Exploring the challenges of online classes: Is it worth it?

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The events in the last couple of years have led to a change in the whole concept of learning and education by introducing online classes as an alternative mode of education in a broader sense. In-person classes are rapidly becoming a thing of the past considering the benefits of online learning, as more and more institutes are turning towards a hybrid approach to accommodate a larger number of enrolled students while actively practicing diversity and inclusion. Moreover, online class help services are making it even easier for students to take online classes.

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👍👎 Pros and cons of online classes

Similar to on-campus classes, online education has many advantages but there are several challenges as well that you should consider before deciding on which mode of learning best suits your learning style.

✅ Benefits of online classes:

  • Online classes have the convenience of flexible schedules enabling you to advance your skills while working a full-time job without any worry of a clash in your work and studies.
  • Access to course material is crucial when reviewing a concept, virtual learning provides such resources that you can access anytime, anywhere, and as many times as you need to.
  • Traditional education could be expensive while online education provides a cost-effective learning experience while saving money on expensive textbooks, commutes, accommodations, and many more things.

❌ Drawbacks of online classes:

  • Technical glitches and sudden interruptions in connectivity cause a lot of trouble for students learning online making it difficult to keep up with studies.
  • Difficulty maintaining focus for longer periods of time without any support from instructors.
  • Trouble getting quick responses to queries.

❓ Are online universities harder than in-person?

Comparing in-person vs. online learning gives you a perspective of both the pros and cons of online courses. Looking at the challenges of virtual education, the very first thing that comes to mind is the amount of self-learning and research it requires, although online classes provide much better resources and tools for learning and reviewing, they require you to be present, motivated, and disciplined enough to learn by yourself. It also pushes students to enhance their time management skills as online classes provide the flexibility to set your own schedule and digital literacy for better navigation and improved learning.

Although online learning has gained popularity in recent years, many people are still skeptical about it due to the difficulties of online classes mentioned by students who faced challenges due to a sudden shift in the mode of teaching and were forced to learn new skills and enhance their digital literacy. Moreover, the stigma about the credibility of online courses also makes people repulsive to prefer it over on-campus courses. A survey on executives to check the credibility of online degrees states that around83% of executives consider online degrees as credible as on-campus degrees.

A survey by Babson College Board found that nearly 80% of academic leaders believe online learning is equal or superior to traditional learning. Over 69% of chief academic officers believe online learning is a critical part of the long-term education strategy.

Many reputable institutes and websites offer an abundance of online courses to choose from, offering credible degrees accepted by executives and companies such as Harvard, MIT, Georgia Institute of Technology, Coursera, etc.

⚡ Challenges of online education:

Before you decide to choose online classes as the mode of learning, being aware of the challenges posed by online learning is wiser to better navigate the platform and get the best out of it. Here are some of the challenges of virtual education:

  •  Limited interaction with faculty: Most online courses provide pre-recorded lectures and very limited interaction with your course instructor which eliminates the idea of quick feedback on your queries.
  •  Limited networking opportunities: Even though online learning offers global networking by having a diverse class from around the globe, it restricts social interactions and provides limited networking opportunities leaving you isolated.
  • Abundance of online courses: There is a plethora of content available online which might leave you overwhelmed, doing research to find what fits best to your interests and goals might add another step in the search for a well-developed course while looking out for scammers as well.
  • Lack of academic rigor: Traditional education provides challenges and push students to solve them on a daily basis with continuous support expecting a degree of excellence from students resulting in far better engagement, however, online classes lack this due to lesser interaction between student and faculty.
  •  Limited hands-on experience: Online learning limits the experience of practical work which makes it difficult to have proper knowledge of fields that require practical experience.
  •  Longer periods of screen time: The most challenging and concerning fact of taking online classes is focusing on screen for several hours increasing screen time which can cause a number of physical issues in the long run.
  •  Digital literacy: Another major challenge for online learners from underdeveloped areas is digital literacy and technical proficiency which makes it difficult for such students to keep up with their peers.
  • Technical issues: Maintaining a consistent and fast internet connection is a problem in many smaller towns and cities which affects the quality and consistency of learning due to constant connectivity issues.

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🔦 Impact Of Online Universities On Mental Health

The most critical challenge faced by the education system globally is the impact of online learning on student’s mental health. There are several factors that may influence the mental health of a student while pursuing an online degree including isolation, lack of social interaction, and lack of physical activities.

Many students have reported that digital education has impacted their mental health greatly as they have experienced depression and stress due to the pressure of online classes. The flexibility provided by online classes can be too demanding to some students as it requires a lot of self-discipline and motivation.

Student’s mental health in online classes takes a toll because of the change in environment and routine. Online classes normally do not have a proper set schedule like traditional classes, as it gives students the liberty of setting the schedule as per their preferences which makes it difficult for students to follow a firm routine, lacking motivation. This non-serious attitude towards learning puts a lot of pressure at the end of the semester as they pile all the work due to procrastination and are forced to do cram sessions making it stressful and affecting their mental health in the long run.

Moreover, students face difficulty separating their education from home as they may get interrupted during lectures by guests or house chores, also there are several distractions at home that might make it difficult to focus on studies. These distractions fuel procrastination resulting in anxiety, stress, depression, and other mental health issues.

💡 Tips for virtual learning well-being:

  • Study at a designated place to imitate the strict environment of on-campus classes.
  • Put your electronic devices far from the study area to avoid distractions.
  • Set a strict daily routine and follow it passionately to eliminate procrastination.
  • Participate in physical activities to get a break from the online world.
  • Join study groups to have study sessions together once in a while to avoid isolation
  • Contact your academic counselor for help if you encounter any issues related to your studies.

❓ Are students happier with online classes?

Studies have shown that student satisfaction with online learning has increased over time despite having numerous challenges. The sudden hike in the popularity of online learning has created many issues for both students and instructors alike, but as we move forward there are many ways to tackle those issues and increase the quality and ease of virtual learning.

Learning time management skills and technical proficiency beforehand enables students to be more comfortable taking online classes resulting in them being satisfied and even happier as they get more time to spend on self-care and take good care of their mental and physical health by utilizing that time efficiently.

Weighing the pros and cons of online education for students, there are many benefits making the factor of happiness in virtual learning increase by leaps and bounds. The flexibility and convenience give virtual learning the upper hand as it enables people to continue learning new skills alongside working full-time without any worries of disruption in their daily schedule. It allows students to customize their schedule as per their requirements enabling them to incorporate their social life and other commitments rather easily.

An online survey showed that most students rate their satisfaction level with virtual learning 3 out of 5 due to it being self-driven and less interaction with the instructor. Although current student satisfaction with online classes is average, it has been rising gradually with the advancement in technology.

Student’s experience with online classes is getting better with each passing day providing them with even more resources and tools making online learning easier than traditional learning, however, students who are just beginning their higher education journey may miss out on experiencing campus life and develop social isolation due to fewer opportunities of social interactions with peers. Many institutes are providing student support services to mitigate this issue including digital libraries, academic counseling, community building, chat groups, etc.

With each day passing there is a new software available online providing a number of tools for managing different issues of virtual learning. From time management software to online services providing online class help, and assisting with comprehension and assignment completion, online learning is getting easier day by day making it the preferred choice of many students.

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❓ Do students prefer in-person or online?

After the pandemic hit us in 2020 forcing everyone to run almost everything remotely, approximately 98% of universities have shifted to online learning as their primary mode of education which stayed the same even after the restrictions of quarantine. Many prestigious universities are now offering online courses giving remote access to a wide range of students to get authentic credible degrees in the convenience and comfort of their preferred environment.

Comparing the benefits of in-person vs. online learning choices, where physical classes provide benefits like a quick response to queries, an abundance of networking opportunities, and higher interaction with teachers, online learning has its own advantages including cost reduction, self-paced learning, reduction in commute, etc. considering the advantages and disadvantages of both online and in-person classes, some universities have come up with a third option that is hybrid learning incorporating all the benefits of online as well as physical classes. Such courses enable students to benefit from both formats while reducing the drawbacks related to each mode of learning. The only drawback to this format is that it reduces the accessibility of the course to a wider audience, restricting it to remain in the limitations of geographical barriers.

A study done by the University of Potomac showed that nearly70% of students are now preferring online classes while choosing in-person vs. online learning. This surge in preference for virtual learning is caused by the various benefits provided by online classes, the major being its flexibility, associability, and cost-effectiveness.

The most prominent reason for students being repulsive to pursue online courses over traditional courses is the credibility of the degree and its reputation in the corporate market. An article on Forbes presented a survey done by the Babson College Board showing that around 80 percent of academic leaders consider online degrees to be as credible or even better in some cases than traditional on-campus ones. A study has shown that more than 69 percent of chief academic officers consider online learning to be the new normal of future education and aid education strategies as a critical part of it in the near future. These stats show that online degrees are rapidly gaining more and more recognition making it even more compelling to change students’ opinions on learning format, given the ease of getting an authentic degree from a reputable institute.

The most recent survey done on student preferences for education showed an overwhelmingly positive response of 98% of students currently enrolled in higher education suggesting online learning over physical classes, while a staggering 96 percent of recent graduates recommended online education format. Where most universities have started offering online courses some have picked hybrid mode incorporating both online and on-campus learning to get the best out of both formats. Students enrolled in hybrid classes also prefer online classes as the same study showed that 94 % of them are leaning towards online education.

📑 Conclusion

In conclusion, there are several advantages and disadvantages of both online and physical classes which leave us with the choice of what can suit best our requirements and needs. Choosing online learning provides many benefits but it can be challenging as well. To tackle those challenges you can take my online class help from takemyonlineclassfast making your journey easier and convenient. There are many factors involved in pursuing online classes that can influence your mental health, but instead of leaving it all together, finding solutions is the best choice as online learning is soon going to become the new normal.

FAQs

Q#1: How Do Online Universities Ensure Academic Integrity in Remote Exams?

Online universities take many measures to ensure that academic integrity is not compromised including using advanced tools for plagiarism detection, using a reliable online platform with preventive measures of unauthorized access to take exams, using tools for remote proctoring, etc. 

Q#2: What Resources and Support Are Available to Online Students?

Students taking online courses can access a wide range of resources and tools available online to aid their learning. The online platforms have an abundance of support available in terms of homework and assignment services, comprehension guides, easy explanations, and multimedia resources to get a deeper understanding of concepts from multiple angles.

Q#3: Can Online Education Lead to the Same Career Opportunities as Traditional Education?

Yes, many prestigious universities are offering a number of online degree programs that are considered as credible as on-campus degrees and open many doors to career opportunities in a number of fields.