Are you thinking about e-learning?

Pros and cons you should consider before you do it

For years now, technology has entered the classroom to contribute to the learning process, but after the popularization of the internet, the classrooms were the ones that became a part of technology. We’re not going to pretend we have discovered e-learning, we know that it´s a very well-known issue, but it´s also true that many people still don´t trust it.

E-learning follows the same trajectory as e-commerce, there is a large part of the population that do not rely on it, they still believe that if they buy something online, even from a store from which they have been buying for years, it will never arrive and they will get scammed. Therefore, if you are considering starting an e-learning course and you aren´t sure, here are the basic pros and cons you should consider to make the right decision:

Pros:

  • Flexible hours

The biggest advantage and one of the major reasons for people to choose e-learning is the schedule. Given that you don’t have to go to your lessons you can organize your time as you prefer, granting you a degree of freedom you would never have with traditional learning methods. You will be able to continue with other studies, work, or anything else in your daily routine. In any case, it is sometimes possible to participate in discussion boards or meet somebody on Skype or other real-time activities. You have to take this into account before choosing your course.

  • No fixed location

You will be even less limited by your location than by your schedule, because one of the main benefits of e-learning is just that: remote education. If you have the technology required, it doesn’t matter where you are.

  • Access to content

E-learning gives you a degree of access to content that you would hardy have with traditional methods. The students have access to a platform that stores all the content an, getting rid of all the books and papers. Besides, the teacher will be able to update the contents easily without having to wait for the next lesson.

  • Easy communication

Communication between students and teacher or between students is easier. These programs usually include a method to communicate in real time, using forums or chats.

  • Autonomy

Freedom in schedule and location provides a level of autonomy that is just impossible in traditional education models. In addition, e-learning will put the focus on you instead of the teacher. In a traditional classroom, a teacher speaks to a group of about 20 people; here, the teacher works on a nearly student-by-student basis and provides a relatively customized learning experience,  which will give you extra independence.

  • Lower costs

In addition, enrollment costs are usually lower since the educational center doesn´t require any infrastructure. Additional expenses such as transport, in some cases housing, food or any others go down to zero as well.

Cons:

  • Discipline

These types of courses are known for having students give up halfway. The truth is that so much independence also requires more effort and discipline since there will be no one there to tell you to work but  yourself. Because of this, it´s often said that, more than anything, students learn how to learn in these courses.

  • Reliance on technology

You will always depend on technology since it´s your only work tool, so if your internet connection is down for one day, that will be in some ways a day you don’t go to class.

  • Novelty

Many of these education programs are have been created very recently or have only been working for a short time, so it is more likely they are still “half-tested” and have things to improve regarding content, programs or platforms.

  • Personal contact

This issue may be a benefit for many people, but it´s something to consider. In e-learning, personal contact with the teacher and other students is just not there, and that is very important and even necessary for some people.

 

As you can see, the pros and cons depend on what kind of student you are, and that´s the first thing you will have to consider before you decide whether or not this method is made for you.

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