Online learning is a broad term that encompasses a wide variety of educational systems and methods. In online learning, students take part in an online course through the Internet. These kinds of course offers do not occur in the traditional classroom setting. Students are given materials and assignments to read and are given a specific time frame to complete various courses and exams.
There are some positive aspects that can be associated with online learning experience. One of which is that it helps students improve their existing skills and knowledge base. It also provides them the opportunity to build new relationships that they may have missed in their regular lives. The other positive aspect is that online education enables students to achieve goals that they would not be able to achieve in a traditional classroom setting. This includes acquiring new knowledge, enhancing analytical skills, acquiring leadership skills, communicating with others, researching and obtaining academic credentials. It also allows them to apply learned concepts to real life scenarios.
Some of the advantages of online learning includes the reduction of costs. Since the courses are taken in the comfort of one’s home, there are minimal instances when students are required to travel to their instructors or their college campus. This saves students time and money as they no longer have to change their schedules to catch a late class or if there is a sudden question or concern regarding a topic. Instructors and course offerings are available at all times and students can take the course from wherever they have access to the Internet. Students can also work at their own pace and limit the amount of time they spend on each class. Online course offerings are very affordable and within the means of most people.
Another advantage of online learning is the integration of technology into the learning process. Online courses incorporate technology in such a way that they provide the student with the same basic content they would receive in the traditional face-to-face learning experience. For example, blended learning refers to the use of several types of technologies in order to provide the learner with a broadening of educational experiences. In addition, online learning includes video conferencing, online games, educational television programs, and online interactive Whiteboards which all combine to create a dynamic experience. This type of blended learning is very convenient for distance learning students, because everything they need is already at their fingertips.
E-Learning can be accessed by anyone around the world and because it is convenient, it is accessible even during times of travel. Students can take courses in places where they would otherwise be unable to enroll. For example, if a student needs training in Taiwan, they can take courses there even when travelling by plane. The convenience of online learning appeals to many because of its ability to provide flexibility and total freedom to the learners. Students can be free to do the coursework at times that fit their lifestyle and schedule, and they do not have to get up from their seats or settle in any particular location in order to take part in the course.
However, E-Learning does have some drawbacks as well. The main drawback associated with E-Learning lies in the fact that students are required to be present in the classroom for real-time interactions with lecturers and other classmates. Online lectures are usually recorded and so, a student cannot always replay parts of a course that he feels that he has missed out on. A drawback of distance education may not be noticeable to people who have access to face-to-face lectures but it can be a great disadvantage for people who do not have that luxury.