Online education is an approach that consists of distant interaction between teachers and students. In the early 1900s, distance learning was introduced as a technique that aimed to make student’s life and education processes easier (Batool et al.161). The popularity of online classes is growing every year. People own mobile phones, tablets, and laptops that allow them to access educational courses any time from any part of the world. Today, the outbreak of Coronavirus infection led to the change from traditional to online education. This essay will focus on the advantages of distance learning, as well as rebuttal possible counterarguments regarding this education method. Although online training might be challenging for procrastinating people and might deprive them of socializing, it is still beneficial because it allows flexibility for both students and instructors, is more convenient and includes electronic examinations that are advantageous as well.
One of the advantages of online education is its availability anywhere anytime. A student can register for a preferred course being in any part of the country. Today schools and universities have unified platforms from which students can access class materials, homework, and exams. The flexibility allows for a balanced distribution of responsibilities. According to Davis et al., students who have part-time jobs, or who have children have to perform household chores advantage of studying online, so there are no conflicts with schedule (257). Davis et al. also point to the benefits of distance learning for instructors (257). For example, if they have urgent business attending conferences or stay in the hospital with their families and so are off-campus, they still have flexibility in teaching. They can upload tasks and assignments to the school or university education website, and upon arrival, they can check them and give feedback. Moreover, teachers can commit less time to administer online classes if they have a more convenient schedule. Thus, online education is more suitable for students and instructors as it gives more flexibility and less time commitment.
Another benefit of distance learning that is connected to the previous point is convenience. If the students choose online education, they have the whole classroom in their house. There is no need to commute long distances to school or university. Traveling to school or university might be exhausting and time-consuming if the bus is late, or the weather is cold, or if the class is early in the morning. It may be stressful for the student if he or she has an exam in the morning, and there is a blizzard outside. Moreover, children may put their health in danger by traveling long distances to school when it is cold outside. Aithal and Aithal, in their work, provide a list of advantages of online learning, among which is its convenience (228). They state that course accessibility can deprive students of spending time in traffic. Sadeghi also includes the absence of commuting as an advantage of distance education (83). Thus, convenience is a significant benefit that makes studying easier.
The next advantage of distance education is easier course management and course design for instructors. By tracking attendance and student performance online, teachers can easily access them without losing documents. Instructors can explain materials efficiently as there is aid from online resources. It is also possible to design the course in advance and make corrections in the syllabus if necessary. Correcting something in the class is more comfortable if it is designed beforehand.
When talking about online learning, it is essential to consider examinations. Since the introduction of electronic assessments, the learning process has developed significantly. The use of computerized assessments can be beneficial to students, instructors, and institutions. According to Alruwais et al., students prefer electronic exams because it provides them with more freedom and resemble simulation (35). Students can get results of the test almost immediately, which enhances their performance because they can start working on their mistakes right after receiving feedback. Not only can online assessments make it easier for the teachers to track and evaluate the progress of the students, but also they can ease the process of the evaluation. The feedback allows teachers to find areas of the topic that are unclear for the student and work on these problems before the next exam. Institutions also benefit from online examinations. In the process of conducting a university entrance exam, the electronic assessment allows for fast checking. Moreover, they have quality security systems that prevent cheating instances by prohibiting questions copying, and verifying personality (Alruwais, et al. 53). Thus online assessment that accompanies distance education makes the work of teachers and institutions more convenient.
Although there are plenty of advantages to online education, some believe it has several disadvantages, which is why it cannot replace the traditional system. One of the difficulties is a high chance of distraction. Students have to keep themselves motivated and focused on completing their courses. Distance learning can be a problem for those who do not have people around to encourage them, as teachers, instructors, or peers usually do that part. Davis et al. claim that students may find it challenging to practice time management. It may be accurate; however, students can still ask their instructors for help and assistance. In the universities, there are academic advising units whose duty is to help students to manage their studies efficiently. Another possible challenge is the lack of social interaction. Learners in online education have to study alone and may feel isolated, while institutions with transitional education provide students with an environment where they can freely interact with other people. To some degree, it might be accurate; however, in the world of developing technologies, it is possible to socialize virtually through different platforms, such as Zoom or Discord. Thus, if students struggle to be organized or lack live communication while being on online education, they can still seek help from teachers or advisers and use platforms to meet their friends online.
To conclude, online education has earned its place in the education system because of its numerous advantages. It can benefit students, instructors, and institutions as it provides faster evaluations and receiving of feedback. Moreover, it gives teachers and students flexibility in the choice of schedule and allows reconciling study, work, and family life. Although shifting to online learning would mean less live socializing and more difficulty with time management, these problems can be solved by a joint effort of student and teacher, and by using platforms for virtual meetings. Because of the coronavirus infection, the population shifted to online education, but it is not a problem because of the numerous benefits listed in this essay.
Aithal, P. Sreeramana, and Shubrhajyotsna Aithal. “Impact of On-Line Education on Higher Education System.” International Journal of Engineering Research and Modern Education, vol. 1, no. 1, 2016, pp. 225-235. Web.
Alruwais, Nuha, et al. “Advantages and Challenges of Using e-Assessment”. International Journal of Information and Education Technology, vol. 8, no. 1, 2018, pp. 34-37. Web.
Batool, Hijab, et al., “Positive Trend Shifting to Online Assessments: A Review of Using Socrative in Medical College, Its Advantages and Challenges Faced.” Journal of Medical Education, vol. 17, no. 3, 2018, pp. 160-167. Web.
Davis, Nicole L., et al. “Online Teaching Advantages, Obstacles and Tools for Getting it Right.” Journal of Teaching in Travel & Tourism, 2019, pp. 1-8. Web.
Sadeghi, Manijeh. “A Shift from Classroom to Distance Learning: Advantages and Limitations.” International Journal of Research in English Education, vol. 4, no.1, 2019, pp. 80-88. Web.