Benefitsand Disadvantages of Online Learning
Topic:Benefits and disadvantages of online learning
Objective:To assess and discuss the key advantages as well as the key drawbacksassociated with online learning.
Thesis:Although e-learning is associated with an increase in the level ofefficiency, convenience, technology-based communication skills, andthe ease of access to instructors, it substitutes physicalteacher-student contact, requires a lot of self-discipline, andtechnological expertise.
The popularity of the online learning or the e-learning has increased exponentially within the last one decade following an increase in the application of the technology in the education sector (Haynie, 2014).
About one in every four students takes at least one course online every year (Haynie, 2014).
Graduate students have a higher probability (22 %) of undertaking their studies online compared to undergraduate learners (Haynie, 2014).
Preview of the main points
Benefits of online learning
Reduction in the cost of learning
The global economic challenges (including an increase in the cost of operation) create the need for organizations to adopt strategies that can help them economize on all resources (Bakia, Shear, Toyama & Lasseter, 2012).
The Wisconsin University spends $ 11,397 to educate one student through the traditional face-to-face program and $ 6,077 on an online learner (Bakia, Shear, Toyama & Lasseter, 2012).
Increase in the level of convenience
Students who undertake online courses are allowed to complete different targets at their convenient time and make learning schedules that meet their specific needs (Bartley & Golek, 2014).
Learners are given the opportunity to undertake a self-paced learning process since they can determine when to study and when to take breaks in order to engage in other activities (Bartley & Golek, 2014).
The high level of expediency that is associated with online programs has helped people in the working class pursue higher levels of education without terminating their employment contracts (Bartley & Golek, 2014).
Improvement in communication skills
Online learning platforms provide students with multiple tools (such as chats, discussion boards, and email) that allow participants to interact effectively (Arkorful & Abaidoo, 2014).
The aspect of anonymity that is associated with e-learning encourages the shy students to increase their participation in academic projects and class discussion (Arkorful & Abaidoo, 2014).
Accessibility of instructors
The internet-based learning has bridged this gap since students can pose questions and request for the personalized assistance on the internet (Arkorful & Abaidoo, 2014).
Learners can email their instructors or post questions on the learning platforms (such as the Blackboard Course Info) and get the response from other students or teachers, irrespective of whether they are in their physical offices or at home (Arkorful & Abaidoo, 2014).
Disadvantages of Online Learning
Limited human interaction
Learners may underestimate the absence of a physical instructor, but it plays a critical role in determining their ability to socialize and interact with their co-workers after graduation (Croxton, 2014).
E-learning limits the capacity of graduates to interact properly since it does not provide them with the opportunity to enhance their interpersonal as well as face-to-face communication skills (Croxton, 2014).
Effects of the lack of self discipline
Regular testing, homework, and assignments are part of the normal learning process, but learners who use the online method to accomplish these evaluation processes are tempted to cheat (Allen & Seaman, 2013).
The lack of self-discipline is associated with the decline in the sense of value for education, which limits the level of retention of the content that is learned online (Allen & Seaman, 2013).
The need for technological expertise
Students are provided with an access to different tools (such as the video learning sites, academic materials, and online chatting services), but they can only make the maximize use of them if they have the required technical expertise (Capra, 2011).
The lack of the technological expertise increases the effort and the amount of time that instructors and teachers need to facilitate the learning process (Capra, 2011).
The key benefits associated with e-learning include an increase in the level of efficiency, convenience, and the possibility of saving on money as well as time.
There are several drawbacks of online learning that might limit its effectiveness in facilitating the delivery of the course content.
Allen,I. & Seaman, J. (2013). Changingcourse: Ten years of tracking online education in the United States.Babson Park: Babson Survey Research Group.
Arkorful,V. & Abaidoo, N. (2014). The role of e-learning, the advantagesand disadvantages of its adoption in higher education. InternationalJournal of Education and Research,2 (12), 397-410.
Bakia,M., Shear, L., Toyama, Y. & Lasseter, A. (2012). Understandingthe implications of online learning for educational productivity.Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education.
Bartley,S. & Golek, J. (2014). Evaluating the cost effectiveness ofonline and face-to-face instruction. EducationalTechnology and Society,7 (4), 167-175.
Capra,T. (2011). Online education: Promise and problems. Journalof Online Learning and Teaching,7 (2), 288-293.
Croxton,A. (2014). The role of interactivity in student satisfaction andpersistence in online learning. Journalof Online Learning and Teaching,10 (2), 314-325.
Haynie,D. (2014). New government data sheds light on online learners.Education.Retrieved August 31, 2016, fromhttp://www.usnews.com/education/online-education/articles/2014/06/12/new-government-data-sheds-light-on-online-learners