Advantages of online courses
Flexibility to choose your own time
Are you a morning person or an evening person? In which part of the day you are productive the most? This is not a question you get asked when you start school. At school, it's necessary to follow the schedule the teachers have planned for you.
When taking online courses, the situation is different. You can decide when is the best time to study. If you are a working mother and decide to take a course, for example, in addition to your normal job, it may be difficult to find time in your schedule. But taking online courses makes it possible to decide at what time you want to study.
There is some controversy around this topic. Some researchers say that traditional learning is better for interaction and some say that online courses are better. But studies have proven that e-learning can increase interaction for certain people.
Online courses offer shy or more reticent students the opportunity to participate in chats and discussion forums more than they would in a traditional class environment.
You can just stay in your pajamas and do homework and activities for the day. Studying in a familiar environment can make it easier to concentrate and complete assignments. There's less distraction from other learners.
Some learners experience a lot of performance pressure when attending a course with other people. Studying on their own lessens this type of stress and can bring better results in the end.
Online courses saves you a great amount of money: less instructors, less books and no money spent on classrooms or training facilities.
Taking that dream course!
This may also be possible in a traditional classroom setting, but that involves, in most cases, traveling far from home or even moving permanently to another city.
Picking your dream course may be easier if it is available online. There's no need to spend a huge amount of money with transportation and relocation.
Tailored to different needs
Participants can learn in their own pace. If you’re faster than the other participants, you don’t have to wait for them. On the other hand, if you’re slower, you can take your time. The course creators can also tailor different courses to different needs, depending on their learners.
Disadvantages of online courses
Following an education in a traditional class is an activity that happens in a social context. Interacting with other people is not the main goal of an online course.
Some people absolutely need an educator in order to learn a new subject. Having an educator around to answer your questions and solve your problems is only possible in a traditional classroom setting.
Learning from a computer screen
“You will hurt your eyes”. This is something a lot of parents say to their children when they spend too much time in their computers.
Learning from a computer for hours, without any breaks can cause poor vision, strain injuries and back problems. Also, some topics require practice and cannot be taught simply with online lessons.
It requires a lot of self-discipline
If your learners don't have self-discipline, it is very unlikely that they will be motivated to complete their online courses. There is no one around to tell them to sit and get started with their studies.
Online courses are a novelty in the educational world. But will online learning completely replace traditional education? No.
Online courses are not made for every person or field of study. Traditional education will still exist, but online education will become more and more present in our daily lives.