Blog: The Pros and Cons of Online LearningMSc Data Science student, Nahiyan Chowdhury Nasim, discusses the benefits and weaknesses of working virtually, as he experienced during the pandemic
Education has seen a major overhaul due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. The reason I say this is an overhaul is because online learning was already in practice but never endorsed massively by educational institutions. There are some obvious benefits as well as disadvantages, let us talk about it in a bit more detail.
There is no doubt, online learning saves time and makes time management easier for students. The boundary of geographical restriction no longer applies, and therefore high-quality education can reach a greater number of people. The course materials, lectures can be archived and used anytime in case someone needs to revise or did not attend scheduled class.
Internet and IT issues are the most frustrating and common issues. Despite all the efforts, to get a balanced study experience a strong internet is a must. However, this is not yet guaranteed in every part of London, let alone the world.
Improved communication with academic
Teachers, especially professors in Universities are hard to contact sometimes but online learning stepped up here and made the availability of teachers a bit more efficient. Teachers can address a larger group of students at a same time, group them by problem types and manage time more efficiently.
Too many platforms
While the concept of virtual learning is great, I still think there is no perfect platform as of now that can ensure a smooth experience. We see different institutions uses different third-party software to hold virtual classes, and these platforms’ often have bugs as they are tailored for mass communication. The importance of a learning software created for courses and learning are immense.
Let us face the obvious, online classes are easy to attend. We do not need to worry about when and where to go, what to wear or where to sit. Simply power on your device, connect and ready to roll!
Access to devices
Well then again, easy to attend but the experience is not same for everyone as the appearance differs hugely between devices. A mobile user won’t be able to focus as much as a laptop or tablet user as the content would look much smaller. Also, there are health hazards involved while trying to read from a smaller screen which puts the concept in little bit of disadvantage.
Learning virtually is straightforward, the topics are set ahead and there are materials available sometimes before the class so that students can roughly get an idea of what to expect during class.
Learning pace is hugely disrupted in virtual classrooms. Mostly, the fast learners get benefited more as the deliverables are often directed towards the core topic considering everyone has a basic understanding. The slow learners feel left out, and it is tough to track back even for teachers as the engagement of every students cannot be assured in smaller time span.
There are lots of other’s things to talk about. But as every cloud has silver linings, we know online learning will improve onwards if we try collectively.