In recent times, online schooling and online courses have gained impetus. The pandemic has made the world rethink the system of education.
However, the concept of online courses was known much before the global epidemic struck. The questions now arise, what are the benefits of online courses, and how effective they are?
Let’s look deeper into the subject matter and try to gauge for ourselves, the effectiveness of online courses.
What Do You Understand From The Term Online Courses?
Online courses refer to the courses taken up over the internet. They may be live sessions or recorded courses.
The main characteristic of online courses that differentiates it from regular courses in classrooms, is that it uses the internet space and requires a device to access.
Online courses can be synchronous or asynchronous. Synchronous classes refer to live sessions. These classes are conducted live over video conferencing and adhere to fixed timings that students have to abide by.
Asynchronous classes refer to classes that are not live sessions. Students can attend these classes at a timing convenient to them.
However, it must be noted that asynchronous classes also demand that assignments and projects need to be submitted within a stipulated date.
Benefits of online courses
Online courses can be beneficial and favourable. Let’s look at some of the advantages of online courses
The first and greatest advantage of online courses is that it provides flexibility to students. Students are able to attend these classes at a time convenient to them.
This overrides the rigid timings of class which has to be attended physically. Many students of online courses usually have other commitments like a job, school or college.
Attending online courses gives them the freedom to work around their schedules and attend these courses at the same.
Online courses, apart from providing flexibility in timings, are also very convenient to attend. Students attend these courses in the comfort of their home or even on a moving bus.
This is the power of the internet. At times, students have long commuting hours. This leads to a waste of time.
It is during this time that some students attend online courses and sermons. Online courses provide the convenience of attendance to students.
Online courses bring the classroom right to where you are stand. You can be in your home, sitting in a park, or even on a moving bus.
You can concentrate more on an online class because you can choose to attend the class in an area that suits you the best and helps you concentrate more.
Taking up online courses are much more affordable than a regular class. This is because various costs like commuting expenses are totally non-existent.
Since online courses do not have a physical classroom to go to, you do not need to travel to it. Online classrooms reach you.
Various peripheral expenses like maintenance of your car, fuel costs, public transport charges are all saved with online courses.
Online courses are also big savers when it comes to books, canteen, and boarding expenses that may have otherwise been there in a regular class.
One of the benefits of online courses is that it offers abundant choices of courses to students. A college or a school can offer only limited course options depending on the availability of the teacher.
Regular classes also have only a limited number of seats. Whereas, online courses totally eliminate these drawbacks of a regular class.
You can study any course online. You have an interest in a subject, you name it, it’s available on the internet.
In schools or colleges, due to the lack of space or the cap on student-teacher ratio, only limited seats are open for each course.
However, online classes do not have a limit on the number of seats.
Another advantage of taking online courses is that you get to interact with a world population. Remember in an online course you are sitting with students from across the globe.
Your interaction with them helps you to understand the different cultures of the world.
Communicating with professors and teachers also becomes easier in an online class. This is because of the increased modes of communication in an online class.
For example, you can email, message, or communicate in the chatbox with your professor. A regular class allows only verbal communication.
Some students who are shy and introverted may not be comfortable with verbal communication and hence become hesitant to clear doubts or ask and answer questions.
Online courses make way for smooth and easy communication through live chat.
Ability to Replay Recorded Classes Multiple Times
Internet courses have the option to record live sessions. This makes it easier for students who are unable to understand a concept in the first attempt on the live session.
A student can rewind a recorded class multiple times in order to thoroughly understand a concept.
You Contribute to Saving the Environment
Believe it or not, one of the environment-friendly advantages of taking online courses is that all documents and paper work like admission forms, acceptance letters, and certificates are all done online. Thereby reducing the use of paper.
Congratulations, you have saved a tree in the woods and contributed to saving the environment
Certification From Top Universities
Many top universities around the world offer online certified courses to students. This is advantageous because, on completion of the course, it credits you with a certification from the top university.
You do not have to change locations or shift to an entirely new geographical area just to attend the course from that particular university. Online courses offer you the prestige of the university right at your doorstep.
Short Courses For Renewal of Skills
Another benefit of taking online courses is that many universities offer short and quick courses with certifications.
You can even take up online certified courses to renew an old skill or improve or polish your techniques. Some online courses last up to just two weeks or some advanced courses may be more than a year.
Depending on your convenience and requirements you can take up these online courses.
Some employees in companies take up short online courses. Completing these certified courses entitle them to a promotion or raise in the company.
Students can work during the day and complete online courses in the evening. This gives them the double benefit of earning and studying to increase knowledge at the same time.
Although there seem to be so many advantages of taking up online courses, it does come with its own set of disadvantages. Some of the disadvantages of taking up online courses are
- Online courses require you to have good time management skills
- Good internet connection is vital
- Requires an electronic device like mobile, laptop, or PC
- Online courses can encourage procrastination because of the lack of a teacher or mentor coercing you to complete the assignments.
- As online courses do not have the option of group study or peer mentoring, students have to be adept in self-study. This may be difficult for students who are used to mentors while studying
- Lack of socialising
Although taking up online courses seems to have an edge over regular classes, we have to keep in mind that it comes with its own pros and cons.
We can not totally dismiss the advantages of taking up regular courses in classrooms.
However, today, because of changed circumstances like advancement in technology and the ongoing global pandemic, taking up online courses has become the new normal.
Also Read Impact of The Coronavirus on Students