The “new norm” is a term most often used in the wake of Covid-19. It is a staple phrase for describing the transformation of many sectors during the pandemic. In education, it indicates the increases integration of technology in learning methods. Around the world, millions of students were in the danger of being entirely disconnected with education. Shifting school to virtual platforms was the only solution in sight which was implemented by many institutes.
Digital learning is now a necessary resource for transferring of knowledge. But similar to other educational systems it has its strengths and weaknesses. Being aware of them can help instructors to design lesson plans which overcome the setbacks and work effectively. To facilitate this purpose, we provide here the basic pros and cons of online education.
Pros of virtual learning
1. Accessibility of location and time
A factor which was most beneficial during the lockdown period was the accessibility of online classes. Institutes were able to connect with an expensive network of students virtually. Remote lessons are not constricted by the boundaries of time and geographical distance. Even if the student was going for admission abroad before the pandemic, they can now take their courses from home.
Furthermore, lectures do not always have to be in real time for online classes. They can be recorded and archived for sharing at any due date. Students can go back and forth to accumulate the knowledge they seek at their own pace. If someone is having trouble with a concept, they can go over the discussions concerning it repeatedly. On the other hand, those who speedily grasped the topic can move on to the next. Thus, providing flexibility for all types of learners.
Teachers find online learning to be an efficient tool for lesson delivery. There are a variety of tools like PDFs, podcasts, and visual content to get the message across. Although they can also be implemented in a physical class, but it takes much preparation on the instructors’ part. Whereas, in a virtual class all that is needed is sharing of links accessible with a single click.
Having a vast array of resources at their fingertips allows teachers to be more creative with their lessons. In turn, the number of students comprehending all aspects of a topic rises in comparison to traditional classes.
3. Improvement in student attendance
All it takes for attending an online class is a steady internet connection and computer or smartphone. Therefore, students have less excuses for missing out on lessons. Moreover, if classes are being conducted with the help of above-mentioned tools, they are likely to be interesting.
The primary reason for students seeking escape from lessons is when they do not understand what they are learning. Or they find them too dull and monotonous. This can be easily solved if the lessons integrate more visual and interactive elements instead of continuous lecturing. Once they develop an interest and comprehension of the topics, the attendance is sure to improve.
Virtual learning is more affordable than on-campus education as several components are excluded from it. There are no residential, transport, or any type of additional expenses for the student to contend with.
5. Suitable for all learners
Every single student is different and have their own learning style. Their educational journey will always differ from that of their peers. Some have a good grasp on textual learning, while other are audio or visual learners. There are also students who learn better when studying in a group environment. On the other hand, there are lone wolves who can concentrate better when alone.
The experts from Assignment Ace stressed upon the idea, with a virtual learning environment, it is possible for the teacher to implement personalized strategies. With the availability of a huge range of resources, the same concept can be taught to cater multiple learning styles. Making the process much more effective than traditional teaching methods.
Cons of virtual learning
1. Technical issues
As obvious, all online class activities are dependent on internet connectivity. Without a doubt, the accessibility of internet has grown exceedingly during the last few years. But there are still locations like small towns, cities, and remote villages experiencing speed and connectivity issues.
The pauses and interruptions caused by the internet is detrimental for a class environment. Once the sequence of the lecture or activity is broken it is difficult to continue from the same point. Not to mention it can be rather frustrating and irksome for both sides.
The opportunities of being distracted are endless on an online platform. Students find their minds wandering to social media or other content while studying. And without the actual presence of a teacher, it is also easier to engage in activities in their own surroundings. Self-discipline is key to the success of online education.
3. Ed-tech training
Institutes must provide basic training sessions for teachers before they are handed virtual classes. It helps them better understand the usage of digital education tools and resources. Acquiring proper training allows instructors to provide the best outcomes. Institutes should consider educational technology training an investment.
4. Isolation issues
It is necessary for students to spend time with others of their age. Socialization keeps their minds fresh and active. But in a virtual learning environment, in-person connections are very much lacking. This results in a sense of isolation for many students. It takes placement of initiatives like video class sessions, increased email, and text correspondence to keep negativity at bay.
5. Management of screen time
It is an undeniable setback of virtual education that it requires long periods of screen time. Not only during the time when the lectures are being taken but also where homework is concerned. All assignments, projects are also in digital form.
This is certainly a worrying prospect as these lengthy on-screen sessions can be damaging for both physical and mental health. There are basically two solutions which can be used to cope with this problem. Firstly, teachers must allow plenty of pauses in their lessons for the students to refresh themselves. They should also constantly encourage them to exercise every day.
Secondly, students can take the help of reliable services like Thesis Help UK to lessen their academic load. Not only will they be able to spend more time away from the screen but also receive quality content. The assistance of our expert writers is available in all fields and topics. So, students can avail this opportunity and make their virtual education journey more successful.
These were the advantages and disadvantages of virtual learning as seen in the current circumstances. We can agree though, that the positive attributes balance the negative ones. In the ongoing scenario there is no better replacement for education we can have.
Furthermore, it is important for educators to take in consideration the accelerated growth of technology. Even without the outbreak of the pandemic, it was a change that was to happen sooner or later. Unless we were willing to let our education systems to go redundant.
Therefore, this evolution must be embraced, and more efforts should be made to make it more common. If allowed to prove its full potential, virtual education can open unexplored realms for the new generation.