Strengths and Weaknesses of Online Learning


David Mudd

Continuous self-improvement and self-learning is the choice of a successful person seeking to realize his or her potential. The widespread use of Internet technology opens up unlimited opportunities in this direction. Today, you can find any information on the Internet: from services where you can buy a thesis online, to the rarest digital libraries with all the knowledge of world science and art.

It is easier than ever to obtain new skills, knowledge, improve qualifications, and even master a new profession today. All you have to do is enroll and complete an online course.

But is it all so obvious?

In collaboration with a well-known personal statement writing service, we looked into what online education is, whether it is suitable for everyone, and its advantages and disadvantages.

What Is Online Learning?

Online learning is a direct communication channel between a teacher and a student here and now using a gadget connected to the Internet. This format has become a logical continuation of distance learning.

Despite the fact that the first video recordings of lectures appeared in 1990, online learning attracted mass attention only in 2010 with the appearance of the first educational platforms with accessible lessons.

For example, the number of registered users on the leading learning platform Coursera has reached 25 million people in 200 countries.

What Tasks Does Online Learning Solve?

Online learning helps prepare children for school, train employees, get a complete higher education, and acquire a new profession.

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Enroll in courses teaching how to write an essay! Online learning even allows you to get an academic degree, all the way up to a doctorate.

And in the realities of 2020, while students can’t attend educational institutions, online learning has become a temporary alternative to face-to-face education.

Who Will Fit into This Educational Format?

First of all, these are conscious individuals with high self-discipline who understand the importance of learning.

They can properly plan their time and set priorities. Those who want to acquire new knowledge or a specialty without interrupting their main activity.

Advantages of Online Learning

If you want to prevent online learning from becoming another disappointment and a cause of wasted time, you need to weigh its pros and cons carefully.

One of the most obvious advantages of studying online is the possibility to choose a comfortable place and time of classes.

Now there is no need to spend time on the road, and the location of classes will be at home, a cafe, a park, or even the beach if you have a good Internet connection.

The variety of courses is another advantage of online education. You have a huge database of courses on numerous learning platforms at your disposal. The range of topics is amazing: language classes, business training, lessons in applied sciences, and rare, highly specialized disciplines.

Saving money is another bonus of online learning. In addition to the fact that you do not have to spend money on travel or accommodation in another city, and the classes themselves can be absolutely free or will cost less than their offline analogs.

Online training allows you to exchange experiences, opinions, and knowledge with other members of professional communities. Some online programs provide for collaborative work on assignments, sharing documents, and learning materials.

Another advantage of online learning is the flexibility of communication with your instructor. Getting feedback from the instructor has become much easier. You no longer have to track him down in between classes. Your questions are sure to be answered at an agreed time.

The opportunity to review the course at a convenient time allows you to get into the topic in more detail, to return to the complex moments for understanding.

Disadvantages of Online Learning

Motivation is considered to be the main difficulty in selecting online learning. A high level of self-organization and responsibility is not the strongest trait of the human character.

According to statistics, from 40 to 60% of students drop out before completing the course. Choosing online learning, you need to be sure that you can competently organize the learning process, giving enough time to classes and doing homework.

Language and cultural barriers win second place. Most of the massive open online courses (MOOCs) and communication in specialized forums are in English, which can be a barrier to learning.

Not all countries or even areas of a particular country have free access to the Internet, without which online learning is impossible.

Online learning lacks socialization. There is no close communication of students with the teacher and among themselves, during which social connections are formed, and teamwork skills are acquired.

Employers are still suspicious of certificates and diplomas obtained as a result of online training. But the situation is changing, and over time, there will be no difference between online and offline certifications.

Despite the existing disadvantages, there are all the conditions for online learning to displace the traditional training format, becoming a common practice.

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