Online learning has become a popular educational trend over the last years. More and more people prefer to acquire knowledge and valuable skills in different areas without leaving their homes. The society still has no unambiguous opinion about the reliability of this format. Some people say that it cannot substitute traditional learning, while others claim that common colleges and universities will disappear soon, and all people will study via the Internet.
Well, like any phenomenon, online courses have their advantages and disadvantages. If you were wondering whether it is worth learning remotely, the material below prepared by the experts from Pro-Papers company will be of great use to you.
Pros of Online Courses
Here are the most important reasons why the popularity of e-learning growths:
- Convenient schedule. You can choose a suitable learning time, watch educational videos and read textbooks in the evening or at lunch, which is especially convenient for working people who cannot attend morning lectures.
- A number of programs. Traditional educational centers create new groups once in a few months, and the choice of courses is usually limited. Online platforms are free from this problem. As a rule, groups are formed no less frequently than once in a month, and a choice is quite wide, at least at an initial stage.
- Information availability 24/7. One of the main advantages of online learning is that you can go back to materials of a previous lecture, reread a topic and fill in knowledge gaps anywhere, anytime. With traditional learning format, you can count only on your own notes and literature from a library.
- There is no need to go somewhere. If you live in a rural area, you may fail to find good courses. If you live in a big city, you risk spending hours in public transport. Online courses are a way out of both situations.
- Multimedia format. It is possible that you will receive a flash drive with learning materials or a DVD at traditional courses, but still, they will not replace the convenience of using your favorite computer, searching for interesting additional information and saving useful bookmarks in a browser.
- Wide choice. In addition to the fact that you can quickly study a certain major in a framework of one online course, the Internet offers hundreds of other platforms that are ready to teach you the same things, but for other money and using another curriculum. You just have to study reviews, weigh pros and cons, and choose an option that suits you best.
- Convenient learning mode. With face-to-face courses, your freedom is limited. You need to maintain a certain note-taking pace. Tasks performed at traditional lessons have a deadline. If failing to meet it, you may receive a bad mark. Everything is much easier at online courses.
- Lack of social problems. No matter what your age is: 10 or 70 years, where you live: in Britain or Brazil, whether you have experience in a particular industry or not – everyone is equal in the virtual space.
Cons of Online Courses
Despite a large number of advantages, distance learning also has a downside:
- Lack of social component. Reducing personal communication means zero effect of collective activities. When studying in large online groups, it is very difficult to ask all the questions of interest, consult fellow students, create a good group for performing a common project.
- Limited knowledge. An ultimate goal of any courses is material gain, but online educational centers are more interested in reducing a curriculum and increasing the number of groups. It is not a matter of greed but a simple desire to satisfy customers’ needs: face-to-face courses cannot count on an audience of even a thousand people a month, while online platforms run the risk of alienating potential customers if postponing prepaid classes for several months.
- It is very difficult to maintain the maximum degree of motivation when learning online because you always stay in a comfortable home environment: no one demands anything from you, it is not obligatory to read additional materials and even attend classes. In the end, it is very easy to conclude that distant learning is ineffective. But this rather depends on character traits and personal responsibility of a student.
- Lack of social programs. If you do not have a job, you can apply to a labor exchange and pass some basic courses for free. Universities provide discounts for various social groups. In online education, you can count only on seasonal discounts.
- Lack of value for an employer. If a diploma received at a university or at least courses related to it can convince a recruiter of your competence, then hardly anyone will take the certificate of completing online courses seriously. This is due to the fact that requirements for a student are very low in virtual space, and it is nothing to say about individual knowledge checking.
- Mass approach. When attending traditional courses, a tutor can somehow evaluate the skills of both the whole group and you personally, change a further teaching approach or assign individual homework. All this is impossible in online learning. Assessing quality of knowledge gained is your responsibility.
- Incompetent lectures. It is rather difficult to check the qualifications of persons holding online classes. Most of them are amateurs who do not know their disciplines and just strive to earn money or increase self-esteem pretending to be cleverer than other people. For example, there are many lecturers who teach business but never had their own company, reason about psychology but have nervous breakdowns. All their knowledge is theory read in books. Such people will not teach you to solve real-life problems.
How to Choose Online Music Courses?
If you have decided that distance learning will benefit you, pay attention to the following points when choosing an educational platform:
- read a curriculum attentively;
- study requirements for knowledge and skills you should have when enrolling in a course so as not to be the only person in a classroom who does not understand what a lecturer is talking about;
- collect feedback on organizers and professors;
- try to find those who have already completed these courses and ask additional questions on structure, quality, costs;
- calculate the time needed for studying. Almost certainly, you will need more than stated in a program.
If choosing a good educational center, doing homework and not missing lectures, distance learning is sure to bring many benefits, and its disadvantages may be reduced to minimum.