The educator’s profession implies adapting to the rapidly changing reality and looking for more efficient teaching methods. Since the distribution of the Internet, a new environment for the interaction of students and teachers arose. Online learning became a trend corresponding to the demands of the contemporary world where time and other resources are limited. Universities launched various projects, such as lectures in collaboration with organizations like Coursera. The COVID-19 epidemic has significantly increased the value of virtual learning, making it a decent alternative to live education. Schools, colleges, and universities around the world embraced this new way of working and created various platforms for providing students with educational content and checking their homework. Both teachers and students accepted new rules, including the use of video calls and a less strict dress code. Now educators try to determine whether online learning is the most productive way to gain knowledge or a chance for students to avoid responsibility. The new reality did not leave anyone indifferent, so more and more arguments are collected in favor of distance learning or against it.
Many claim that online learning establishes a more positive environment in the classroom. According to Bari, it leads to a more collaborative manner of work because students are ready to support teachers who explore computer technologies (Bari, 2021). Communication through video calls may also contribute to creating a less stressful atmosphere. When the line between life and work is blurred, it is possible to understand the world from which everybody comes, and that leads to a humanization of work (Bari, 2021). Another advantage of virtual education is the promotion of equality and unity among young people. For instance, now students with disabilities are provided with better studying conditions in virtual classrooms, which helps them feel more comfortable (Statti & Torres, 2020). As for international studying communities, young people are given more opportunities to study in foreign universities and communicate with native speakers. Learners can “connect with others across the globe to learn more about culture, diversity, language, and history” (Statti & Torres, 2020, p. 116). Thus, online learning contributes greatly to providing all students with access to education. In addition, the use of technologies significantly facilitates the studying routine, making the assessment procedure more efficient. Evidence suggests that performance on online work allows the teachers to better monitor student progress (Tila & Levy, 2019). The idea of self-testing opportunities appeals both to teachers and students because it increases retention of course material and improves study habits (Tila & Levy, 2019). Therefore, online learning helps all participants of the studying process in organizing their work.
However, not everyone prefers virtual learning to on-campus courses. Some think that transactional distance involving the psychological and communication distance in online courses leads to feelings of isolation and disconnectedness (Dilling et al., 2020). A student cannot feel encouraged and engaged in work when there is no face-to-face contact with other students and the instructor, so, as a result, the productivity may decline. Being placed in another studying environment, learners often encounter difficulties such as the absence of a quiet place to study or pressure from their parents treating them like high school students (Klass, 2020). Moreover, a shift to distant learning may destroy the basics of education because teachers now tend to be replaced by lecturers. According to Deming, educators will probably have to move to more personal forms of education such as tutoring, mentoring and direct personal intervention, which will consequently rise in price (2020). Thus, a vision of education, which has been formed for centuries, is at risk of being completely changed.
Nevertheless, online learning is a real breakthrough in the field of education. The schedules have become more flexible and convenient, which is essential for students who work. Both students and teachers save a lot of time and money not being obliged to get to the university. This economy seems to be a crucial point in estimating the effects of online learning. Students use this time and energy for broadening their horizons and exploring opportunities for self-education. They improve their skills for the chosen profession, do sports, and learn new languages, which makes their life much more dynamic and meaningful. The necessity to study at home because of the COVID-19 epidemic appeared a challenge at first, but later proved it is possible to capitalize on this new way of life. As for teachers, the saved time is vital for them because many teachers’ stresses are rooted in the lack of time for handling loads of work. Online learning also liberated students from typical fears, such as speaking in front of a huge audience. It became much easier for shy students to participate in lessons and share their opinion in front of the computer screen, so teachers discovered a lot of talents in their classrooms. Thus, online learning turned out to be a successful project, which is why more and more universities should consider implementing it in their system for enhancing the students’ results.
Bari, S. (2021). What we’ve lost in a year of virtual teaching. The Chronicle of Higher Education. Web
Deming, D. (2020). Online learning should return to a supporting role. The New York Times. Web.
Dilling, J., Varga, M.A., & Mandernach, B.J. (2020). Comparing teaching and social presence in traditional and online community college learning environments. Community College Journal of Research and Practice, 44(10-12), 854-869. Web.
Klass, P. (2020). How parents can support college students’ online learning. The New York Times. Web.
Statti, A., & Torres, K. M. (2020). The advancement of technology in schools and universities. Peabody Journal of Education, 95(2), 115–116. Web.
Tila, D., & Levy, D. (2019). Revising online assignments and the impact on student performance at a community college. Community College Journal of Research and Practice, 44(3), 1–18. Web.