Understanding the e-learning advantages and disadvantages is important when considering how to make instructional and learning decisions. The article also looks at this information from an online and distance education perspective.
E-learning Pros and Cons need to be considered in equal measure. Many organizations and institutions provide different forms of training and instruction to their employees or learners. Typically they provide needed training by sending people to school, holding in-house training classes, or providing manuals and self-study guides. In some situations it is advantageous for them to use other forms of e-learning instead of the traditional training. Other times it is less useful. As with anything else, there are benefits and limitations, as well as pros and cons. There are many advantages to online and computer-based learning when compared to traditional face-to-face courses and lectures. There are a few disadvantages as well. Let us briefly compare them.
Advantages of e-Learning
Class work can be scheduled around personal and professional work, resulting in flexible learning.
Reduces travel cost and time to and from school
Learners may have the option to select learning materials that meets their level of knowledge and interest
Learners can study wherever they have access to a computer and Internet
Self-paced learning modules allow learners to work at their own pace
Flexibility to join discussions in the bulletin board threaded discussion areas at any hour, or visit with classmates and instructors remotely in chat rooms
Different learning styles are addressed and facilitation of learning occurs through varied activities
Development of computer and Internet skills that are transferable to other facets of learner's lives
Successfully completing online or computer-based courses builds self-knowledge and self-confidence and encourages students to take responsibility for their learning
Disadvantages of e-Learning
Unmotivated learners or those with poor study habits may fall behind
Lack of familiar structure and routine may take getting used to
Students may feel isolated or miss social interaction thus the need to understanding different learning styles and individual learner needs.
Instructor may not always be available on demand
Slow or unreliable Internet connections can be frustrating
Managing learning software can involve a learning curve
Some courses such as traditional hands-on courses can be difficult to simulate
You can request information from schools of your choice to learn more about their e-learning, instructional technology, or instructional design programs or locate instructional design degree programs in your area.
Knowing e-learning advantages and disadvantages helps with learning software selection as well as online distance learning programs structure and selection. It is important to know the merits and demerits of e-learning to make a decision.