What challenges do students face in E-learning?

What challenges do students face in E-learning?

Let’s start our discussion with a small stroll to the memory lane of our school days when life was entirely different for us. Try remembering the golden days when education was all about an in-person classroom with a teacher explaining concepts on the blackboard and students copying the text in their respective copies. Waking up early, getting dressed by our mother, and then rushing towards the bus stop carrying those heavy bags was an everyday struggle. The school life we live is undoubtedly the most enjoyable, peaceful, and carefree phase of our life that gets etched in our mind forever. The memories we create with our friends become the best part of our childhood and remain with us in our hearts.

Interestingly, this routine life has undergone a complete transformation over the past decade. The outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic hit the education sector immensely and compelled school authorities to switch to online teaching-learning systems. In the initial phase, students and teachers found it difficult to adjust with the virtual interface as it was completely different from the usual trend. However, as time passed, things began to improve and e-learning gained popularity across the globe. Schools, colleges, and professional institutions moved to online teaching portals for continuing the learning process. In online teaching, teachers and students connect through a digital teaching-learning platform over the Internet. These portals facilitate convenient learning experience for students as well as teachers at the comfort of their homes.

E-learning platforms come packed with a plethora of merits and some demerits too. Where on one hand they allow seamless learning experience, on the other hand they lack physical interaction similar to a real classroom environment. The transition to online teaching sites in India was all of a sudden and so adjustment to it became quite difficult. It was an unfamiliar environment that exposed students to an all-new educational system fueled by technology and Artificial Intelligence. Adjustment to a change requires time but COVID crisis compelled students to adopt the new pedagogy without much thought. This sudden exposure posed certain challenging situations in front of the school-goers. The content here will highlight the various issues faced by students using e-learning portals. Have a look:

1. Lack of Structure

When in school, students have to follow a set pattern or schedule every day without any choice of their own. The school authorities provide a time-table for theory classes, practical work, and free time to students and teachers. The learners do not have to invest their time in setting schedules in an in-person school. However, in an online school the learning system is more self-oriented and they do not provide a structured routine to students. They have to create their own schedule and plan their studies and free time. While some students are able to plan their work easily, others find it difficult to allot time for each activity and thus lacking clarity in work.

2. More Distractions

In e-learning, students attend lectures and access learning tools from anywhere as per their convenience. For instance, they can attend their class while enjoying their favorite show on TV. The proximity to distractions is very high in case of an online learning system. As the teacher is not personally present to control them, the students take advantage of the situation and do not concentrate on lectures. Very often they lose track of their class activities and start scrolling through their social media handles. The constant interaction with parents or siblings worsens the situation and hampers their studies. The students can open multiple windows on their screens and shift focus to them instead of the teacher.

3. Lack of Control

A teacher not only teaches in the class but also helps to maintain discipline within students. He helps students to concentrate on what is being taught in the classroom by constantly interacting with them. Interaction with students is an important part of the various types of learning protocols used by teachers to control learners. Control is not available in an online teaching portal. Students get easily distracted from their external environment or social networking tools. They fail to refocus on the content being discussed in the classroom.

4. Monotony in work

Teaching in school comes packed with various interactive benefits including peer learning, experimental work, recreational activities, etc. Visiting computer labs, games room, playground, or science labs rejuvenates students. This is missing in online classrooms. Students have to stick to their computer screens for long hours. The learners do not get any change in environment which makes them uninterested in learning.

5. Lack in confidence

Students develop a sense of healthy competition when they compete with their peers in school. They share ideas and applaud each other at each victory thereby boosting confidence level. The e-learning system promotes self-learning making students generate self-doubt in case they score less in tests or do not secure top ranks in online exams. 

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