The shift is already happening. With the flexibility and freedom to learn at a pace that suits the individuals, the e-Learning industry is attracting more and more students. At a place where online education has flourished the concept of personalized learning and instant access to the content, learners are still encountering some challenges in completing their online courses successfully. Reports say that more than 6.3 million students in the U.S. have enrolled themselves in online courses and the number is increasing day by day.
But, students need to be technically proficient in order to handle their online course. There are certain challenges that need to be conquered so that online learning can effectively serve its purpose. Here are 7 most common Tech challenges of online learning that we need to solve.
1. Difficulty in adapting to the virtual environment
Students have a habit of learning in a traditional classroom environment and are accustomed to face-to-face learning. Hence, it might not be very easy for them to settle for the computer-based learning environments. The traditional classrooms are more about passive learning and taking notes while e-Learning requires students to interact actively and participate in the online class. That might involve clicking some options, answering a question, taking homework help or giving a feedback.
Students need time to get used to the study environment, the online content management system and the e-learning methods. The students must be made aware of why they need to shift themselves and why e-learning is favorable for them. More discussions regarding the importance of online learning should be held so that the students can easily accept this change.
2. Low computer literacy among the students
Basic computer literacy is a must for online learning. You should be able to handle all your files, study resources, and assignments digitally. Students who don’t know how to use the basic computer programs might face difficulties in managing their online study material. Online learning requires continuous interaction with digital devices such as computers, smartphones or tablets and other peripheral devices such as a modem, adaptors, printers, scanners, microphones, or routers. Hence, students should be aware of how to use them.
3. Dependency on the Internet and Technology
The students should know how to use the internet and how to connect to a network. E-Learning courses most of the times come with technical requirements such as the browser compatibility, system requirements, strong internet connection and high bandwidth. A student who does not have access to such requirements cannot access online learning effectively. Hence, there is a need to have a computer, internet connection and a little technical knowledge so that the students can troubleshoot the problems that occur.
4. An absence of support and offline learning
An absence of technical support from the e-Learning provider’s side can cause a lot of trouble to the students. It may lead to delay their progress in the course. Hence, a continuous tech support must be ensured to the students so that they can get solutions immediately. It might not be possible every time for the students to go online and excess the study materials. The providers should offer downloadable study material and assignment help so that the students can study offline also.
5. Extensive coordination is required in e-learning
Sometimes topics demand face-to-face discussions and interactions. It might not always be possible that the pre-recorded instructions of an online course are clear enough for every student such as in case of essay assignment help. Students who face difficulties in such a scenario may have to send the queries additionally to the instructors and then have to wait for them to understand the query and answer appropriately. Students may find it hard to communicate with each other as well. If the students are required to work in groups, coordinating with everybody online might not appear as easy as working together in college classrooms.
6. Everything cannot be taught on the internet
Not all degrees can be transformed into online courses. Subjects which require lab experiments and hands-on experience might not be taught as efficiently to the students via an online course. However, there are possibilities for simulating a laboratory on the internet but it may not happen in every case. Another possibility is the introduction of the concept of hybrid learning. In hybrid learning, students get to experience the best of both the worlds as students spend some time in online learning and the remaining time in the traditional classroom learning.
7. The complex structure of the course
The course structure plays a crucial role in the success of an online course. Unclear instructions, less interactive elements and complex navigation of the course me result in lost interest of the students. Students might find it difficult to get engaged in such a course that includes a continuous reading of the text from a document and a content that has no real-life applications to show. Hence, the content providers should focus on creating online courses that have well-defined structures and cover all the aspects of e-Learning such as interactive elements, assessments exercises, feedback facilities, live chat features and clear instructions.
In the end, yes there are certain challenges that students might have to deal with while learning online. But a change in attitude, expectations and a little technical knowledge can help them achieve an online degree or certification. In fact, everyone can succeed in online learning if they adapt better study habits and self-discipline. How are you solving your e-Learning challenges?
Author Bio:- Aditya Singhal is the co-founder of Transtutors, a leading Online Education platform for college students. Having graduated from prestigious Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) – Delhi, Aditya has a personal interest in helping students.