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Challenges of online education

Participation in online education is always high, according to a recent study by Sloan Consortium. In the United States, more than 2,200 college and university respondents said the study showed that 3.2 million students attended at least one online course in autumn 2005, which was 850,000 more than a year earlier.

The popularity of e-learning is a unique challenge that does not exist with more traditional classrooms. Students should be aware of the differences between online and traditional classes and must be prepared to make the necessary adjustments. The challenges facing online students include the following:

  • Technical problems. Computer hardware and peripherals such as printers, modems, and routers are not indomitable; as with any other man-made device, it may stop or fail during the most unsuitable time. In the event of a malfunction, an older computer may be incompatible with the software required for the course. Viruses, Trojans, spyware, and other malware will infect your computer and may be weak or inoperable. Slow Internet connectivity can cause problems when logging into a classroom, retrieving and submitting tasks, and posting to threaded conversations. Any of these problems can cause great frustration in the course. Therefore, it is important for students to have access to the backup computer when the device is damaged.
  • Stay on the move. Going to school always requires a degree of motivation for a student regardless of whether it is a "brickwork" institution or online class. In a traditional classroom environment, the student conducts a live, personal conversation with the tutor and students – a camaraderie that can help increase the enthusiasm and motivation of the course. In the Internet-based class, however, there is no connection with the tutor and his classmates – the student works alone in virtual environments. This lack of live communication can lead to a sense of isolation and make it difficult for a student to have no great internal commitment or personal leadership to stay motivated during the course.
  • Discipline. As with motivation, the student needs good self-discipline to succeed on the Internet. The freedom and flexibility of e-learning is something that is appealing to many people. It is not mandatory to log in at any time or place – you can go to class and tasks at any time when it is more convenient for you. However, the same liberty can lead to delay, and the negligent or uncontrollable students can be dropped in their duties. Once it is difficult to catch up.
  • It is difficult to improve oral communication skills. There are a number of classes, such as speech, drama, debate, teacher training, and so on, which require a student to perform oral lectures before a group of people. For online courses this is not practical because the classroom is virtual and the students do not gather in one room at the same time. Students who want to improve their oral communication skills may need to do these classes on a traditional classroom course.
  • Classes that meet laboratory or practical requirements may not be available online. If a laboratory course can not be simulated or virtually online offered, the student must take the course at a local university campus or other location where necessary to complete the course.

Students who take online courses should be aware of these and other challenges and be prepared to meet them to succeed on the Internet. If any challenge seems overwhelming, the student should review the online option and perhaps do a traditional ground training course.

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