With the advancement of technology, the popularity of e-learning has skyrocketed. And, the current pandemic situation is just making people realize that it is not a perk, but a necessity. So, why not make the most of this convenient technology? It is easy to gain knowledge and develop skills using e-learning. The best part about it is that you don’t need a hefty investment, you are good to go with a device and internet connection. Forget about the time, when your career search was limited to what was feasible at that moment. Now, you got e-learning that lets you choose your career specialization from infinite possibilities. With this overview of e-learning, let’s delve into its pros and cons.
Advantages of E-Learning
The benefits of e-learning are not just limited to students, you can be a working individual and still derive a great deal of benefits from it. Here are 6 advantages of e-learning.
1. Provides flexibility
One of the reasons e-learning is so popular is that it provides flexibility. Now individuals can control their learning. Previously, they had to attend classes with little to no say in their schedule. It didn’t take into consideration the individual’s best time for learning. Thankfully, we don’t have to deal with this traditional learning system anymore. E-learning offers students to select their best time for learning and manage their other commitments at the same time. Gone are the days of high pressure, now you can control the pace of your learning.
2. Considers learning styles
Despite having the same teacher and studying for the same time, no two students can learn in the same way. Because the learning style of students plays an important role in the way they comprehend information and put it into practice. The major drawback of the traditional learning system was it couldn’t cater to the individual learning needs of students. In e-learning, we have individualistic learning methods that enable students to practice their own individual learning styles. Since a one-size-fits-all solution will not be effective for students, we have e-learning that allows them to use learning materials that are designed based on their needs, skills, and knowledge.
The undeniable advantage of e-learning is its cost-effectiveness. Since e-learning can be done from the comfort of the home, the training institutes can save a lot of costs that otherwise are utilized in travel and logistics. Considering, the training providers can benefit from teaching online, they extend the benefits to the students in terms of affordable learning programs. In fact, e-learning has increased the number of students enrolling in the courses. So, you see how e-learning saves costs and allows more students to learn. E-books are a great example of the e-learning mediums available today. We discussed the advantages and disadvantages of e-books earlier.
4. Customizes learning environment
The importance of a learning environment is underestimated. It is essential to take this into consideration as it increases productivity. Additionally, it has an impact on their learning performance and mental health. The traditional learning system didn’t let students choose their environment, so they were forced to manage with what was available. E-learning gave the students the control they desire, and now they can customize their learning environment and reap the benefits.
5. E-learning can save time
Following the traditional methods of learning things are great to have social comfort and interact with other students and teachers. However, it requires some unnecessary time for things such as getting ready for the schools, travelling there, preparing food, etc. If you can do all that from the comfort of your home, you can save a ton of time and dedicate it towards the studies. This will make the learning process much more efficient compared to going to a physical location to gain knowledge.
6. Environment friendliness
With the traditional learning system, there were many environmental concerns related to paper production. The factories for paper production causes atmospheric pollution and since e-learning is a paperless learning method, it is one of most environmentally friendly option. Furthermore, manufacturing and transportation negatively impact the environment. In the long run, it conserves natural resources and reduces waste.
Disadvantages of E-Learning
We saw how e-learning is a better option to expand your skillset, but, on the flip side, there are cons. These are 6 disadvantages of e-learning.
1. Depends on the internet
We are all aware of how the internet has made e-learning possible, but, on the other hand, it has made learning-dependent. Without the internet and device, you cannot learn online. The gap in computer literacy in the population is another concern. This is why in the near future, till the computer literacy gap exists, e-learning shouldn’t be used as a replacement for traditional learning systems, but instead, an add-on to it.
2. Requires time management skills
To benefit from e-learning, you should have time management skills as well as should be highly motivated. In a traditional learning system, you at least know that several factors will constantly remind you of your learning goals and push you towards them. But, with e-learning, these factors do not exist, so you have to look out for yourself. No doubt e-learning gives you flexibility, and if you are not motivated enough, you would find it difficult to keep up with the deadlines.
3. Possibility of cheating
Be it a traditional learning system or e-learning system, some will still cheat on exams. The only difference between the two is that individual cheating in the traditional learning systems is more likely to get caught compared to the online systems. As direct observation is not possible in e-learning, it can get complicated to detect cheating. In fact, taking advantage of online exams, individuals take a step ahead and make others give an exam on their behalf, thus conducting fraudulent acts that go undetected.
4. More focus on theory
If you have been a part of e-learning, you already know, developing theoretical knowledge is the focus here. But, this is definitely not an ideal way of learning. Along with developing theoretical knowledge, it is equally important to develop practical skills. In this way, the learned knowledge can be put into practice. And, if you think about it, e-learning is more focused on theory as it is easy to provide theoretical knowledge whereas conducting practical projects in an online environment can not only be time-consuming but fairly difficult.
5. Causes social isolation
Another drawback of e-learning is it causes social isolation. This is experienced by both the students and teachers. In a traditional learning system, social interactions are bound to happen as people meet each other in person. The lack of face-to-face interaction and spending most of the time online can lead to stress. Moreover, people can start to experience anxiety and negative thoughts if it keeps continuing.
6. Distractions are very common
The only distraction that could possibly happen in a classroom with the presence of a good teacher is having fun with your friends in the middle of the class. That too won’t happen if the lecture is interesting enough. But it is not the case when it comes to online learning. From the notifications that pops up on your smartphone to a video recommendation on YouTube, there are a million ways to get distracted from your studies. The advantages and disadvantages of online classes and offline classes describes this issue in depth.