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 that can be read over a computer or tablet.
This study material will be in the form of pdf books, website articles, references, videos, and virtual animations.
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.
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 the undergraduate students and found it to be 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 not interested. Based upon your body language he teaches and makes you understand inappropriate ways. More than teaching, he is concerned with how much of 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, still this will not be equally better to 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 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
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 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 your future career.
3. Lack of practical experience
Practical experience is said to be the 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 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 a 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 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.
6. 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.
7. Practical application is meager
for example in the learning of languages like English mastering is possible by verbal communication and application in social conversation than a 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 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 of the subject is known.
9. Development of sedentary habits.
i.e. the reader sits in-front of the PC 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 in the age of physical and mental development. So, they require proper physical activity for better growth.
Even there can be a strain on the eys due to radiation from the screen of the PC.
10. 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, going to bed at the 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 provide 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 the 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 an 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.