More than ever before in the history of mankind we are encountering a Global wave of change in the form of this Pandemic. Even though the concept of E-Learning is more than 20 years old, its relevance and pertinence has become completely unavoidable post the Covid 19 espionage. The widespread dependency of the education sector across all economic levels and geographic locations eliminated the disparity which E-learning, unassumingly had in the past. It was viewed more as an elite facility which can be afforded by some premium educational institutions and Giant sized corporates. To a major extent it was a style statement that they could boast about E-learning as a unique function that they are providing for their students or employees. Of-course this cannot be a blanket statement as most of the developed first world countries had adapted to E-learning more as a essential integral part than a luxury or as a add on feature. However in most part of the under developed and developing countries it was still viewed as a luxury or as an add on premium service. All this has changed due to the unprecedented Pandemic. E-learning in today’s context has become an essential service even in an under developed or a developing country.
E-Learning is the most relevant and positive change in this present circumstances
Hence E-learning’s relevance and pertinence to the Global audience has been proven beyond doubt. It is completely reasonable to accept the fact that this is here to stay and in the future it is going to only increase its features and will continue to transform the way we all live.
What Experts say
With the advent of the new phase of learning, arises the sparkling debate on whether the increase amount of time being exposed to the screen helps benefits students or rather it shackles their progress. One cannot deny the fact that the ongoing pandemic has led to the increase amount of screen time where families are relying on technologies and digital solutions to keep children updated, connected with the world and be in touch with their studies. To deal with the current situation we have to have an alternative resource to study outside the classroom environment. This is indeed stressful and something that one is absolutely unaware of at a time which is trying for everyone and our task is to provide our children with something that does not pose a harm in their routine learning rather facilitates it.
E-learning the new age double edged sword, where benefits come with a price tag
Hence let us tread this street of gold with caution and proactive preparedness to address the losses. Let us protect ourselves and our near and dear ones to experience the benefits and to reduce the effect of the loses.
Advantages vs DisAdvantages
There are numerous advantages E-Learning brings along. However we cannot completely dislodge the disadvantages linked to the same as well.
Let us look at 5 Advantages and Disadvantages of E-learning by Matthew Lynch.
5 Advantages of E-learning
1. Saves time and money
One of the most obvious advantages of e-learning is that you can save time and money. You can manage your schedule and take online courses at your most convenient time, whether early in the morning, late afternoon, or evening. You save money, too, because you don’t have to pay for transportation or worry about eating on the go.
2. Better retention
E-learning makes use of different platforms like Pedagogue, which provides interactive content. Also, you can share your thoughts and opinions with others. The more engaging the lessons, the more students can remember the information.
You can choose your learning path and study at your own pace. You become more motivated and invested in the course.
Students aren’t the only ones that can save money in e-learning. Many educational institutions save money through this set-up because there’s no need to use a physical classroom, which translates to reduced monetary spending.
E-learning is also more environmentally friendly because it doesn’t contribute to the pollution brought about by paper production.
5 Disadvantages of E-learning
E-learning is one of the causes of social isolation because you don’t see your teachers and classmates face-to-face anymore. Interaction is very limited to none.
2. Inaccessible to others
Consider yourself lucky if you’re located in an area where the internet connection is fast and stable. Unfortunately, some have very limited access to the internet. They have to go to internet cafes or use public Wi-Fis which is very inconvenient.
E-learning includes assessment, just like in a regular classroom setting. However, there are no teachers or proctors to watch over you during exams. It’s easy for online students to share answers knowing there’s nobody watching.
4. Requires self-motivation and proper time management skills
You’re basically on your own in e-learning. You have to motivate yourself to study hard, take down notes, and gather more information. You should also manage your time well by learning how to juggle studying while doing other things like household chores or earning money part-time.
You’ll spend most of your time listening to podcasts, watching videos, and looking at slide presentations. There’s no hand-on experience like conducting experiments.
It’s the most modern way of learning that requires only a gadget and internet access. However, it’s not for everybody. Being aware of the advantages and disadvantages of e-learning can help you decide whether this is for you or not.
As experts claim that the exponential increase in screen time can have its own effect on both children as well as working professionals. Research conducted by Lenstore reveals that there has been a staggering 76% increase in the screen time post covid 19.
According to Behavioral Optometrist Bhavin Shah, there can be as much as 10 disadvantages we all can experience due to increase in the screen time and they are –
- Decrease in concentration/focus
- Retina over simulation
- Decreased Intimacy in couples
- Fatigue and Insomnia
- Vision changes and headaches
- Loneliness and isolation
- Touch deprivation
- Lack of motivation and creativity
- Increased stress related to media and civil unrest
- Technostress, skepticism and sense of ineffectiveness
Despite the above reasons, the advantages are beyond a second thought as in today’s scenario all activities are in the process of Digital Transformation, hence adapting to E-learning gives you the edge to optimize this opportunity and progress towards a digital future.
There is no doubt that E-learning contributes to obvious benefits such as cost cutting and Global coverage to name a few. But did we give it a thought that it can have adverse effects as well. Yes, in many ways E-learning is indeed a double edged sword, however let us first glance through some tangible benefits we enjoy due to E-learning. According to recent article published by Enyota learning company they have listed 7 key benefits we all enjoy due to online learning and they are –
- Simple and direct learning path
- Easy accessibility to receive online support
- Higher engagement possibility
- Multi device accessibility and support
- Collaborative learning
- Better completion rate and higher retention
- Learning Flexibility
The Benefits are obvious, however it doesn’t come without a price to pay. According to eminent psychologists Kahenman and Tversky there are broadly 3 main loses learners experience and they are –
- Remediated embodied teaching (No way of teacher sensing the response and help the learner)
- Reimagined community (No physical social bonding with peers)
Remixed Spaces (Confusion due to not having an exclusive space to focus on learning and living
Log in from home, access from multiple devices and connect to anyone from your drawing room. There is a plethora of convenience that.
E-Learning offers and there are no two ways about it. However, on the hindsight there are quite a number of hassles which are faced by the recipients as well. First let us focus on the convenience factor. George Nolan a popular E-learning expert writes –
Education is essential to every human being because you get to learn several things that help shape your future. The skills you acquire through learning can be helpful to society when put into practice. It is essential for one to go through the learning system for a better future. We all know the procedure of going through learning institutions to acquire education. However, advancements in technology have seen the introduction of digital learning.
Then he goes on highlighting the 3 pillars of convenience and they are
- Less expensive
- Easy access
- Increased mobility
Now, what about hassles, according to E-learning industry research findings, there are 5 common hassles learners face and they are –
- Adaptability struggle
- Lack of technical knowledge
- Computer literacy and Internet connection issues
- Time management
- Possibility of Privacy invasion