Learning and teaching is an ongoing process in life. The process has evolved with time and with technological progress. This process of learning and teaching has moved from classroom training to online learning and training, supported by online training software. Both methods have their benefits and drawbacks.
Let us understand some of the benefits and drawbacks of e-learning courses.
- Convenient and easily accessible: The biggest advantage which tops the list is the convenience of accessing the course from anywhere. Also, the course can be accessed even on holidays and weekends. The convenience of accessing notes, reviewing assessments, practising quizzes and chatting with fellow course mates any time you want. You can make your own schedule as per your availability and convenience.
- Flexibility: Along with location constraints, one seeks flexibility in time as well. E-learning courses provide you access and let you learn the course at your own convenient time. You also get the flexibility of accessing the course from the convenience of your home without being formal. As per your convenience, you can learn this course with anyone you are comfortable with.
- Individual attention: People have the apprehension of asking questions in a group thinking that this might not be relevant. Through e-learning courses, you can send your individual questions to your instructor through e-mail and get individual attention to your queries and doubts. By getting the option of raising a question any time, you don’t tend to forget it.
- Life-Long Learning: You get the flexibility of getting back to the topics at the time of doubt. While you are pursuing the course, you can get back to the referral topics over and again to relate and understand them in a better manner. After the completion of the course, the course material is readily available online on any kind of device at any place to brush up on your skills.
- Financial benefit: Online courses are way more cost-effective. You not only save on travel time, but you also save on fuel and the hassles of travelling and tiredness. The campuses incur extra infrastructural costs which you save through online courses.
- Require more completion time: Online courses give you the facility to access the course at your convenient time and place. At times you tend to delay it over other commitments and at times laziness also. Another reason that it takes time is that you have to read through the material whereas, in the classroom training, you listen to the instructor. Listening is faster than reading. But at the same time, you don’t miss out on anything as you can always refer back if you zone out during the online course.
- Easier to procrastinate: We as humans need push and motivation to continue doing work. The same happens in learning where we always need deadlines/reminders of completing the homework, assignments, quizzes, etc. There always is a mentor to guide and push us. This is more effective in-classroom training as compared to online courses. You are required to stay self-motivated and self-managed which is not the trait that everyone possesses.
- Create a sense of isolation: Though there are different forums for interactions available, one does not get a chance to socialize. At times, classroom training helps you understand the topics in a better way as the doubts can come from all across and discussed in the group whereas, during online courses, this is restricted. The emotional connection is not formed which might take us into isolation.
- Feedback is limited: Providing face-to-face feedback is more effective as compared to any other means. The feedback provided to the students is very limited in the online courses as the means are limited and not effective.
With the requirements and changing scenarios, e-learning is becoming more of a practice with educational institutions and industries, but it has its drawbacks. Before taking up a course, decide carefully to opt between the classroom training course and the online course based on your requirements.