Earlier we knew only one mode of education and that was attending classes in school or college and universities. But with the advancement of facilities, mode of education has experienced metamorphosis. We also hear about online/distant learning courses. These days these are gaining more popularity among the youth who are ideally employed at some places but are also willing to take extra certificates to get some weightage in their CV.
This has been possible due to the development of internet which provides us many facilities at home and at our convenience. It proves to be fruitful for people who are hardworking, have great potential but a loss for those who are weak, or dependent on others.
Before enrolling for any online courses, one must consider things like:
- Most importantly, does the institute/university offering such courses have a proper legal affiliation or is it autonomous? If so, is the autonomous institute recognized or holds a particular value?
- Will I really benefit from online course? Will I get complete and accurate guidance if I opt for such courses?
- Will the course fetch me a valuable certificate that shall open doors for more opportunities and help me grow in my career?
It is prudent to look on both the sides of the coin, i.e. to look for the pros and cons of such online courses.
First let us have a look at the Pros:
- Flexible schedule: This is one of the most thought of reason for opting for such online courses. One can continue to pursue his/her subject of passion at his/her own convenient time. Though you need to be online occasionally. It has a dual benefit- You can work and still opt for a course.
- Availability of courses: The access to courses online is readily available, may be 24*7. Unlike the campus education, that is day time and has its own fixed timings.
- Time saving: Since it is online course, one need not worry about travel plans. It saves your time, your fuel (as dnt have to travel).
- Various modes of study: Online students learn things via different formats like webcams, CDs, Skype, virtual classrooms. If anyone is not well acclimated to such online formats, one can learn these as well. It also teaches you to explore more of today’s internet facilities.
- Access to Resources: It is easy to listen to high quality experts right from the convenience at your home. Certain resources can be utilized as provided or instructed by the institute offering such courses.
- Less Expensive: These courses are less expensive than compared to the regular classroom ones. It reduces hostel costs (in case the course is not available in your city), travel costs and thus proves to be less expensive.
Now let us also glance at the cons of it:
- Lesser Social interaction: Since it is an online course, the social interaction with your fellow classmates is lesser when compared to a regular classroom course which is very necessary for study purposes.
- Limited Instructor Interactions: Your interaction with your instructor is limited and at a particular time. Ideally, both should be available to resolve queries.
- Technology issues– In case there happens to be internet mishap, you lag behind the class. Your assignment and exam might take a back seat for some time. You may lag behind. Computer boot-up time, software programs, connection to internet my serve as technology issue.
- Time Zone Differences: These might play a crucial role when it comes to reaching out to your instructor or fellow students in order to have a study related discussion. Thus, things need to be kept in mind regarding the time zone as well.
- No Practical Knowledge/Hands on experience: Online courses might teach you the theoretical part however when it comes to the practical or hands on experience, the credibility of the course is questioned. There are many institutes offering distant nursing courses, distant computer courses, distant B.Ed. courses, however in order to attain the practical knowledge, one have to look ahead for traditional mode of education which is a regular classroom.
- Is the course and institute offering it accredited? A very valid concern for the students enrolling for it. After giving ample of time, efforts and money, if one gets to know that he/she has opted for non-accredited course or if the corporate or any employer doesn’t recognize it, then it becomes a major concern.
- Lack of elaborative notes: Sometimes, certain topics require to be presented in an elaborative manner. May be such facility might be not readily available in online classes, though it might be easily possible in regular classrooms.
- Affects Health: In the sense, sitting in front of computers for long in order to pursue your course, might pose problem. It might give you posture issue, it might give you eye sight problem. In some cases, it also turns out to be the cause of headaches. These phenomenon and cases are not applicable to regular classroom students.
Since I have highlighted both Pros and Cons of the online courses, it is ideally important to think on this subject and then go ahead. These points should be taken into account if one wishes to opt for online courses.
But it is also true that learning is highly dependent on the student. It depends on student’s motivation. Some get motivated along with their fellow mates, I think most of us do. This facility is not available online or at distant education.