Due to the recent outbreak of Covid-19, many schools around the world have started using online lessons during school suspension to help students continue learning during the pandemic. However, many teachers and students alike are doubting the effectiveness of online learning. In this essay, I am going to present the pros and cons of online learning, and state my opinion on online learning.
First of all, one of the advantages of online learning is that learning online can enable students to learn at their own pace. For some students, learning while listening to a lecture is perfect, and they are able to keep up with the teacher. Nevertheless, there are still a significant number of students that cannot process information as fast as other students. For some students, the teacher may be speaking too fast, or there might be some parts of the lesson that they need more time processing. Online learning allows students to learn at their own pace, meaning that they can watch clips of the lesson repeatedly until they fully understand the lesson. In short, online lessons can help students learn better.
The second advantage of online learning is that students can go online and search for information if problems arise in the midst of a lesson. When students are having lessons in school, using any type of electronic device (with an exception of devices required by the course) during class is usually frowned upon by teachers. Should a student have a question or a problem during class, they are to ask the teacher. However, not all questions can be answered immediately by the teacher. Even if they are answered, there might be more explanations for the question that the teacher has failed to mention. The internet not only provides more answers, it usually has very detailed explanations to go with the solution. In conclusion, the internet can help students at home if any problems arise during the lesson.
It is clear that there are a few advantages to online learning. Despite the fact that there are advantages to learning online, there are still some disadvantages of online learning that have to be addressed.
The first disadvantage of online learning is that online learning lacks communication. Students do not have as many opportunities to talk with teachers, and ask them questions when learning online. Students can only communicate with teachers using email or phone, and often cannot see each other using these tools. It is harder to ask questions and have them answered when students are learning online. Of course, there are also live lessons using online conference platforms, but it is still not as convenient as talking face to face. To sum it up, learning online is not as satisfactory because of the lack of communication.
Another drawback of online learning is that it is hard for teachers to track students’ learning progress. During normal school days, teachers can be sure that students are at least present during lessons, as attendance is taken every day. However, it is harder for teachers to control whether or not students have been taking a course through online lessons. Also, during a normal school year, there are quizzes and exams for teachers to see how well students are doing during lessons, and how well they are understanding the course. However, online, it is very hard for teachers to do the same. Even if quizzes and exams are put online with a time limit, there is nothing stopping students from looking up answers and referring to their notes during the test. To conclude, it is very hard to track progress when learning online.
To sum up, there are pros and cons to learning online. Students can learn at their own pace, they can surf the internet for solutions during the lessons, but it is hard to track progress and there is a lack of communication in online learning. In my opinion, the disadvantages outweigh the advantages, and learning in person is more efficient than online learning. Most people go through 12 years of education at school instead of at home, which also shows that the disadvantages are greater than advantages of online learning. Therefore, I think the disadvantages outweigh the advantages of online learning, and that learning in person at school is more efficient.