There are a number of drawbacks to the current offline mode of education, courses can sometimes be very expensive and the coursework can be very rigid. One of the many advantages of online learning is that students from diverse backgrounds can take up courses on different subjects which can help them to explore various topics and get a better understanding of what they want to do. There are also a number of drawbacks that are faced by a student. A student can only get the benefits of online learning if he or she has sufficient bandwidth or a good Internet connection service, this is a huge problem for students in India. Let us walk through all the advantages of online classes and also their drawbacks and see if online studying is pointing the future of education in the right direction or not.
With the onset of the covid19 pandemic, India has ushered into a new phase of education. This has been different for different sections of the society as the digital divide is clearly visible among the wealthy and the poor, the advantages of online education during lockdown is only available to the ones who have access to the internet and electronics. A study conducted by NCERT showed that 27% of students don’t have access to the internet or smartphones, 28 percent were troubled by power cuts and 33 percent reported that they weren’t able to concentrate during the online classes. Since 66 percent of Indian students still live in villages or rural areas, the government has to take up measures that would help these students have a seamless online learning experience that would benefit their online learning.
Globally 1.2 billion students have been affected by the covid19 pandemic, their entire teaching-learning process has been turned upside down and has forced them to take up online learning. The ed-tech startup world has reached a new glory, India’s Byjus became the most valuable ed-tech startup in the world and in the18 months old WhitehatJr which teaches young kids to the program was sold to Byjus for $300 million. No doubt the unprepared entry to the worlds of online education has been shaky but the long-term persistence of online education is opinionated. Platforms like Coursera made their courses available for free of cost for millions of students across the world. Most graduate schools also have taken their study online.
There are so many other advantages of the online education system. Due to the absence of the required resources like electronics and the internet, online education during the covid19 pandemic has been approached differently. Research conducted reported that students were able to digest more material in an online environment and online learning is generally faster than offline learning, but for younger children who tend to get distracted easily online education can be challenging. The rise of online education, post the pandemic can be compared to the growth of the e-commerce industry post the SARS outbreak, but the long term existence of online education and it taking over traditional classroom environment can be debatable. The clear potential of online education is yet to be globally accepted by educational institutions, established companies, society, students, and parents. Let us look at the few benefits of online learning.
Plethora of options
Learning from online sources allows us to get degrees from universities around the world on various topics. The traditional way would involve you to go to any university, spend a lot of money on travel and accommodation and get visa permits, etc. Let’s say you are a medical student and got caught up with the current hype with AL and ML and have limited knowledge on this but are highly driven to learn, so all it takes for you is a quick google search to find all the available courses on the internet from various universities and their prerequisites, you can compare and contrast all courses within minutes and find the best one for you, interact with the student and get their opinion and make a decision.
For offline classes student will have to sit through classes hours at a time, sit on an uncomfortable chair and suffer back pain at the end of the day, if a student does opt for online classes they get to avoid this, as they could take up classes whenever they like for instance they could sit by the beach and listen to classes or any place that you feel comfortable, as online recorded sessions will be accessible whenever or wherever you like provided you have good internet and access to smartphones, students can evade overcrowded classrooms and uncomfortable chairs. There won’t be any need to wake up early, get dressed, catch a bus, and avoid traffic and money expenditure on petrol to get to the university. This is the most common advantages of online learning.
Extra coursework on resume
Extra courses taken through online platforms like Coursera or Udemy can boost your resume by showing your employer your desire to learn something that wasn’t taught at the university and increases your chances of getting hired exponentially or you could most certainly be a better candidate for the promotion you’ve been eyeing for quite some time. An online degree will greatly benefit working professionals who want to switch domains as they might not have the time to get a regular degree, most professions have reported at least a salary bump after they took relevant online courses.
Unlike offline classes online courses have no fixed targets that have to be achieved or completed within this time or within this day, students are free to create their own schedule and goals and follow it and complete the course accordingly, this can greatly benefit working professional who don’t have time and access to resources to take up traditional classes, this kind of flexibility is impossible in traditional classes, students who want to take up advanced courses in their field of interest can also greatly benefit from this, mothers who have to take care of their kids can take up courses at their convenience. That is also an advantage of online study.
Online courses are way cheaper than their corresponding offline classes, this can be attributed to various factors like no need for classrooms, campus facilities, electricity, real estate, etc. And since anybody from any part of the world can create courses this increases the number of options and keeps the supply high due to which prices gradually come down. Most online courses like MIT open course work are completely free, there will be an option to get a certificate by paying but access to world-class teaching with no fees can have a huge impact. Coursera also allows its students to audit their courses where they will not have to pay anything to access the course contents but will not be able to get a certificate, students can also apply for financial aid on Coursera.
Post the pandemic most students India has been attending classes over zoom but due to various factors like low internet bandwidth, connectivity good laptops or smartphones a significant number of both student and teachers are suffering, on the other hand, a good number of student have explored different online courses and have made the most out of the pandemics, this digital divide has to be reduced so that the benefits of online education will reach the maximum number of student and completely change how we perceive education.
SEO credits – Sandip Pal