In the digital age, many college students and even adults find themselves taking college courses online via distance learning. With the click of a mouse, students can watch classes that students on-campus attend, and get the same lesson from the comfort of their own home, or on the go. Modern technology gives distance learning many benefits. However, there are still some disadvantages that present themselves as well.
With a PC, you can easily watch online courses from the comfort of your own home. However, if you have a laptop, tablet, or even a smartphone, you may also learn while at the coffee shop or even the gym. Those watching on the go or on campus may watch the lecture live, or at a later time, oftentimes checking in and making their presence known.
During a live session, many online interfaces include a chat window that allows communication with fellow distance learners and the professor. This creates an interactive discussion and conversation, even from another city, state, or country. Many times, online students share their own personal experiences as if they were in the classroom live. After the class ends, you may still send messages to the professor, which usually counts for attendance and participation.
While many watch the courses live, others may have to work or fulfill parental duties. Distance learning allows those students to watch on their own time, set to their own schedule. This way, they are never “late” or marked as absent, as long as they view the class and still offer input. Many professors note attendance and participation based on whether a student responds, whether the class is live or not. However, too much convenience could also lead to one disadvantage.
Easy to Fall Behind
Not having the same consistent schedule as a student taking a course on campus, you must discipline yourself to not only watch the class within a given timeframe, but also complete assignments in a timely manner. Without the proper discipline, one can easily fall behind quickly, and risk failing the course.
This is not nearly as much of a disadvantage, but there is often a several second delay with online courses. Therefore, a student may offer input or answer a question after the professor has addressed the point. Usually, the teacher still takes that factor into consideration.
Weather can also cause a delay or outage of its own. Due to distance learning’s reliance on satellite technology, any inclement weather can throw the course off track. However, the benefit of being able to watch at a later time minimizes this disadvantage.