Remote learning is the new norm, and it shall continue gaining traction until it becomes indispensable to education. Many e-platforms have emerged which offer curated sets of courses and learning programs such as webinars and lectures for anyone who wants to learn. Moreover, software applications such as MS Teams and Google Classrooms have become quite successful in simulating classroom environments. Students have gained and will continue to gain the most out of these platforms. Nevertheless, the transition has not been entirely smooth because there are many problems that the student community often faces during e-learning.
There are dramatic differences between real-time classroom learning and real-time virtual learning. We have become accustomed to the former that transitioning to the latter requires us to effectively change our tendencies. But, it is not just about our psychological responses to e-learning that might affect the educational process; there are also technological limitations that are not easy to get rid of.
In this article, I am going to talk a little more about the issue of e-learning limitations. Here are 6 problems that a student often faces during e-learning.
- Impact on Social Cues
Social Cues are extremely impacted during e-learning. A classroom is conventionally understood to be an intimate association of people. The physical presence of fellow students and teachers in a single room affects our learning process.Social cues are readily accessible for interpretation because communication tends to be direct. However, e-learning is remote. Because of the inadequate access to social cues, teachers may be unable to ‘read’ their students, which, in turn, affects students. For example, teachers would not be able to gather that a particular student is being inattentive or unable to understand because there is no physical monitoring.
- Internet Issues
There are only a select number of countries where internet connectivity is nearly uniform and high quality. Internet connectivity is a major concern in developing and underdeveloped countries, particularly in the South-East Asian and African regions. News reports from affected regions highlight the hardships of students to stream lecture videos or stay online throughout an online class. In many countries, the cost of availing Internet connection is high which also adds to the problem.
- Computer Literacy
Remote learning works on the assumption that the user is computer literate. It is presumptuous to think that computer literacy is a worldwide phenomenon. Yes, we are undeniably connected via the virtual world, but not everyone is. In fact, not everyone owns a computer or has ever used one. Schools in poorer countries often do not have the right infrastructure to impart computer literacy to children. Even those in the highly developed countries may not be well-equipped to handle the processes online. You might find it difficult to accept, but computer literacy does not come so easily and cheaply. Therefore, many students, who are not tech-literate, might find it problematic to perform adequately during e-learning.
- Lack of Motivation
If you check the facts, you would find out that the drop rates in online courses are quite high. A large number of students join online courses but only a few of them manage to successfully complete them. During live online classes, it also becomes difficult to stay put throughout the session. The lack of immediate monitoring and continuous interaction affects the mood of the participants, making them take e-learning less seriously or not seriously at all. This is one major limitation which technology has to weed out if we want remote learning to be nearly effective as classroom learning.
- Time Management
There are many online courses available. Most of them do not come with very strict deadlines, and there are also plenty of those which are self-paced. Due to the said nature of online courses, students become complacent about time management. The absence of dedicated time management causes students to delay completion of courses or miss deadlines of courses which could have been easily met. Now that students are solely responsible for managing time, they dilly-dally and lose a lot in terms of learning because of this.
- Authenticity of Online Courses
You will come across hundreds and thousands of online courses. This means, there are chances that most of them are not authentic or of the right quality. The presence of multiple options confuses students as to which ones are most preferable. Many platforms attract students with low fees and fewer deadlines, and those students who sign up for these courses often end up with disappointment due to sheer lack of quality in the courses. It is, therefore, a major obstacle for students to determine which course is authentic and is the right one for them.
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