In a fast-paced socioeconomic landscape such as we have now, it is a given that there is an urgent need to upskill, improve on products, maximize time for greater benefits, and gain a competitive advantage. Hence, while traditional classroom learning may have thrived in delivering the required skills to push boundaries and advance economies some time ago, there’s been a preponderance of online learning platforms granting just as much skills training to do specific jobs.
Either way, differences in personality types and learning capabilities, special learning needs, dyslexia, for example, the urgency of the work that needs to be done and time limitations, all determine to a large degree the pattern of learning one may choose to adopt in this age and time, not ruling away the fact that both models of learning are larded with their respective pros and cons.
Let’s delve into some of the pros and cons of Online learning:
Learning at one’s own pace and comfort
Many of us are quite familiar with the subtle or overt sense of intimidation that plagues us learning in a physical classroom, among even more intelligent co-student; that instinctive fear of being quickly identified as that student who isn’t “catching up” quick enough.
In this regard, one can say online learning has come to the rescue as learners of all grades can, in the comfort of their homes or offices, learn without fear of intimidation, take as long as is necessary to provide answers, as the classes are often modified to suit your time and pace.
Learning together can produce great results and a developed personality
However, as the world is a highly competitive environment, it is essential that learning be exercised in a similar environment. Educational psychologists, Johnson Smith et al, for example, have postulated that educational environments that encourage cooperative peer learning have been known to produce great results.
Learning alone, “online’ could do more harm than good to a growing, reclining, slow-paced learner, depriving him of the needed challenge to boost performance. Not to mention the useful social interaction that does not only promote learning but helps with personality development.
Students can now communicate with their teachers via text, audio and video
Many of us are familiar with the hassle of handing in hard-copy assignments, being confused about tests and online questions and frustratingly having to wait for the next class day to seek clarifications on concepts and topics from teachers.
Thankfully, this is hardly ever the case with online classes as programs are designed in such a way as to make teachers, and student advisers quite easily accessible to answer questions and provide needed clarifications.
On the flip side, according to Rachel Wise, a certified school psychologist, “many of us,” being humans, “are used to in-person” interactions. This probably explains why many potential employers will still demand a “person-to-person” interview in this age of broad-base technological advances.
This justifies the natural human instinct to understand fellow humans better and judge their competencies and characters through physical gestures, attitudes and mannerisms. Nonetheless, video-call conversations could still suffice for many in this aspect.
There isn’t the usual noise and distractions that come with traditional classroom learning
With gadgets and software features being configured during online learning to erode possible traces of distractions, such as the mic turn-off and turn-on feature, the use of earphones, the high chances of staying in quiet rooms for classes, the background noises that interfere with traditional learning can be said to have been greatly minimized.
However, there is the temptation for online learners vying into social media platforms or exploring other softwares in a self-distracting mode. Online learning can be credited with reducing human distractions to learning, there’s still another kind of distraction to look out for. How good a multitasker can one be to avoid what is being learned from being eroded by pieces of information that are far removed from the learning at hand.
In all, going with the flow entails embracing technological growth even where learning is concerned; and for an ambitious, mature, career-driven individual, the above-contradicted pros of online learning can still be explored to greater advantage.
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