The following is a guest post by Sadi Khan, a content creator. If you would like to submit a guest post, please contact us.
E-learning is a little more than a decade old but it has grown immensely in this short period. The international online learning market is expected to be worth $325 billion by the year 2025.
The reason for this rising popularity is the convenience and minimal cost associated with online learning. It allows students or professionals to take courses that easily fit with their schedules. It is flexible and easily accessible. Plus, you can access the lectures or training material anytime to refresh your memory.
What are the biggest challenges of online learning?
With many benefits, online learning comes with a few challenges. Luckily, these challenges are not insurmountable. Let’s see how you can deal with the 5 biggest challenges.
Challenge # 1: Digital Literacy
While attending an online lecture or listening to informative audio is a simple task, one still needs a certain degree of technical proficiency. Watching a video is quite simple, but dealing with an online learning management system requires some understanding of technology.
One has to log in to his or her account, participate in classes (submitting an assignment or partaking in discussion boards), and communicate with the teachers. If the person does not have basic digital literacy, he or she will find it difficult to make the most of that course.
The instructors or institutes usually provide detailed introductions and instructions regarding the lectures and learning material used in the course. Listening and adhering to these instructions is very important.
Opt for a course that provides technical support. Most online courses come with a full range of support services, including technical support by email, live chat, and phone. One can reach out to the faculty when he or she is facing a problem. Also, a person can avoid many issues by paying careful attention to how the instructor has advised them to navigate the course.
Challenge # 2: Poor time management and procrastination:
A survey of 1500 online students revealed that flexibility and convenience are the two biggest reasons behind student’s choice of an online course. However, this positive aspect can quickly become a drawback.
Knowing that you can go through the lectures at any time, can lead to procrastination. You might start wasting your learning time in useless click-jumping and internet browsing.
Learn to manage your workload with your eLearning schedule. Make a timetable or class schedule and stick to it. If you have assigned two hours to online learning, make sure you are spending them on going through the course content or assignments. If social media or internet keep distracting you, either go offline while you are studying or use tools to block these sites. Several tools are available to block certain websites during a set period.
Avoid multitasking. Online learning needs to have a dedicated time. You cannot fit it in with other tasks like meals or spending time with your family. It will result in nothing but frustration. Focus on one task and then proceed to the next one. It will not only give you a sense of fulfillment but also helps with productivity.
Challenge # 3: Monotony
Online learning can be boring. You don’t have classmates or teacher to interact. All you have are lengthy texts and video lectures that you need to go through. Even if the online format entails interesting content like infographics, and videos, things can still get monotonous. Students might eventually lose interest and drop out.
Find a course that is dynamic, interactive, and fun. Teachers and institutes are getting better at creating more interactive courses and training methods. These courses have the right amount of challenges, videos, storytelling, and simulators to keep you going.
All these things can make it easy to continue with the training. Also, choose courses that offer a certificate or an acknowledgment, so you will have a motivating reason to complete the course.
Challenge # 4: Going Sedentary
The Internet has made it possible to study, work, or shop from home but it also comes with a lot of sitting and prolonged sitting can be as dangerous as smoking. A sedentary lifestyle is associated with serious health problems like obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and even some types of cancer.
Online learning is convenient but it also means that a person does not have to physically go to college or training institute. This increases a person’s screen time and adds to their sedentary lifestyle, which is detrimental to both physical and mental health.
Do not spend hours and hours in front of screens. A simple exercise or activity like running can help you offset the risks of sitting for long hours. Take regular breaks and move away from the screen every 30 minutes or so. It is also important to have a proper desk and chair and a study area. Do not sit in your bed or couch with your laptop.
Challenge # 5: Technical Problems & Glitches
Depending on where you are located, you can face issues like internet connectivity, hardware or software requirements, browser compatibility, and so on. These situations can be extremely frustrating and time-consuming. This is the reason online learning hasn’t been used to its fullest in developing or third world countries (where it can be the most beneficial).
Make sure that you have gone through the FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) or ask the training provider about system requirements. Some courses require downloading specific apps or printing out the document. You need to make sure that you will not need a specific program or hardware that you cannot arrange. Don’t be shy of asking for technical assistance when you are facing a problem.
E-learning has a lot of advantages but there are some limitations as well. However, the benefits can easily outweigh the drawbacks. All you need is a good internet connection and you can start a course or degree program that will help with career advancement.
Isn’t that what you want?
Author’s Bio: Sadi Khan got his Banking and Finance degree through a distance learning program. He currently writes on health and fitness-related topics on RunRepeat, an athletic shoes review platform.
Reference herein to any specific commercial products, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not constitute or imply an endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by Touro College.