in the bulletin board threaded discussion areas at any hour, or visit with classmates and instructors remotely in chat rooms.
  7. E-Learning can accommodate different learning styles and facilitate learning through a variety of activities.
  8. Develops knowledge of the Internet and computer skills that will help learners in their career.

Disadvantages of Online Learning

Disadvantages of online or computer-based learning are:

  1. Learners with low motivation or bad study habits may fall behind.
  2. Without the routine structures of a traditional class, students may get lost or confused about course activities and deadlines.
  3. Students may feel isolated from the instructor and classmates.
  4. Instructor may not always be available when students are studying or need help.
  5. Slow Internet connections or old computers may make accessing course materials frustrating.
  6. Managing computer files and online learning software can sometimes seem complex for students with beginner level computer skills.
  7. Lab work is difficult to simulate in a virtual classroom.

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