Online Learning Challenges
- Campus Distractions
- Self-Discipline Essential
- Technological Reliance
- Conflicts in Learning Style
- Diminished Social Aspects
Despite the overwhelming number of advantages to choosing an option in online learning, there are challenges of online learning that still remain to be faced by the potential student. Not that these challenges outweigh the benefits of such distance learning, it simply reasons to say that those considering online learning instead of working on campus should rightfully be aware of the associated challenges therein. Let’s take a look at five, notable challenges in online learning.
Working from home is an amazing, advantage-filled experience. This is true in real-life jobs as it is in educational partakings. However many advantages you may find in this though, can you make your home work area as conducive to study as an actual, physical classroom? When getting an education online, your home work area is your campus. Whether you are at a coffee shop hooked up to the free WiFi, or simply at home in a spare bedroom, this area is now your campus. Distractions here can be an enormous challenge to those learning online.
With most online degree programs, the presiding school will provide a list of requirements for participation in the program. Among requirements in computer equipment, reliable internet connection, and general internet savvy, self-discipline and motivation are top priority. A typical requirements listing can be seen at the Minnesota State University webpage for online student requirements. In this common example, the university specifically addresses the importance and unique challenges in self-motivating absent the traditional influence of nearby peers doing the same. This can be a considerable downfall for some.
Another of the challenges of online learning endeavors lies in the grand reliance of technology and electricity. In traditional learning venues, the school provides any technological requirements, and the basics of simple attendance are easily met by just being at school. Online, when there are problems, the student may not only miss crucial assignments, but they may also be counted as absent. Working within the confines of technology means working within the confines of network adapters, electricity, computers, servers, software, web browsers, routers and modems, and more. If any one of these facets fails, the connection to school becomes compromised for an indefinite time to come.
Conflicts in Learning Style
Plainly put, some students have a difficult time applying their own, personal learning style to the environs of the online classroom. Most people have spent the majority of their educational tenure in a physical classroom. As a result, skill sets and learning styles tend to develop as an accompaniment to this in-person, learning environment. Because of this, for some, online learning takes some getting used to, while others may acclimate quite naturally and easily. This all depends on each individual’s learning style.
Diminished Social Aspects
The final spot in our list of the challenges of online learning goes to the loss of many social aspects with the online route. Within the layouts of most degree programs, there are certainly many opportunities given in social interaction with peers. This can be through classroom activity or even “social lounges” set outside of the digital classroom. All of this is great but still not the same as physical, in-person relations. Interacting in person creates more considerable bonds, a camaraderie founded on common work and goals, and many other supportive attributes for the student. This indeed is a challenge harder to face for some than others.
Online degree programs and learning venues are a valuable part of modernized education. With such offerings in academia, students can gain a reputable education and also be afforded more time for personal liberties, work, and study. This is the fantastically beneficial world of virtual education as well as some commonly attributed challenges in online learning itself.