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What is online learning and its importance on education
1. It’s flexible.
Online education enables the teacher and the student to set their own learning pace, and there’s the added flexibility of setting a schedule that fits everyone’s agenda. As a result, using an online educational platform allows for a better balance of work and studies, so there’s no need to give anything up. Studying online teaches you vital time management skills, which makes finding a good work-study balance easier. Having a common agenda between the student and teacher can also prompt both parties to accept new responsibilities and have more autonomy.
2. It offers a wide selection of programs.
In a space as vast and wide as the internet, there are infinite skills and subjects to teach and learn. A growing number of universities and higher education schools are offering online versions of their programs for various levels and disciplines. From music composition to quantum physics, there are options for every type of student. Studying your program online is also a great option for getting an official certificate, diploma, or degree without physically setting foot on a university campus.
3. It’s accessible.
Online education enables you to study or teach from anywhere in the world. This means there’s no need to commute from one place to another, or follow a rigid schedule. On top of that, not only do you save time, but you also save money, which can be spent on other priorities. The virtual classroom is also available anywhere there’s an internet connection, and a good way to take advantage of this is to travel. For example, if you’re studying abroad and want to get a job, online education is a great choice. There’s no reason to give up on working or studying while exploring new and exotic places.
4. It allows for a customized learning experience.
We’ve mentioned before how flexibility can help you to set your own study pace. But online education is also flexible for each student’s individual requirements and level of ability.
Online classes tend to be smaller than conventional class size. Most of the time, online learning platforms only allow one student at a time, and in almost all cases, this allows for greater interaction and more feedback between you and your tutor.
There’s often access to very diverse material such as videos, photos, and eBooks online as well, and tutors can also integrate other formats like forums or discussions to improve their lessons. And this extra content is available at any moment from anywhere, which will offer you a more dynamic and tailor-made education.
5. It’s more cost-effective than traditional education.
Unlike in-person education methods, online education tends to be more affordable. There’s also often a wide range of payment options let you pay in installments or per class. This allows for better budget management. Many of you may also be subject to discounts or scholarships, so the price is rarely high. You can also save money from the commute and class materials, which are often available for free. In other words, the monetary investment is less, but the results can be better than other options.
Advantages and disadvantages of online learning
What is online learning?
Online learning is a form of distance learning that takes place over the internet. It is interchangeable with the term e-learning. Online learning can include online courses, exams, gamified quizzes, and certification training.
advantages of online learning
Advantage 1. Reduced costs
The most obvious advantage of online learning comes down to economics. A half-day of classical training is equivalent to a one-hour e-learning course . E-learning increases productivity. In 2019, U.S. training expenses amounted to $83 billion! Of that, $29.6 billion  was spent on travel, training facilities, in-house training development, and equipment. Online learning cuts many of these costs, including those associated with hiring an instructor, booking a facility, printing materials, and travel.
Advantage 2. Increased convenience and flexibility
The average full-time employee only has 1% of their time to devote to learning
Employees often struggle to fit ongoing education into their busy and rigid schedules. In a survey of 204 employees , 93 employees indicated that time constraints contributed to why they were unable or unwilling to complete a course in one attempt. Another 56 contributed it to work interruptions. The average full-time employee only has 1% of their time to devote to learning. That amounts to just 24 minutes a week! Online learning allows your employees to learn on a personal schedule that suits them best. It also takes much less time than face-to-face learning.
Advantage 3. Improved employee knowledge
Online learning allows people to learn in their own style and at their own speed, which helps them absorb more information. If someone needs more time with a particular topic, they can go through it as slowly and as many times as they need. As you can imagine, this aspect of online learning benefits knowledge retention. WR Hambrecht + Co found that online learning increased the retention rates of the learning material by 25-60%!
E-learners truly bring what they learn into practice
Advantage 4. Increased revenue
The American Society for Training and Development (2011) surveyed 2,500 companies and found that companies that had comprehensive training programs had 218% higher revenue per employee, and 24% higher profit margins . More research confirms that e-learners truly bring what they learn into practice. 87% of 204 surveyed employees indicated that they had put their newly acquired skills and knowledge to practice at work! This translates to tangible benefits, whether it be increased sales, improved processes, or satisfied customers.
Advantage 5. Ease of content update
In today’s world, information and knowledge change fast! With printed materials, the only way to keep up with these changes is to reprint the material, and if you did that it would be quite costly (not to mention the poor trees 😉). Updating online courses not only allows you to keep up with these changes without breaking the bank, but makes the process easy as pie. The best part is that any change you make to your online content becomes immediately available to your whole learning audience!
disadvantages of online learning
Disdvantage 1. Requires self-discipline and time management skills
41% of a sample of 204 employees indicated that self-motivation was a barrier to participating in online learning. Why? While we can all agree that self-discipline and time management are always at play when it comes to learning, online learning involves less guidance from an instructor than traditional learning. Typically, online learning also removes scheduled meeting times and deadlines. As a result, your employees must put themselves in the driver’s seat when it comes to their ongoing education.4
Face-to-face interactions are a must to bring the material to life
Disdvantage 2. Diminished social interaction
When you imagine a traditional classroom, lively group discussion, and students raising their hands to ask the instructor questions likely comes to mind. Admittedly, these moments do not arise as naturally in online learning. For some individuals, these face-to-face interactions are a must to bring the material to life. Nevertheless, it is possible to bring more social interaction to online learning through competition, scheduled Q&A sessions with an instructor, and discussion channels.
Disdvantage 3. Not suitable for every topic
Which would you rather learn via online learning: how to fly a plane, or government guidelines on disposing chemicals? Our choice and we imagine your choice as well, is the latter. It is safe to say that you wouldn’t want to be a passenger on a plane with a pilot who had only ever flown a plane in a flight simulator. Complex topics, operative techniques, and practices that require a physical environment are best conducted in person. Yet, more repetitive topics in a high turnover environment lend themselves naturally to online learning.
Disdvantage 4. Lack of practice-based learning
E-learning cannot replace the knowledge that comes through hands-on experience
Online learning is often theory-based and lacks practice-based learning. Theoretical knowledge refers to facts, theories, and reasoning whereas practical knowledge is based on hands-on endeavors and tasks. For example, online learning would be a great tool to learn the theory-based side of football, like its history and the rules of the game. However, it cannot be used to transfer practical knowledge like how to actually play the game. Only getting out on the field can do that. Therefore, it is important to keep in mind that e-learning cannot replace the knowledge that comes through hands-on experience.
Disdvantage 5. Reliance on technology
Younger generations entering the workforce, and technology being adopted broadly, has driven the popularity of e-learning. However, not everyone has integrated technology into their daily routine. 26% of adults were found to be computer illiterate by a 2016 study. Therefore, it is important to assess whether your employees are computer-savvy and whether they have the appropriate setup for online learning. Do your employees have convenient access to electronic devices and the internet? Do they have working speakers if there is video or audio in a course? If accessing online learning becomes a burden, motivation might plummet.
Why is online learning important?
Boil it right down and the answer is simple: change is constant. You must move with it.
The true beauty of online learning is that it lends itself perfectly to your lifestyle. By its very nature, it can fit around you.
Also, no longer are we taught how to do a job, it’s usually a case of figuring it out for yourself—and that’s where online learning can amplify your skills. In the same spirit, gone are the days when you pick one industry or role and stick to it for the rest of your life. It’s much more common—and accepted—to move from company to company, or even industry to industry. Keeping your skills up to date is essential if that’s the path you take.
The more you learn, the more you open your mind
Learning is a little like the continual need for money in life. For example, we spend dollars every day, so working means we replenish our funds. Similarly, we share our knowledge every day, and absorb new things as time progresses. It’s natural and instinctual, and the more we expand our knowledge, the bigger our worlds become. The more you learn, the more you open your mind. Importantly, on a simple, human level, learning is healthy. Keeping the brain active can even play a part in staving off age-related cognitive and memory decline–you are never too old to learn.
What are the pros and cons of online learning?
Let’s start with the pros—and the biggest, most obvious one. Online learning means you can do it from anywhere, wherever you are in the world. And you can often do it at a time that suits you. Some lessons are pre-recorded, depending on the subject and format of what you choose to study. Some also give you homework to complete in your own time. This means you can go at your pace.
Next, It’s cost-effective. Classroom-based learning means no commuting. Driving, parking, relocating—it all adds up. And if you’re a parent, you may also have to factor in childcare for campus-based learning. These costs almost vanish when you learn online. You’ll also likely save on textbooks, with a lot of course material digitized.
And now, the cons …
There’s a social side to classroom learning that’s hard to recreate online. However, digital meeting software like Zoom has adopted a ‘rooms’ feature, where students can break into small groups. This can help people feel more connected. Here at Hult, we have students joining live classes online from all over the world and have managed to create a sense of community and teamwork through Virtual Breakout Rooms where students can chat, share, and learn in smaller peer-to-peer groups.
Next, self-motivation can be tricky with online learning. It requires good time-management, and an element of routine to keep going. With an increasing move to teaching online, professors, too are up-skilling. They’re continually looking into how to make online learning fun and more engaging. Reminding yourself why you’re doing the learning can be useful. Taking a walk ’round the block for air can often restore your motivation too. It’s about discovering what works for you.
Another thing to watch out for too is screen fatigue. It’s real. So take that walk ’round the block. Schedule breaks, installing blue light filters – like f.lux – on your screens can really help.
online learning sites
Coursera is a well-known online education portal that offers courses from some of the world’s most prestigious educational institutions. The company has developed quickly over the years and now offers MOOCs that meet the highest standards in the world.
Stanford, Duke, Penn, Princeton, Michigan, Peking, and HEC Paris are among the colleges and corporations that have partnered with this online learning platform. They currently work with 190 active partners from 48 different countries. Kleiner Perkins, New Enterprise Associates, Learn Capital, and SEEK Group are among the investors who support the platform.
Skillshare is an online education platform that is beneficial for both students and teachers. The website offers thousands of courses related to design, business, marketing, technology, photography, film, fashion, music, gaming, cooking, writing, DIY. crafts, and more.
Instructors can easily create classes through the step-by-step guidelines provided by the platform. Furthermore, this top online learning platform offers referral compensation for teachers if any of the students subscribe to the premium package.
3. Lynda.com (now LinkedIn Learning)
LinkedIn has acquired Lynda.com. Leaning is a massive open online course (MOOC) platform that offers a wide range of artistic, technical, and business courses. Lynda.com has been providing informative and transparent video-based training for individuals, corporations, and academics for over a decade. The site is well-known for teaching photography and coding skills.
Over 10,000 organizations use the platform presently, including well-known names like Adobe, Full Sail University, Patagonia, NBC, and USC.
Udacity, Inc. is a for-profit MOOC provider that prioritizes job training. It also provides a Nanodegree, a micro-credential that focuses on in-demand digital skills. They offer numerous courses that are currently trending in technology, such as artificial intelligence, self-driving cars, and robotics.
Accenture, AT&T, Cisco, Mazda, Shell, and others are among Udacity’s enterprise clients. GitHub, Bosch, BMW, Amazon, Google, Twitter, Mars, and others are among their curriculum partners.
Udemy is a well-known online learning platform that allows people to advance their jobs and pursue a wide range of interests. They provide a wide range of courses, from web programming to public speaking. Udemy’s business model is used by well-known organizations such as Booking.com, Lyft, Addidas, and General Mills.
In addition, Udemy offers excellent support to instructors. They can use retargeting advertisements, search and discovery, email campaigns, and external partner promotion to build, share, and promote their courses.
InfoLearners.com is dedicated to providing trusted educational content for students and anyone who wish to study or learn something new. It is a comprehensive directory of online programs, and MOOC Programs.
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