Online learning has become a vital part of our lives, especially in the last few years. Throughout this period, most of us have looked for opportunities that online learning can provide. Still, it is crucial to do adequate research about the benefits of online learning before starting a new online education journey.
In this article, we are diving into the benefits of online learning along with some challenges to help you better understand online learning, how these benefits can affect different people, and the challenges you might face during your online learning journey.
4 Benefits of Online Learning for Adults
Even though the main subject of online learning has been students throughout the years, online learning also provides adults with incredible opportunities. Here are four of the most important benefits of online learning:
1. Ease of access
One of the biggest advantages of online learning is that it makes education incredibly accessible. As an adult, reaching a certain quality of in-person education becomes much harder after finishing school. But when it comes to online education, classes on any subject are within reach. Here are some options for online classes:
- Watching free YouTube open class lectures. For example, Yale University has online lecture videos about so many topics on YouTube, even modern poetry!
- Purchasing classes on online course platforms like Udemy and Skillshare
- Attending online fitness or mindfulness classes
- Taking one-on-one online classes from freelancers
- Attending online certificate programs
Another benefit of online learning is that it allows you to learn anytime and anywhere. Not having to change locations is not only a great time saver for online learners but it is also a fantastic opportunity for people with disabilities. No commute means no time and energy wasted on the road, so you can fully focus on learning.
3. Learning opportunities for working people
It may be hard for working individuals to commit to in-person classes, but online classes make learning much easier. The time commitment is low with online classes, and the best part is that you can create your own program that fits your schedule best.
With most in-person classes, you are given a predetermined schedule that you must stick to. Expectedly, these hours sometimes conflict with your working hours or just don’t fit your schedule well. With online learning, you are fully autonomous and can create your schedule from scratch. This allows you to have a more balanced schedule where you determine your resting, working, and studying hours.
4. Learning opportunities for people who stay at home
If you are one of those people who must spend much of their time at home like a stay-at-home parent or a caretaker, online learning might be a great choice for you. Aside from requiring less time commitment and granting you full autonomy over your program, online learning allows you to multitask too. You can listen to audio lectures while dealing with the mindless repetitive tasks of daily life such as folding the laundry or walking your dog.
Benefits of Online Learning for Teachers and Students
Teachers and students have experienced online learning firsthand during the pandemic. Even outside the pandemic, there are many advantages of online learning for the people in the schooling system:
- Teaching from home means that you have more time to spend with family. Online teaching eliminates the time spent staying at school during your free periods. A teacher working in person usually cannot go home for one free period. This means you spend much more time at work than you have to, wasting a lot of your free hours. With online school, you can spend your free time however you’d like without being limited by your current location.
- Online learning allows for innovative teaching methods. There are thousands of ways you can utilize online teaching tools. You can make use of presentations, share educational videos with your students, play online games and connect at a deeper level much easier. You can check out 15 Online Teaching Tools to Enrich Your Virtual Classroom for more information.
- Student assessment is easier in virtual classrooms. You can assign students online homework, quizzes, and tests. Since the evaluation and assessment of online tests are usually automated, the process takes much less time so you can inspect students’ performance through software instead of manually checking every paper or homework. This also means that there is no chance for students to lose their homework or forget to bring it with them.
- Just like teachers, online learners have more time left for their outside activities. When the time wasted with commuting and free periods becomes utilized, students can have a better daily schedule with enough time to experience the outside world.
- Learning with new tools is exciting for students. A traditional classroom can only provide so many learning methods and tools for students. Even if the educators introduce new learning methods in person, these processes usually take more time and physical effort. Since students can easily access a wider variety of material online, learning can stay exciting and new for them.
- In a traditional school setting, students are only able to communicate with peers that live close by. When it comes to virtual learning spaces, people from any part of the world can meet and connect with just a couple of clicks. Along with increasing children’s appreciation of differences, this allows for a better place to learn new languages.
Disadvantages of Online Education
As with everything great, online learning also has its disadvantages. During the quarantine, when most students got to experience online learning, a portion of them found traditional schooling to be more beneficial for them. Here are two main disadvantages that might have played a role in this:
Shorter Attention Span
For some students, being present in a school environment helps improve focus. Even though online learning is extremely convenient and efficient, some students report that it can be hard to focus on a screen for long hours. This is highly dependent on the student’s personality and personal experiences with school. Still, it is important to note that some people find it harder to stay present during online lectures versus in-person ones.
The reason behind this may be the fact that most people associate home with comfort. Especially if you attend online classes in your bedroom, your brain may have a hard time focusing as it associates the home environment with sleep and rest. Comfortable clothes and the increased accessibility of distractions may not be helping the situation either.
Still, being comfortable can mean an increase in your focus as well. Contrary to the group of people we have mentioned above; some students find it much easier to focus when they feel fully comfortable. In this case, it is important that you assess which group you belong to in order to choose the best option for yourself.
Feelings of Isolation
Since physical school also serves as a place to socialize and spend time with peers, it is easier for traditional students to meet their social needs. An online learner may not have as easy of a reach as their peers, so it is incredibly important that they plan their free time wisely to avoid burnout and feelings of isolation.
Even though online connections can be seen as a way of socializing, it is also important to talk to people face-to-face. When most of one’s time is taken up by online school, it may become a burden to go out of your way to meet people. Still, it shouldn’t be forgotten that forming healthy in-person relationships is an important way to learn and grow.
To avoid feeling isolated, you can try attending in-person events or workshops and making new friends. Taking walks and visiting parks, museums, and galleries are only some of the ways to socialize out of school.
And that’s it!
Now that you have a better idea about the advantages and disadvantages of online learning, you can start your learning journey! Just go on a search engine, search for what you want to learn about, and start improving yourself from home!
You can also create an online course with Raklet. Thanks to the many features of the all-in-one high school booster club membership software such as profile customization and page building, many high schools can offer online courses.
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