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Technology advancement has expanded virtual learning possibilities, especially when teachers and students are separated by time and distance.
This mode of learning, however, comes with its advantages and disadvantages.
Advantages of Virtual Learning
Virtual learning has some benefits that traditional education does not have.
It improves accessibility
Virtual learning offers a convenient and more accessible education. For instance, a student can learn a course that’s not available in their country. Also, virtual learning makes it possible to acquire knowledge in events such as lockdowns, travel bans, and other geographical limitations.
With a computer, tablet, or smartphone, you can learn an entire course or gather information about places you’ve never been to or concepts you never knew existed. Also, you can save lecture videos, articles, and more to consult later.
It saves money and time
Virtual learning also reduces the cost of education and the time you’ll spend learning. For instance, a student does not need to spend money on transportation or hard copy books. Also, they’ll save some commute time.
Teachers and schools will save time organizing students in classrooms and save up money meant for facility and equipment upkeep. And students can listen to recordings, watch videos and read articles for more understanding instead of asking the educator.
It is conducive
Generally, improved accessibility and reduced education costs make virtual learning suitable for many who wouldn’t have had the chance. Plus, students can create their learning environment in the convenience of their homes. They can also learn at their time.
Virtual learning supports multiple styles of learning. Students can take advantage of audio content or video presentations to learn better. People with challenging schedules can use virtual learning to give themselves the education they desire.
Disadvantages of Virtual Learning
Despite these advantages, virtual learning comes with its unique set of disadvantages. Here’s a few of them:
It slows down learning
If you lack self-discipline or self-motivation, it would be challenging to learn virtually. Since there’s little or no supervision, students tend to procrastinate taking classes or get distracted while learning. This disadvantage is more prevalent amongst children and teens, as they are less motivated to participate in educational activities.
It impairs true communication
Virtual learning platforms may limit group discussions or interactions in general. Also, educators often find it challenging to monitor each student’s progress or even assess them.
Some students learn better with tangible illustrations or group studying. And since there’s a limit to how a teacher can explain some things through the screen, such students are left behind.
There are technical Issues
Technology problems during an ongoing live class can hinder a virtual learning process. For example, the spree of hacks into various online classes at the start of the 2020 pandemic shows just how disruptive technological failures can be. Network issues during a live class can bring the whole lesson to an end, too.
Virtual learning has proved to be very useful for learning. So what we can do is to examine the underlying disadvantages and look for ways to minimize them.