What is E-learning?
E-learning is a type of distant learning which allows students to learn without physically attending the classes but through the internet. E-learning is electronic learning or online learning, which helps students learn anytime from anywhere via electronic means. In simple words, E-learning is education, learning or training provided online via digital resources using the internet. There are two types of learning:
- Synchronous learning
- Asynchronous learning
Synchronous learning is the learning that happens in the real-time, where students and teachers interact simultaneously. Zoom meeting is the best example of synchronous learning.
Asynchronous learning is the learning that does not happen in real-time, where students and teachers do not interact at the same time. Recorded lectures are the best example of asynchronous learning.
Advantages of E-learning
The world has experienced a rapid increase in the development of E-learning industry over the last decade. Especially in 2020 due to covid-19, E-learning industry got a skyrocketing boom. Consequently, more and more students and organisations prefer E-learning platforms over traditional classrooms. E-learning has numerous benefits, but in order to be very concise, few important advantages covered here.
Online learning has facilitated students to plan their own time schedules without sacrificing their other personal activities to achieve class attendance requirements. The full-time working staff is no longer left behind. They simply don’t have to attend the physical classes and can learn and complete their courses after their work, in the evening, on the weekends or whenever they have spare time through digital mode. The research shows that self-paced learning increases student satisfaction and reduces stress.
Saves cost and time
The high expenses of traditional learning caused many students to quit their studies, but this is not the same case with E-learning. E-learning saves time and money. Students do not require to pay for travelling and their travelling time gets saved. E-learning is the most cost-effective learning for institutes, as it reduces many major expenses like rent and other utility bills cost.
Students can choose and learn whatever they desire, as there are no specific grades required to enroll in a particular course. And also they can access any course from anywhere. Full-time workers also have the opportunity to advance their career in any field they want.
The most critical factor in the growth of E-learning is its flexibility. Flexibility helps teachers make extra income by working in summer and winter breaks. The students who are doing jobs also get the chance to generate additional income by giving online tuitions with pursuing their professional careers.
Customizable Learning Environments
In traditional classrooms, educational institutes determine the environment, and students do not have any say in their learning environment. On the other hand, E-learning allows students to control their learning environments. One can easily customize his desired classroom, where he feels better. Customizable learning environments lead to increased students’ productivity, creativity and satisfaction.
E-learning is time-efficient
Compared with traditional classrooms, online learning has cut down the learning time by almost 50-60%. Digital learning has resulted in a highly time-efficient solution for both teachers and students. For teachers, preparing educational materials like presentations, quizzes and videos using educational software are much quicker and easier. Students can reduce starting and wrapping up time. Most of all, they don’t need to waste their time in travelling.
Disadvantages of E-learning
While E-learning is incredibly a high growth industry with rapid global acceptance, but it still has some disadvantages.
Yes, self-paced is one of the primary advantages. If you need to watch a particular video or lecture, you can watch it repeatedly and can take a break at any time you want, but as it creates easiness, it also makes students lazy and undisciplined. Most students do not bother to get up from their beds and start attending classes. E-learning has made students not only lazy but disorderly.
No physical interaction
Although E-learning is quite interactive through video conferencing, face-to-face video chats and webinars, but physical interaction can never be replaced. Due to no physical interaction, many students and even teachers may start experiencing social isolation signs. Social isolation causes severe mental health issues like depression, anxiety, and negative thoughts.
Lack of self-motivation
Lack of self-motivation is one of the major reasons students fail to complete online courses. Most of the students need a push for performing and keeping in the track to achieve their learning goals. In traditional classrooms, several factors are involved in pushing students toward achieving their learning goals. Students having online classes in their comfortable and customized home environment, learning typical educational materials with none of the added pressure usually associated with traditional classrooms, find it very difficult to achieve good grades. And that’s how their productivity and creativity decrease and they gradually lose self-motivation.
Learning in a traditional classroom is undoubtedly more interactive and collaborative, but enrolling in online courses has several other benefits. Almost everyone is using the internet, and people use it for gaming, watching movies, listening to music, messaging, chatting or getting updates on current affairs and many more. Why not use digital platforms for learning? E-learning is one of the most incredible opportunities for everyone in terms of convenience and affordability.
© 2021 Muhammad Yaqoob Parekh
Katherine on January 20, 2021:
Nice and informative article. Appreciated!