The prevalence of modern technology has made it impossible to avert the development of online learning and its broader deployment across the globe. This is why many college or university students nowadays are picking online classes over their offline alternatives (Dhawan, 2020). Traditional education is still alive, but the trends suggest that even more students are going to benefit from online learning in the nearest future, especially due to the limitations instigated by the Covid-19 pandemic. The inherent flexibility of online education became the much-needed catalyst of transformation that allowed both teachers and learners to attain the necessary qualifications without securing face-to-face contact (Alqurashi, 2019).
Despite the lack of interpersonal communication, students do not seem to experience any specific issues with their studies because they still have access to numerous ways of reaching out to teachers and peers. The current essay explores the most evident advantages of online learning and tries to reinforce the idea that computerized teaching could reasonably replace its offline alternatives.
Virtual, Student-Centered Environments are Winning
The primary benefit that can be pointed out is that the number of students that can participate in online learning is not limited in any way when it comes to virtual classrooms. Offline learning does not provide teachers with the same benefits because students have to meet the attendance requirement by showing up for class when online education only requires them to join a videoconference (Castro & Tumibay, 2021). With so many benefits offered to students, it may be safe to say that online education is mostly student-centered because it represents a format where learners’ needs have to be met for every method to function as expected. Even full-time workers may have the opportunity to learn online and complete necessary assignments.
The only basic requirement that has to be met when participating in online education is the connection to the network because virtual classes are only available over the Internet. Therefore, students from different countries can participate while also becoming more well-versed in terms of time management (Wei & Chou, 2020). The flexibility of online learning is unmatched because it remains student-centered even when some of the needs are not met. The fact that online education makes students responsible for their learning process is another crucial advantage that was not available in conventional classrooms. To say the least, a rigid timetable is still in place for both online and offline learning, while the former does not get limited by external constraints related to transportation, weather conditions, and other unpredictable factors.
Independence and Discipline in Online Learning
There is also an opportunity to grow a generation of highly disciplined learners with the help of online education because it requires students to be independent and make decisions on their own. Real-time discussions that are instigated during online classes limit students’ opportunities to cheat or confer on the subject privately with their peers. Therefore, learners begin relying on themselves and start working on projects regardless of what has been completed by their colleagues (Castro & Tumibay, 2021). Such an attitude toward learning appeals to students because none of their learning styles get disregarded or criticized.
The only recurrent focus within an online learning environment is the ability to achieve positive outcomes and ensure that learning objectives have been met. Offline education does not affect students’ responsibility because they interact with their peers and teachers face-to-face daily and do not get a chance to rely on their capabilities (Bouilheres et al., 2020). In other words, the Internet serves as the common ground for students who extend their knowledge base while becoming more independent and appreciating the opportunity to discover their potential.
Overcoming the Fears of Public Speaking and Interpersonal Interaction
Despite online classes being based on the idea that there is no direct interaction between teachers and students, the need to maintain formal contact makes it possible for them to practice their communication skills in virtual classes as well. While using social networks, e-mail applications, and class forums, students get an opportunity to overcome their fear of sharing their ideas with their peers and teachers (Dhawan, 2020).
While fewer signs of inattention could be identified within an online learning environment, some of the behaviors displayed by students would remain unchanged since their last offline interactions in the real classroom. The inability to convey ideas can be addressed within the framework of online learning because students are placed within a much more comfortable environment where they have enough space for self-expression (Wei & Chou, 2020). The spark in student participation becomes even more evident over time because no one is intimidated by the publicity and the common disadvantages of a face-to-face classroom.
Even though real-life communication is still one of the most important activities available to humans, students should be aware of different ways of conveying their messages if they are willing to overcome their fears and attain new knowledge. Traditional classes remain a priority for many education systems across the globe, but they are no match for the advanced learning practices available with technology (Bouilheres et al., 2020).
Formal communication can be achieved within both online and offline environments, but a person’s wellbeing is much easier to mediate in the case where they are placed in a comfortable setting that they believe to be accurate and beneficial. The fear of group work will go away as well because online collaboration elicits less peer pressure and helps students to coordinate their activities following everyone’s strongest suits. A friendlier environment is going to aid the learning process in terms of how the feelings of guilt and share are going to disappear since students are going to remain more in control of their actions.
Although the number of advantages of online education is somewhat limited, the high percentage of students picking it over the classic teaching methods means that the trends in education are moving in the right direction. It cannot be stated that online education is outright more efficient than its offline counterpart, but the uniqueness of computerized class experience makes it safe to say that traditional approaches to teaching are quickly becoming obsolete. The growing number of followers of online education, in addition to the tangible upsides of technology-based teaching, creates a convenient environment for both students and teachers. The lack of face-to-face contact does not seem to affect their relationship because of numerous alternatives proving that international studies can and have to be promoted across the globe. The increasing role of technology in human lives makes digital learning spaces more student-centered and drives more confidence in learners and teachers.
Alqurashi, E. (2019). Predicting student satisfaction and perceived learning within online learning environments. Distance Education, 40(1), 133-148. Web.
Bouilheres, F., Le, L. T. V. H., McDonald, S., Nkhoma, C., & Jandug-Montera, L. (2020). Defining student learning experience through blended learning. Education and Information Technologies, 25(4), 3049-3069. Web.
Castro, M. D. B., & Tumibay, G. M. (2021). A literature review: Efficacy of online learning courses for higher education institution using meta-analysis. Education and Information Technologies, 26(2), 1367-1385. Web.
Dhawan, S. (2020). Online learning: A panacea in the time of COVID-19 crisis. Journal of Educational Technology Systems, 49(1), 5-22. Web.
Wei, H. C., & Chou, C. (2020). Online learning performance and satisfaction: Do perceptions and readiness matter? Distance Education, 41(1), 48-69. Web.