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It's not for Everyone: Pros and Cons of Distance Learning

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Distance learning has been on the rise recently, but lately as a result of COVID-19 pandemic, it is being practiced regularly by numerous schools around the globe. Although virtual learning is very effective for some, it isn’t for everyone. Distance learning like anything else has its advantages and disadvantages that are considered in this informative essay about distance learning.

First, accessibility to teachers after school is easier when attending an on-campus school than attending school virtually. One of the major reasons it is hard to get in contact with most teachers after a virtual class is due to the fact that they do not check their emails or messages regularly. However, in a regular classroom if anyone ever needed extra help after class, they could easily stay behind after hours or they could meet the teacher during her office hours.

In addition to what I mentioned previously, distance learning isn’t for everyone. E-learning requires a strong self-motivation and the ability to keep one’s self from getting distracted. When studying online most people tend to get distracted with things surrounding them, which brings their focus elsewhere, resulting in them getting lost. Unlike when you are put in a learning environment in face-to-face communication with professors and peers and are forced to follow rules for not only your own benefit but the benefit of others. Both of these are just some of the factors that work in unison to keep the students from falling off track during their studies.

Unfortunately, one of the biggest disadvantages of E-Learning continues to be cheating through various methods. Compared to on-campus students, online students can easily cheat. As they take assessments in their own setting and while using their own computer. The students attending class virtually cannot be put under strict surveillance invigilation that ensures they won’t be able to cheat. Unlike on-campus students, that must deal with traditional testing procedures making it extremely difficult to cheat. Since cheating the system of virtual learning is so simple, many students will result to cheating and can pass most classes without even putting in any of the slightest bit of effort. Although this is not usually a problem with college students, as they are adults who are responsible but trusting a college student is different than trusting a high school or a middle school student who doesn’t know better. Overall when learning online, schools are forced to put an enormous amount of trust in students, and I don’t believe that all students are knowledgeable enough to make the right decisions

Another major issue is that virtual learning relies on your internet connection. If your internet isn’t working well, you will miss out on everything including classes, announcements, exams, and access to whatever program your school uses for submitting assignments, leaving you behind. Although for most internet connection isn’t an issue, there are few locations where internet is forbidden or limited examples include Eritrea, North Korea, and even some villages found in Saudi Arabia. Eritrea Internet access is all government-controlled and fewer than 1% of the population reportedly go online. Moreover, in North Korea only political elite have full access to the internet. Which means people in such areas will not be getting a proper education during this time. Which is a very negative aspect of E-learning.

There are many negative aspects of distance learning but there are some positive ones too. Since online learning does not require students to be present physically the school does not need to provide a space. For example in the university student batches can reach up to 2000 students, so in the past if an auditoriums maximum capacity was 500 students the presenter would have to repeat the lecture four times, but would only need to do it once or twice if he/she were to present virtually.

In conclusion, I find distance learning very reliant on individual learning, which makes it a little harder than traditional learning. It is also very reliant on internet connection and asks too much of students, but it also can be helpful in some ways. In my opinion, traditional learning is and will always be the better choice, but during this pandemic I think it satisfies the public decently. 

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