Today, online education seems to be the answer to such problems of high-quality education as inequality, increasing costs, and lacking access. But will it replace traditional schools someday? We will see. For now, all we can do is to analyze its advantages and disadvantages.
Positives and negatives of online education
Let us start with the negatives and then find solutions to them:
- Inability to ask questions. You cannot raise your hand and ask a question during the class, as you do at a traditional class.
- Inability to pace the lecture. Your teacher will not see that you are not following and will not be able to adjust the material for you.
- Lack of social interaction. There is no personal connection between students and teachers.
- No group experience. During an online lecture you can be easily interrupted by your roommates, get a phone call, have a choice to procrastinate, and the list goes on. Due to the group experience on a traditional course, these cons are avoidable.
- Lack of connection in the groups. It is harder for students to meet and create study groups.
Online office hours are less effective. During online office hours, the teacher cannot just go to a whiteboard and write something on it. It is mostly a technological issue.
Now let us look at the positive aspects and see how they can outweigh the negatives:
- Different way of asking questions. If you did not understand something during the lecture, you can pause and rewind it to listen to it again. Most likely, it will help you clarify the issue. Otherwise, you can read a book, search for more info on the web, or ask your question during the office hours.
- Set your own pace. Use pause and rewind buttons in video lectures to regulate your own pace.
- Time flexibility. You can adjust available online courses to your personal schedule.
- Office hours. Use them when you have any questions that need clarifications. Utilize chat rooms to discuss the materials. The records are commonly saved and can be reviewed anytime later.
Nowadays, the gap between online schools and traditional education is getting smaller, as online schooling offers more and more effective courses. If you can manage your time and know useful online learning tips, you will certainly benefit from it.