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7 disadvantages of online learning

7 disadvantages of online learning

Disadvantages of online learning:

As we are continuously adopting new methods of learning, so we are facing new challenges. Not long ago we adopted online learning. it is convenient and wonderful option. Just like any other convenience there are disadvantages of online learning as well.

Knowledge and learning have always been essential components of civilized societies. Virtual learning has opened the doors of vast and immense knowledge on numerous themes from across the globe. It has made the world a global village.

During the recent global pandemic, distance learning models have broadly supported learning communities. Many institutions and organizations adopted online learning during the pandemic to keep the process of learning going while maintaining social distancing.

Online learning is the modern-day education innovation. It has many advantages, but before opting for online classes or online degree programs, students and teachers should identify the possible obstacles in the online study and understand why it might not be for everyone.

Social Isolation

One of the major disadvantages of online learning is social isolation, which may impact both the student and the teacher during the learning process. Online learning requires spending a large amount of time online to complete tasks and connect with the learning community.

Teachers and student who spend much of their time online can become a victim of social isolation due to the lack of human interaction in their lives. According to a professor at the University of Virginia, Online learning creates a gap between the student and the teacher due to no face to face interactions that make the learning environment “monotonous and not real.”

As a result of this, the overall learning experience may become boring and dull. Studies have found that students’ sense of social presence and instructor presence influence their general perceptions of learning. Students who perceive a lack of social interactions and instructor presence are more likely to withdraw and fail.

Social isolation can further lead to severe mental health issues, including increased stress and anxiety, limiting individuals’ learning capabilities.

Technological Difficulties

disadvantages of online learning

Among other disadvantages of Online learning requires, know-how and use of technology is most common, which may become a challenge for teachers and students who are not comfortable with the new tools or are not tech-savvy. Thus, such a learning environment may become complicated and incompatible for the portion of the population interested in learning but are computer illiterate.

Teachers must learn and get familiar with new software like online whiteboards, slide players, and use new tools like graphic pens, which may be essential for them to deliver their lecture and explain clearly. Similarly, students need to learn the usage of new software and related features.

Though technology claims to ease processes, it can be complicated if you don’t know your way around applications and devices. Another factor is the hardware requirement. Students need to have the desired audio/video tools to get the most out of an online lecture.

Such significant dependency of online learning on technological devices like microphones, cameras, the internet, and personal digital assistants (PDA) may make it a burden for some individuals involved in the process. This struggle can slow down the learning process’s overall speed and may plummet the motivation of learners.

Increased Workload

In list of disadvantages of online learning, another one is that students may face is the increased workload of the online course. Online learning requires extra reading and assignments than traditional classes. Teachers may assign students with more class activities, short quizzes, and projects to ensure that they have mastered the course material and attended the online classes.

A big disadvantages of online classes is teachers may expect the students to spend about 15-20 hours per week on a course. This disadvantage is limited to students and teachers, too, as they have to make extra efforts to keep their classes interactive. The course curriculum has to be designed in a way that it can be completed using the online technologies available commonly.

Moreover, teachers need to practice and get familiar with different tools to explain complex problems and enhance students’ overall learning experience. Both parties, i.e., the teacher and the student, may get exhausted from the increased workload that has been brought by online learning.

The immense need for Self-Discipline

Self- discipline and time management is always among disadvantages of online classes. Students are pushed continuously towards their learning goals in traditional learning environments either through face-to-face interaction with instructors, peer to peer activities, or strict schedules.

Students have to sit through a lecture, which is not the case with the online mode.
However, in the case of online learning, student-teacher and student-peer interaction are decreased.

One of the key disadvantages of online learning is less guidance from the teacher, along with a lack of scheduled meetings and deadlines. Students are left to fend themselves without anyone continually reminding or urging them to complete their learning activities and assignments.

Self-direction and an efficient study plan are very important for students to excel in the online course. As a result, it gets difficult for students who lack self-motivation and time management skills to complete their regular deadlines. They may face difficulty in maintaining their progress in the online course.

More Theoretical, less Practical

More theoretical, less practical approach is a big among disadvantages of online learning. Online learning is more focused on theoretical knowledge than developing practical skills. It is because academic lectures are easier to deliver in online learning environments. Simultaneously, the practical and hands-on exercises require arrangements that might not be possible in a remote learning model.

If students gain knowledge through practice, it becomes valuable and easy to retain. Online courses can often fail to provide hands-on experiences or integrate realistic, practical scenarios. Instructors might not be able to give students practical tasks to apply gained knowledge to real problems immediately.

When information that students learn gets too abstract and can’t relate it to their lives, it’s easy to lose interest in the topic or the entire course. Courses that require fieldwork or lab experiences might be less effective if taught online.

Limited Student-teacher Interaction

Traditional classrooms allow personalized feedback from the teachers to students, increasing their motivation to learn well and progress. It makes the learning environment rich, profound, and more significant. this lack of participation and interaction are other disadvantages of online classes.

Considering the unique nature of online environments, limiting some aspects of nonverbal communication, fostering robust and lasting teacher-student relationships in online classes may be challenging. Moreover, online settings’ structural features may create a learning environment where students have minimal knowledge about the instructor.

This lack of interaction is among disadvantages of online learning from the teacher’s perspective as well. It is difficult for the teacher to acquire students’ feedback on any topic covered in class, whether students have learned it or not. Students in online learning often avoid interacting much with the instructors, which makes it difficult for them to deduce whether their pace and curriculum are aligned with the student’s understanding level or require improvements.

Unethical Practices

With an online mode of learning, the assessments are also held online. The advantages of online classes are that it increases cheating and unethical behaviour.  This disadvantages of online learning is the most difficult to contend with.

As compared to the physical assessments, students can cheat easily in the online assessments. Students can cheat in the examination as they are at ease and can quickly look for answers online on different blogs and websites. Unfortunately, there is room for contract cheating practices as without a proper identification verification system, it is difficult to detect who is appearing for the online examination, resulting in a wholly fraudulent examination result.

It is complicated to solve this issue of cheating in online learning environments as video feed is the only straightforward solution. There are many software available to stop cheating and plagiarism. But students can bypass almost all of them.

Final Thoughts: In a nutshell, Online Learning has unlocked much greater access to knowledge and learning. It’s convenient, flexible, and at times less costly as compared to traditional classroom education. Still, it would be best if you understood that it is not for everyone.

Online learning can be stressful and burdensome if you are not very comfortable with computers and software. It is not suitable for fields that require mandatory practical or field experiences. It can also affect the health of the individuals involved in the learning process because of social isolation and increased stress.

But as the time changes, adaptation to new methods of learning is inevitable. There are many advantages of online learning as well.

Read here: 7 unique advantages of online learning

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