The recent outbreak of Coronavirus has forced a worldwide shutdown of schools, colleges and other academic institutions for an indefinite period. Reportedly, this situation has affected nearly 90% students across the globe. However, a majority of the schools, college and universities are taking the digital route to facilitate education to the students during the time pandemic.
Since the academic institutes cannot allow the students to enter the campuses right now, the online education system seems like the only feasible option right now. Even though the online education system is serving as an alternative to the traditional education system at this moment, it has been evolving continuously over the years.
It this blog, you can find the major advantages and disadvantages of the online education system, and evaluate whether it is a better alternative to the conventional education system or not.
Advantages of Online Education System
In the past few years, online learning courses have gained significant popularity among learners. Some of the major reasons behind this increasing popularity are mentioned below:
Online courses are significantly more affordable than traditional learning courses. And it is cost-effective not only for the learners but for the educators as well. This is one of the reasons why a lot of reputed universities such as the University of Central Florida have been offering an extensive catalog of online courses. As you may realize, there’s no need to rent a building or pay for expensive utility bills to provide the students with a learning facility with online education.
- Self-paced learning:
Unlike traditional education, where learners need to attend classes in numbers, online courses offer more individual attention of the teacher. This digitized education system allows the learners to connect directly with the instructor via email or video conferences and get their queries resolved. Moreover, the online courses allow the learners to take courses from their own devices anytime and anywhere as per their convenience. The individualized approach of online education system pays attention to the individual needs of the learner, making learning more effective.
Online education system offers the learners a lot more flexibility than the traditional education system. Here, the learners can attend the classes as per their convenience without having to go to any physical classroom. You can join the online classes from the comfort of your home, as well as on-the-go, using mobile devices. This is the reason why a lot of working people choose online education system to enhance their learning skills without having to compromise on their daily routine.
- More engaging:
Online education system offers a more engaging learning environment to the learners with the application of multimedia and the latest gamification features. While a majority of the students find the traditional form of education to be boring, the online learning environment offers them a fresh and more advanced approach towards education. Moreover, the online education system offers the opportunity of peer-to-peer learning, where students can connect with their peers across the world and learn new things related to the curriculum while meeting new people.
While the advantages of an online education system are quite impressive, it does come with some disadvantages as well.
Disadvantages of Online Education System
Over the years, a lot of people have debated on the topic of the effectiveness of online education system, and the experts have cited some downsides of this digital learning system, which are still persisting. Some of those areas are:
- Lack of discipline:
While learners enjoy a lot of flexibility in the online education system, they miss out on an important thing, i.e., discipline. Since most of the time, the learners don’t have anyone around to monitor them during the classes, they are likely to get distracted and compromise the quality of learning. Moreover, participating in online classes alone from your home does not exactly push the students to do better in academics. It misses the competition tradition education has to offer.
- Scope for cheating:
Since the online education system is entirely based on computer activities and there’s no one to monitor the learner’s activity all the time, it is very easy for the learner to plagiarize essays and assignments as per his/her convenience.
In fact, it is also possible that he/she may simply buy an essay online and submit it as his/her own. Getting the help of professional essay writers is not illegal, but submitting his/her work as your own is unethical.
With online education system, the learners can pursue the classes from the comfort of their homes. However, it does create a sense of isolation among the students. While the conventional education system allows the students to attend the class together and spend time in each other company, the online education system keeps the learners at home, having only the computer as your companion. While it may be good in terms of social distancing in the time of COVID-19 pandemic, it can lead to some mental problems such as stress, anxiety and depression.
- Health-related concerns:
It is a fact that sitting in front of computers for a long period of time can cause some serious health issues among people. So, if a student has to attend the classes on his/her computer on a regular basis, he/she is at the risk of developing health problems such as lower-back pain, bad posture, dry eyes and even computer vision syndrome (CVS). Also, staying at home with next to zero physical activity can lead to even more serious problems.
The disadvantages of the online education system are hard to ignore. However, the implementation of the online education system is inevitable, given the current state of the education landscape. Educators need to look at these disadvantages and figure out ways to eliminate them if they want to replace the conventional education system with its digital counterpart.