Online education is a form of education where one is taught a course or class over the internet.
The study material will be in the form of pdf books, website articles, references, videos, and virtual animations that can be read over a computer or tablet.
One can attend online degree courses, schools, tuition, exam preparation, etc., from the comfort of their homes.
This e-learning method of teaching and study seems to be flexible and comfortable for both the students as well as teachers.
Further, online education seems more affordable and inexpensive than offline modes like schools, tutorial classes, coaching institutes.
But still, the disadvantages of online education keep many away from going after them.
During the pandemic, I myself had to conduct online classes for undergraduate students and found it quite inappropriate.
The reasons are elaborated below to help you decide if online education is suitable or not.
Disadvantages of online education
1. Lack of direct expert monitors
- A physical teacher has direct access to you in class or tuition.
- He can read your body language and know if you are comfortable & have understood or are not interested.
- More than mere teaching, he is concerned with how much teaching he could get into your mind.
- On the other hand, online education has little chance of direct interaction. And there will be no one to understand you and monitor your progress.
- Even if there is one seeing you over video chat or audio talk, this will still not be equally better to a direct tutor.
- A student needs to develop an interest in the study. If not, any number of books or videos will not help him complete his study.
- This is what happens in online education. They will have material to study but no genuine interest.
- A physical teacher has the capacity to evoke interest and guide you towards the subject and make you learn.
- This is like spoon-feeding a baby. In contrast, online education can be like a bunch of information for you to swallow on your own.
- This is the biggest setback of online education.
- With the internet and a computer, the student has wide options of entertainment.
- So, though he starts with an intention to study, he tends to get distracted easily.
- Instead of studying, they spend time on social media, movies, games, etc.
- They become so addicted to these that they may postpone most important activities besides studying.
3. Lack of company
- This is one of the main disadvantages of online education. A person is made of the company he associates with.
- So if there is a group of students along with you, then it creates more interest and also awareness in your studies.
- You might have noticed that when you are in a group of students at school, you will be more alert.
- You need to compete with others in your studies to keep up your name.
- You will be able to assess your progress in comparison to fellow students.
- You will be able to build good friends who will be useful in your future career.
4. Lack of practical experience
- Practical experience is said to be the best teacher. And online education mostly lacks practical experience.
- Instead, they have animated videos and virtual presentations.
- But in school, you will be able to feel the touch of the instruments or other physical objects.
- This practical touch creates better memory, deeper understanding, and also further interest to study. This will be absent in online education.
- Even online education gives access to e-books. But in schools and colleges, there will be access to hard copy books.
- Reading books will keep up the memory better.
- Have you ever remembered while writing an exam or recalling something? Will you remember the page from which you read the topic?
- This reading from a hard copy book creates a better memory than normal e-book memory.
5. Chances of health problems.
- Sitting on a computer for online education has some health constraints.
- There are possibilities for eye strain and lack of physical exertion leading to stress. Since there is work only for the brain and not legs and arms, the muscles get inert.
- They tend to get lethargic and altered body physiology.
- They may lose appetite (not even feel hungry) and even develop unhealthy food habits.
- So, one may need to take extra health care measures.
6. Lack of enthusiasm
- Human is a social animal and will be more interested in direct tuition than virtual tuition.
- Enthusiasm is one that sparks the curiosity and desire to achieve impossible goals.
- There are chances of a lack of enthusiasm in online education.
- But in schools and colleges, there are awards and recognition for achievers or toppers in the class or university.
- This recognition and desire for achievement spark intense enthusiasm to perceive further goals in life.
- Having this attitude makes you learn better.
7. Lack of proper structured guidance
- Education was designed such that a student is guided regarding what to study and how much to study for a particular level of age etc.
- The online information is huge. There are no limits for study and also suitable guidance for it except in some institutes.
8. Practical application is meager
- For example, in the learning of languages like English, mastering is possible through verbal communication and application in social interactions than with mere bookish reading.
- But for science practicals, hands-on experience gives more information, enhances curiosity, and generates interest for study in comparison to online video-demo of the subjects.
9. Less Self-assessment.
- Self-assessment is possible if you are among the group of pupils regarding your standards of thinking, reasoning, communication, etc.
- In a set of classes, when an exam or questionnaire is given, some give a better response than others; this helps students understand where they lag behind.
- And also, what they need to further learn and also other views on the subject are known.
10. Development of sedentary habits.
- The reader sits in front of the personal computer for a long time which makes his body sedentary with fewer chances for physical activity.
- Especially in children, this can be a major problem because they are at the age of physical and mental development.
- So, they require proper physical activity for better growth.
- Even there can be a strain on the eyes due to radiation from the screen of the PC leading to vision problems.
11. Lack of Discipline
- Discipline is one of the key virtues taught in school. Attending a school makes one have a time schedule in a day.
- This helps them learn some good habits like having a bath, breakfast and going to bed at the right times. Thus, physical school helps children adopt discipline.
- But, in online tuition, students just need to dress up to attend classes. So, there are chances of non-habituation of discipline.
♦ So, keeping in view the above disadvantages of online education, one needs to see if the mode of teaching is suitable for them or not.
♦ It seems that younger-age students and those below graduation level may require direct school teaching and guidance.
♦ While those who have completed their degrees can take up an online degree for higher education, like post-graduation courses.
♦ But still, for those who live in remote areas where schools and universities are not available, the scope of online education can be beneficial.
So for regular school-going children, online education can provide added benefits in education and learning.
But alarmingly, the likeliness of online education taking hold of offline education due to technology looks inevitable.
Hence, governments and academia should formulate guidelines regarding the proper usage of online education without affecting the offline mode.