Online education is a form of education where one is taught a course or class over the internet.
The online programs charge some fee for the purpose and also provide suitable study material which can be read over a computer, tablet or an ipad.
This study material will be in the form of pdf books, website articles, references, videos and virtual animations.
This includes online degree courses, schools, tuition, exam preparation etc.
This e-learning method of teaching and study seems to be flexible and comfortable to do it from one’s home.
They are even 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.
The reason are elaborated below. By them you can decide if the online education is suitable to you.
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 your are comfortable & have understood or not interested. Based upon your body language he teaches and makes you understand in appropriate way. More than teaching, he is concerned with how much of teaching he could get into you mind. On the other hand, the online education has little chance for 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, still this will not be equally better to direct tutor.
A student needs to develop interest for 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 of 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. While online education can be like a bunch of information for you to swallow on your own.
2. Lack of company: A company of students is not found in 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 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 studies to keep up your name. You will be able to access your progress in comparison to fellow students. You will be able to build good friends who will be useful in future career.
3. Lack of practical experience: Practical experience is said to be a best teacher. Online education mostly lacks practical experience. Instead they have animated video 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 from a books will keep up the memory better. Have you ever remembered while writing an exam or recalling something, you will remember the page from which read the topic. This is reading from hard copy book creates a better memory than normal e-book memory.
4.Chances of health problems. Sitting on a computer for online education has some health constraints. There are possibilities for eye strain, lack of physical exertion leading to stress. Since there is work only to brain and not legs and arms. They tend to get lethargic and altered physiology. One may need to take extra health care. They may lose appetite (not even feel hungry) and even develop unhealthy food habits.
5. Lack of enthusiasm: Human is a social animal and will be more interested in direct tuition than virtual tuition. Enthusiasm is one which sparks the curious and desire to achieve impossible goals. There are chances of 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 sparks intense enthusiasm to perceive further goals in life. Having this attitude makes you learn better.
6. Lack of proper structured guidance of what to study and how much to study for 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.
7. Practical application is meager; for example in learning of languages like English mastering is possible by verbal communication and application in social conversation than mere bookish reading of the terms. But for science practical hand on experience gives more curiosity, interest for study in comparison to online video-demo of the subjects.
8. Less Self assessment. Self assessment is possible if you are among group of pupil regarding your standards of thinking, reasoning, communication etc. In a set of class, when an exam or questionnaire is given, some give better response than others this helps students understand where they lag behind. And also what they need to further learn and also other view of the subject is known.
9. Development of sedentary habit. i.e. the reader sits in-front of the PC for a long time which makes his body sedentary with less chances for physical activity. Especially in children this can be a major problem because they are in the age of physical and mental development. So, they require proper physical activity for better growth. Even there can be strain on the eys due to radiation from the screen of PC.
10. Lack of Discipline: Discipline is one of 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 bath, breakfast, going to bed in right times etc. Physical school help children adopt a discipline.
These are few facts about online education, though there are few disadvantages in it, the combination with regular schooling gives better benefits and advantages than regular schooling alone. So for especially regular school going children online education can provides added benefits in education and learning. But alarmingly the likeliness of online education taking hold of offline education is clear and looks inevitable.
So keeping in view with above disadvantages of online education one needs to see if the mode of teaching is suitable to them or not. It seems that for 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 online degree for higher education like post-graduation courses. But still we cannot rule out the scope of online education for those who live in remote areas where schools and universities are not available.