We hear of the “new normal” every other day in different areas of our lives. Whether it is a new trend in fashion or lifestyle. Or the everyday use of a nose mask all around the world. Due to the advancement in technology and the advent of the Covid19, online learning has become the “new normal” in the educational sector. Online learning could also be referred to as e-learning or distance learning. Most institutions of learning have adopted online learning to teach their students. The recent pandemic did not actually cause the development of online learning as a learning alternative. Before the Covid19 outbreak, so many busy workers and stay-at-home mothers attended their classes online. We could say that the pandemic brought e-learning to the limelight. Some people have their doubts about the efficacy of distance learning but there are some proven benefits of online learning.
In 2019, Santa Clara University conducted a survey on e-learners on how they have benefitted from online learning. The survey tested their ability to communicate with peers and tutors, how effective they were virtually, and if they could recommend e-learning to others. More than half of the respondents felt positive and appreciated the benefits of distance learning.
The benefits of online learning can not be overemphasized enough especially with the new restrictions in some areas of our daily lives. Making the decision to divert to distance learning instead of the more traditional method of learning cannot be easy. So many students have questioned why they should switch to e-learning. Here is why we think it could be the best decision for you.
Benefits of Online Learning
There are so many benefits of online learning but here’s what we think you should when deciding to switch to e-learning.
Although online students pay the same amount in tuition, they eliminate other expenses that come with going to the campus to learn. Thus making it cheaper than traditional classroom learning. They do not have to pay for student meals, lab fees, hostel, or the extra cost of using a classroom. Reading materials too can be cheaper if there is an electronic version, this is also great for the environment!
As long as an e-learner has all the necessary software and hardware for the course, they can take up any course and seek a certificate or degree. Some institutions allow distance learners to apply for aids like need-based grants and scholarships. Some online courses are free.
With e-learning, you can learn from the comfort of your home, office, coffee shop, library, or in transit. Distance learning allows students to learn, research, and do their assignments in an environment of their choice. When choosing a place or environment to learn or do their research, students consider places with a good internet connection and lesser distractions.
Online students have the benefit of choosing the type of e-learning that best suits them. There are different types of online learning which will be listed later on this page. Students can choose whether to have an asynchronous or synchronous learning experience or accelerated or nonaccelerated learning.
This will help each student learn according to their own pace. Some students learn slowly and may require more time to cope with some courses. The pacing option also helps workers to decide on an accelerated or nonaccelerated learning option. Accelerated learning is learning that lasts for less than sixteen weeks while nonaccelerated learning lasts for more than sixteen weeks. The accelerated learning option is best for online students with no work or family obligations as it mostly lasts for eight weeks and is more time-consuming.
Online learning allows schools to reach a higher number of students instead of being limited by restrictions. Furthermore, classes can be prerecorded, recorded in real-time, stored, and distributed to the student for future reference. Students can have access to these files whenever they need to refer to them. Also, if for unforeseeable reasons a student is unable to make it to the scheduled class, the recorded class can be of help when studying.
5. Improved and Better Communication
In traditional classroom learning, students might want to meet with the professor after a class to discuss some ideas and questions privately but may not get the attention they want. In an online class, you have full access to the professor or tutor through a personalized channel for teacher-student communication outside of class. Students can also communicate with their tutor through emails and get appropriate responses.
Students can also create separate online rooms where they can brainstorm on topics, study together or share research materials. E-learning makes it easier for students to meet online instead of commuting to the campus to have a meeting. Online learning also helps students to improve their communication skills.
Bonus: Other Benefits of Online Learning
Get your exam and test scores immediately:
You can agree with me that it is daunting to wait for weeks before knowing how well or poorly you performed in an examination or test. But with e-learning, you get your results immediately after the exam.
Improved Technical Skills:
Participating in online classes can help students improve their technical skills. They become in tune with technology and how to use different software programs through assignments and researches. This skill can become useful when searching for jobs as they are a requirement.
Online learning affords you a flexible schedule. You can work full hours while still studying to earn a degree or certificate. You do not have to take time off work, hire a babysitter or lose sleep over studying since you can do that at a scheduled time of your choice.
Types of E-learning
Here are a few types of online or distance learning.
- Asynchronous Online Learning
- Synchronous Online Learning
- Fixed Learning
- Adaptive E-Learning
- Individual Online Learning
- Interactive Online Learning
- Collaborative Online Learning
- Computer Managed Learning(CML)
- Computer-Assisted Instruction(CAI)
Tips to Maximize the Benefits of Online Learning
The benefits of online learning could be innumerable but if not adequately maximized, they could be futile.
- Value online Learning activities
- Have an allocated and comfortable study space
- Self-discipline and motivation
- Improve your time management skills
- Always communicate regularly with your tutor and peers
- Active virtual participation
- Revise notes and recordings regularly
- Set a personal and attainable goal
- Always have your materials ready and in perfect conditions