Pros of Online Learning

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The widespread adoption of digital technology has led to the growing popularity of online learning over the past decade. During social isolation, this method made it possible to continue the school year, facilitating the routine of millions of students and teachers. Digital innovation has paved the way for a system of education and classrooms, such as the adoption of online learning. Online learning overshadows traditional classroom systems, which provide active and more independent learning. Currently, learners are overcoming the burden of high tuition costs, limited courses, and budget cuts. Online learning is one of the most effective methods for learners, which has led to many positive implications. There is still some resistance to distance learning, but denying that this teaching modality greatly benefits teachers and students is impossible. To ensure the success of remote learning, therefore, dedication and acknowledgement of the potential of this teaching and learning form are necessary and critical. Online learning benefits educational institutions, learners and instructors as it allows learning flexibility and is economical.

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Learning Flexibility

One of the key benefits of online learning is that it allows flexibility. Learners can study from any location, at any time, depending on their schedule (Bickle et al., 2019, p.6). In online learning, the content is often available on online platforms such as virtual libraries and school websites. In addition, the learning materials can be in the form of podcasts and other recorded content. The learner is thus able to select and engage with the learning material depending on their priorities, convenience, and schedule.

Moreover, the learner controls the studying set within the classroom framework, depending on their ability to create an effective schedule. Thus, in an online classroom, slow learners can continue to reflect and read the learning materials and content until they can comprehend the course concepts. Such learners can review and practice the classroom content without worrying about lagging behind peers or dragging the fast learners in the case of a physical classroom. On the other hand, fast learners use learning materials to absorb new information at their own pace without waiting for slow learners to catch up.

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Economical

One of the significant benefits of e-Learning is that it is economical. Online learning allows learners geographical flexibility, which enables both learners and educators to study or teach from any location globally. The need to commute from one area to another and stick to a rigid schedule is eliminated for those who adopt online learning, saving time and finances. The cost-effectiveness of online learning helps learners to save money that would have otherwise been used to purchase expensive textbooks, transport, and accommodation in the institutions (Cook, 2014, p.966). The time and finances saved can be used for alternative activities that are a priority.

On the other hand, virtual classrooms can easily be accessed at any location with a connection to the internet, which may allow an individual to travel across the world while in one area. For example, learners who study abroad can get a job to work and attend virtual classes simultaneously instead of giving up one for the other due to time and financial limitations. Online learning also provides multiple options for payment, with the fees payable in instalments or per lesson (Yoon, 2003, p.20). The payment options promote better management of the personal budget. For instance, online learning portals such as Udemy, Coursera, and others provide cost-effective and practical courses alongside convenient and easy payment options.

Counterargument

Contrary to the benefits of online learning, there are also challenges associated with these learning mechanisms. One of the challenges is little face-to-face interaction with professors and colleagues. Although the internet facilitates the formation of study groups, that is not the same as the interactivity of people face to face, talking in each other’s presence. Less face-to-face contact with teachers and peers is an obstacle that must be overcome by online college students (Adnan, & Anwar, 2020, p.50). Without the classroom experience, there is less interaction between the whole class, which can diminish networking opportunities or the collaborative learning experience. Communication platforms already allow for much more active exchange dynamics, but this still does not replace the opportunity to share the same environment with colleagues and teachers.

Conclusion

Technology advancement has led to innovative ways of adopting various digital aspects and digitalization forms. One of the benefits of online learning is a high level of flexibility. Online learning allows learners to revisit their classes as needed constantly. With the distance learning modality, the teaching materials are always available, typically until a few months after the end of the course. In this way, the student can review the classes as often as they want, guaranteeing better absorption of the content studied. In addition, students can review lessons at their own pace. This constant review helps improve understanding, increases retention, and deepens student learning. Also, distance learning has the advantage of a lower cost than face-to-face courses. That is because education in a virtual environment allows for more students and does not require an elaborate physical infrastructure that may be costly to construct. As a result, the student saves on several aspects, including the monthly course fee, transportation costs, food, and parking. Distance education can be a critical tool to optimize learning and ensure that teaching takes place regardless of circumstances.

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  1. Adnan, M., & Anwar, K. (2020). Online Learning amid the COVID-19 Pandemic: Students’ Perspectives. Online Submission2(1), 45-51.
  2. Bickle, M. C., Rucker, R. D., & Burnsed, K. A. (2019). Online learning: Examination of attributes that promote student satisfaction. Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration22(1), 1-8.
  3. Cook, D. A. (2014). The value of online learning and MRI: Finding a niche for expensive technologies. Medical Teacher36(11), 965-972.
  4. Yoon, S. W. (2003). In search of meaningful online learning experiences. New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education2003(100), 19-30.
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