Let's look at a scenario here: it's 2016. Eva, a young woman, desired to study Data Science. So, she made a list of a few of the best classes in the same city, recommended by her friends and families, and decided to take demo classes of all of them. She finished all of the demos within a week and found one institute that best suited her needs. Now it was time to pay and, eventually, begin the course. She decided to pay her fees, which was a total of Rs 65k, in two installments over the course of six months. She started going for classes on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
Now comes the real issue: in order to minimize her travel expenses, she used to travel by bus rather than the metro, which took her 2 hours up and 2 hours down, i.e total of 4 hours. With that, she had no choice but to walk from the bus stand to home because of lack of proper transportation, which took her an additional 40 minutes both ways. She used to get so tired at the end of the day that she was unable to revise what she had been taught; with all of this traveling, she was unable to focus on study but used to sleep on non-class days; and finally, she dropped her name from that institute.
We can clearly see a few drawbacks of traditional forms of learning from the above scenario, which include hours of travel, hours wasted in traffic, Indian weather (extreme summers and winters), more money charged for course, cost of travel, wasting precious time, no flexibility in learning, and, most importantly, frequent loss of motivation.
This is one example that is very close to our hearts because it is a true story and I could tell you many more, but we are here to understand why online learning is more effective than ever before.
So first let’s understand, what is online learning?
Online learning is a teaching-learning platform that allows students to enroll in and participate in courses via the internet. It is not necessary to be present in physical classrooms. They can join from anywhere as long as they have access to the internet. Online learning allows the subject matter professionals and experts to effectively transfer their skills, aptitudes, and knowledge to their students easily.
Here’s why online learning is more beneficial:
1) Learning Flexibility: Online classes are more convenient and flexible as compared to traditional learning platforms. This flexibility enables you to balance schoolwork, family obligations, while also excelling in your studies. It also enables you to access additional courses and pursue hobbies. Some platforms give you the flexibility to learn anytime while others require students to collaborate with peers at specific times or meet with a professor during virtual study hours (for example: in schools). If students miss certain live classes they may be able to catch up from the recorded videos, and not disrupt their learning.
2) Saves Time and Money: Many prospective students overlook the financial benefits of online classes. Online education is inexpensive. You can look for courses that match your goals and budget. Conveyance used to take up a lot of time and money. One of the most significant benefits of virtual classrooms is that you can save energy, time, and money. You can take some time to refresh yourself. It is undeniably a more convenient and effective method of learning.
3) Say no to traffic: Online classes have eliminated the need to travel daily to coaching classes. You are not required to drive during rush hour. Instead, you can just freshen up, have fruits and begin learning from the comfort of your own home. Long-distance travel to and from coaching classes can be exhausting.
4) More Comfortable Learning Environment: Online students can complete coursework at home, a coffee shop, or a library because they can study anywhere. This benefit of online learning allows students to work in the environment that is most comfortable for them. Students now have the freedom to learn anywhere, they can learn while commuting, different rooms of their house, at a friend’s house, or even set up their ideal classroom.
5) Students can learn more than they do in traditional courses: IBM found that participants in online learning courses with multimedia content learn five times more material than in traditional face-to-face courses. Interesting right!
Students can work at their own pace because online courses give them complete control over their learning. In general, students work faster and absorb more information than they would otherwise. They can move faster through areas of the course where they are familiar, but slower through those where they need a little more time.
According to another research, not just learning quality increases but student’s retention rate also increases from anything from 25% to 60%
6) Diverse Means to Communicate with Instructors: Because online learning is more flexible than traditional methods of education, it is possible to communicate with instructors.
These communication processes are made easier by technology, which includes live chat, email, and phone conversations. You can also get feedback from a college professor or participate in a Q&A session. Surely a fun and interactive way to network. The students who are introverted in nature and shy away from asking questions in a classroom can now ask questions/doubts with the help of these means.
7) Learn for Free: You can learn top IT skills online for free from your very own Perfect eLearning. Perfect eLearning conducts scholarship tests for their students so that they can enroll for high-end courses that are taught by industry experts for almost free.
Well, these were few benefits students can get from learning online but we can’t deny the fact that it has its demerits too such as not having access to technology as well as internet, frequent power cuts, lack of self-discipline in students, lack of social interaction, less supportive environment in the virtual classroom from the end of facilitator, etc.
With certain merits and demerits, online classes are certainly better than no classes during these COVID times. Virtual courses are currently allowing students to access lessons and exercises, as well as interact with teachers, in ways that would have been impossible if an epidemic had closed schools even a decade or two earlier. So, while we may be skeptical of online learning, it is also time to embrace and improve it and understand that the future is changing in terms of Learning.