The advancement of technology has made its presence felt in every aspect of your life, especially in education. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic swept the entire world, students were familiar with online tools like a citation machine or an essay generator.
However, the global pandemic was the catalyst that pushed virtual learning into the limelight. As more and more people understand how effective and convenient this method is, its popularity grows daily.
How Is Virtual Learning More Convenient?
There are many reasons online learning has grown in popularity in recent years. With easy access to portable devices and high-speed internet, you can learn anything you want from the comfort of your home.
Additionally, it is the best option for those who wish to learn while juggling a part-time or full-time job and additional courses. Those who have grown up with only the traditional learning method might look at this form of learning with suspicion. But there’s no doubt that many people have already accepted it with open arms.
How Does Virtual Education Impact Higher Learning?
The shift from the traditional to virtual means of education might be slow, but it is happening nonetheless. Any educational institution that fails to adopt the current trends risk falling behind. Therefore, you’ll notice that many schools and universities offer online courses on top of their usual traditional curriculum.
But the question remains- is this online method as effective as traditional learning? In Cengage’s recent Digital Learning Pulse Survey, almost 73% of the 1469 students said they’d love to continue some of their classes online.
On that note, let’s look at the role that virtual learning plays in higher education.
1. It lessens the time you need to complete a course
Many higher education courses take a minimum of three to five years to complete. However, virtual learning reduces this time significantly by embracing self-learning. Classes that are more theory-based and don’t require much discussion on the part of the professor are delivered through videos that students can watch any time they wish.
2. More opportunities for universities to approach research-based learning
Institutions transforming theory-based classes to video lessons allow professors to dedicate more time to research-based learning. In addition, this encourages the students to think outside the box and grasp the concept of research paper writing quickly.
3. Gives access to students who cannot attend traditional classes
One of the most significant impacts of virtual learning is the increased opportunities for students to gain access to education. Many times, it is impossible to attend classes due to the location being far away. Online education removes this obstacle and helps students gain access to courses from any part of the world.
4. Provides a more personalised learning experience
It’s always important to note that all students do not learn at the same pace. In the traditional learning method, professors can’t give individual attention to every student’s needs. However, technology has opened the gates to AI learning modes where the online software can provide a personalised learning experience based on your capabilities.
5. Cost-effectiveness makes this method more accessible
The rising costs of higher education have forced many students to give up on their dreams. However, virtual learning provides a more cost-effective alternative. You don’t have to pay for the maintenance fee, electricity bills, laboratory or library fees. Thus, taking online courses is the best way to avoid falling into debt.
6. Learn whatever you wish
Through online learning, you are not confined to any geographical location. As a result, it becomes possible to learn Japanese from a native sitting from the comfort of your home. It doesn’t matter if the educator is on the opposite side of the earth. Technology makes it possible to connect by removing all geographical barriers.
However, despite so many benefits, virtual learning is yet to win the hearts of many.
Are There Any Disadvantages To Virtual Learning?
The experience of learning in a traditional method is significantly different from taking online classes. As a result, many students have been unable to accept the shift in platforms wholeheartedly, especially post-pandemic when it is no longer an option but a necessity. Moreover, this learning method is not without its fair share of shortcomings.
1. Inequal access to those without internet
A high-speed internet connection is still unavailable in many parts of the world. In addition, students of many countries cannot afford the devices necessary to gain access to virtual learning. As a result, they can’t access simple tools like a wordcounter, let alone entire higher education courses.
2. Assessments are dicey at best
Despite the best technologies, universities have been unable to find any countermeasures for eliminating cheating during online examinations. Most of the time, students are usually one step ahead, and not even AI technology can stop some from adopting unfair means. As a result, recruiters take such online examinations with a pinch of salt, making it harder for the students to land good jobs.
3. A perpetual feeling of detachment
In the traditional education system, students are more active participants through their interactions with professors and classmates. However, the isolation that inevitably comes with virtual learning has given rise to a feeling of detachment inside students.
4. Increased feeling of stress and physical ailments
According to University Business’ survey on college students post-pandemic, about 72.5% admitted that they’d rather return to campus than continue with their online classes. The constant exposure to devices has left the students feeling more stressed, tired and worn out all the time.
Summing it up,
Virtual learning continues to be a popular option in many households as more institutions adapt themselves to the shift in education methods. As there is much to improve concerning this form of learning, it doesn’t seem like the traditional method will disappear anytime soon. However, you can expect virtual learning to gain more popularity with time.
Alley John is a professional academic assistant at a reputed online writing service. He has helped hundreds of students with their assignments and is currently pursuing her PhD. Collins loves to write poetry and aims to publish her works soon.