One of the greatest breakthroughs in the history of contemporary education is the phenomenon of Online Classes. They basically bring education straight to the home of the student and with numerous advantages like flexibility, personalisation, etc. online classes are attracting more and more students around the world, with every passing year.
Conducted only over the internet online classes, as the name suggests, these classes allow students to view their syllabus, progress in academics, communicate with the teacher(s) and fellow classmates, etc. at any time they want. Several premier institutions around the world, now offer online courses.
Pros and Cons of Online Classes
|Very convenient for students||More time required for classes|
|Classes are very flexible||Procrastination is very real concern|
|A personalised experience for every student||Imperative for students to manage time properly|
|Each student gets individual attention||The whole experience is very impersonal|
|Students learn real-world skills||Students can experience physical damage|
|Students get the course they desire||Lack of self-discipline can be detrimental|
|They have several financial benefits||Students can have too much responsibility thrust on them|
|Students learn self-discipline|
|Connecting to the global village|
Advantages of Online Classes
- Convenience –
This is arguably the biggest advantage of online classes with the student having the option of gaining access to the “classroom” and teacher at any point of time. Students can receive announcements, discuss queries with fellow students, access required notes, practice mock tests and study whenever they please, around the clock.
- Flexibility –
Owing to the absence of rules like any general classes, students apart from deciding on their time of study, can also study what they want, with whom they want to, while wearing the clothes of their own choice, etc. Specially for people with erratic work schedules, this can be a lifesaver.
- Personalised –
In general classes, there is one syllabus, one teacher, one curriculum and everyone must be learning the same way. Online classes however, allow everything to be tailor-made for each individual’s capabilities. So all the students can learn at their own pace, without anyone else’s education being affected in any way.
- Individual Attention –
Students can iron out any queries, by talking to the teacher directly. Often students feel scared to ask questions in front of a class full of people. This problem is eliminated in online classes as when the student is asking the question, he/she is alone in their own environment.
- Real-World Skills –
To complete an online course, students will have to get well versed with several skills like e-mailing, web browsing, etc. Several of these technical skills can strengthen a person’s resume. Online classes force a person to get accustomed to web browsing, thus helping them to also learn how to find the exact required information on the internet.
- Preferred Course –
Often students are forced to give up in their desired course(s) owing to the fact that it is offered by an institution that is way too far and/or the course is way too costly. Taking the same course online, eliminates these problems almost completely allowing students to pursue their preferred fields.
- Financial Benefits –
There are a host of measurable financial benefits of opting for online classes. Most online courses are cheaper than their offline counterparts and students also manage to save up on transportation cost, cost of food, cost of lodging, etc. Online classes also allow you to keep your job, thus keeping income unhindered.
- Self-discipline –
Online classes are touted to provide learning that is both student-centered and active. No strict rules and no one to force them, students have to learn to motivate themselves to study. This makes students more responsible about themselves and their future and they mature into individuals who highly value learning and accomplishment.
- Connection –
The internet has given us a means to communicate with any person we want across the globe. Often students opt for online courses in a different country. This can introduce them to new traditions and cultures, etc. One can also thus make friends in different countries on online classes, making us truly a part of the global village.
Disadvantages of Online Classes
- Extra time –
The online environment is mostly text-based making online classes demand more time than their on-campus counterparts. Typing messages, posting responses, etc., there is a lot of typing involved which takes more time than speaking. Similarly reading a material requires more time than when it is being said by a teacher.
- Procrastination –
With no predetermined structure, students tend to put off studying, assignment work, etc. till the absolute last moment and then have no time to finish everything in time. Work keeps piling up and at one point students are daunted by the task of completing the sheer volume of unfinished work.
- Proper Time-Management –
To properly complete online courses, with good knowledge and grades, having extremely efficient Time-Management skills is indispensable. Students have to create a structure for themselves and if they do not manage time properly, they will never be able to attend to all their coursework. It also requires setting priorities straight.
- Impersonal –
The whole experience of any online course is very impersonal with students having no direct interaction with any other person. All interaction is through a digital medium. It can even create a sense of isolation for the student and this can also in turn hamper the capabilities of the student to learn properly.
- Physical Damage –
It is inevitable for students to spend hours on end in front of a digital screen while undergoing any online course. Such long spells without minimal breaks can create severe physical complications for a person like, being severely harmful for a person’s vision, causing strain, instituting and/or worsening back problems, etc.
- Complete self-dependence –
Students often take inspiration for their own lives from their teachers and that might be limited when all interaction has to be made digitally. Moreover, students have to be completely self-dependent for being motivated to study and if they are not so, they might fall too far behind and never catch up.
- Responsibility –
Online Classes require students to not be responsible for studying but also creating a structure, directing themselves in the right path for the future, keeping themselves motivated, finding the right materials to study, just to name a few. Though immense pressure can build strong character, several students can also buckle under it.
Online Classes have definitely created a niche for themselves in the world of education. They definitely have their problems and might not be suitable for all fields of study and/or students. Traditional methods of studying will definitely continue to exist but this novelty can only get more ingrained into the education sector.