What are the Challenges of Online Learning?
The e-learning industry is constantly growing and new features, opportunities, as well as challenges, are possible to arrive every day. In this quickly changing world, every day is a new opportunity, however, in order not to miss such opportunities one should be aware and learn what are the challenges of online learning. It will help to plan the processes more effectively and minimize the level of risk.
If you are somehow related to the e-learning industry, you are highly recommended to identify your training objectives in the overall learning pool. This will be the starting point to analyze the market and find out the possible challenges of online learning for students as well as for your personal teaching business.
Top 8 Challenges of Online Learning
People face great challenges when they need to adapt to something new. We are protective of what we already know and are used to. So, sometimes it is very difficult to get used to something new: tools, techniques, approaches, etc. Although there are also many challenges faced by students in school, those in the online school are even more. However, it is usually faced by trainers.
Now let’s go on and take into consideration all the challenging points that somehow prevent education providers from shifting into e-learning or scare them, making them believe that they cannot reach the potential success. It is always difficult to adapt to an e-learning environment when one is used to the traditional approach to the teaching process. If you see yourself among such people then first of all keep in your mind that U CAN TEACH. Now continue reading as you will identify interesting points below.
Challenges of Online Learning #1 Technical Issues
This is the first thing that comes to the education providers’ minds when they think about sharing knowledge online - “I cannot deal with the tech tools, I do not have technological knowledge”. However, these days, you don’t have to be a tech expert. There are many platforms that help to establish your online presence and operate a fully functional e-learning platform without any coding.
Educational website builders offer easy-to-use dashboards where you may immediately orientate on how to make actions and get whatever you like. Besides, these teams also provide advanced tech support that makes the process even easier. You get support every time you have any questions or concerns related to your platform.
Some educational centers that shift into e-learning even attend pieces of technological training to guide their specialists and train them on such tech topics so that they easily operate the process and do not face challenges. However, website builders minimize the risk.
Challenges of Online Learning #2 Tech Devices
For some part of education providers, this tech challenge is about computing devices or internet connection. Many people do not use to work with computers or any other forms of technological device. They find it difficult to prepare the educational material, such as presentation slides, different formats of educational files, etc. The next step of publishing this content material seems even more challenging, as the trainers do not get used to it.
Another point is the poor internet connection. This may be solved by connecting your laptop or PC to a high-quality Internet connection that will make it possible for you to share knowledge anywhere and at any time. What else may be so great?
Challenges of Online Learning #3 Time Management
When teaching online, the trainers are responsible for their own time and they are the decision-makers of how to use this time. While many people find this as a great advantage, for some people this is really challenging. This is the way the benefits and challenges of online learning meet at the crossroad.
Some creators do not concentrate on managing their time when they work from home and have a flexible time schedule. In such an environment, they do not manage to plan their time and meet deadlines. But everything is possible if you act logically and classify all the tasks and responsibilities that are meant to be realized within a specific period of time.
To overcome this challenge, you may realize some actions. Let’s discuss some of them.
1. Try to avoid distraction. This is really challenging for people who easily lose their concentration and drow away their attention to other things, sounds, activities, etc. When you are at home or any other comfort zone where people may do whatever they like, you should do your best to avoid distractions and focus on your to-dos.
2. Cease multitasking. When you want to work on different tasks at the same time, you are more likely to waste your time. Categorize the tasks and start working on the most important ones. Take one task for a specific period of time. Once completed, pass to the next one. This approach is proven to be more effective in time management.
3. Create a calendar and write down all the activities and deeds. This calendar becomes something like a to-do list. And if you visually see that there are 5 tasks to be implemented this day, you feel more responsible to make it come true. Besides, it is the beginning that seems to be complex and takes relatively more time. Once you have already created your personal teaching portal and publish the main part of the educational content, everything becomes easier and you save a lot of time. Here you do not have to waste time on transportation, traffic jam, etc. And still, you save a lot of time on manual mechanical work such as test checking.
4. Ask for help. Sometimes you may need your friends’ or relatives’ support to make actions come true and overcome difficulties. If you feel you do not manage to meet the deadlines and there are people you trust, ask them for help. I’m sure they will be happy to do you a favor.
Challenges of Online Learning #4 Virtual Communication
Although teaching online, you still need to take into consideration the students’ level of acquired knowledge, provide feedback, and lead the learners in the right direction. In the case of e-learning, there are some challenges when getting in touch with the learners. As sometimes the feedback is not possible to provide immediately, many education providers miss on some points when they come to this point.
E-learning makes communication relatively more difficult as it is implemented through online channels (such as live chats, different forms of messengers, email letters, etc.) and sometimes the participants deal with different time zones which makes the process even more challenging. However, during the live lessons or webinars, the students may ask their questions, share concerns and get feedback immediately. As for the online video courses, good teachers always analyze the market and form a general idea about the learners’ background knowledge. So, you may also do the same and understand how to present the topic in order to make it as easy and clear for the potential learners’ group as possible. This may be considered to be one of the best qualities of good teachers.
Besides, in order to overcome this challenge, many creators prepare monthly or weekly feedback letters and share their opinion about the learners’ progress, their skills, drawbacks, and so on. Students know what they have done perfectly and what their weak points are. Accordingly, they are led in the right direction thanks to the teachers’ pieces of advice and attention. So, nothing is impossible if you have it kept in your mind.
The lack of communication is also has a bad influence on increasing the students’ engagement in the learning process as they easily get distracted or lose concentration.
Challenges of Online Learning #5 Assessment
Training needs assessment. When teaching online, creators face a difficult point during the assessment process. Sometimes it is very difficult to realize the exact progress of the learners because of the lack of communication, less homework, examination, etc. The experience of the teachers, as well as the expectations from the learners, also differ.
Besides, there are only a few versions of providing assessment, for instance, through online tests. This is considered to be a great tool especially when test automation tools are integrated so that the education providers do not waste their time on the manual test checking process. This is a great help and support. When learners pass any online course or take part in a live lesson they may check their acquired knowledge with such tests and quizzes. Those learners who get positive marks earn a certificate (of course, if the teacher provides one). Certification is one of the essential points that has a significant influence on engaging the learners.
When preparing such material for assessment make sure to offer proper questions and assignments in order to provide feedback based on the learners’ performance.
Challenges of Online Learning #6 Learning Management System
The LMS integration in an online school is a must-have when teaching online. However, it may be very challenging to choose a platform or find an experienced development company that will realize your requirements and offers the best possible solutions. You just need to take into consideration a lot of points when choosing the best fit of an online platform for teaching.
Check out whether or not the platforms you consider offer all the features you require to organize and manage the overall teaching process. In the end, you try to satisfy the learners. Focus on a platform that will cover at least all the must-have features and provide a great user experience. As you already know, today there are many website builders that will help you avoid dealing with coding. Instead, you can create a personal platform within minutes that will give you a lot of opportunities:
Uteach, for instance, offers all these features, and even more. You may try the platform and be sure our support team will always be there for you.
Challenges of Online Learning #7 Teaching Methods
Education providers always find it relatively difficult to choose any teaching method that will also be preferable for the learners and they may easily learn the material. Let’s just imagine, a traditional teacher who used to teach with books, copy-books, blackboard, and so on, now goes for digital solutions and must find the best version to overcome the situation and integrate into the environment. Many creators who shift into e-learning consider blended learning which is a type of hybrid between online teaching and classroom. This is a good choice if you also do not concentrate on online classes vs traditional classes.
When choosing this or that teaching method, education providers take into consideration their subject matter, the niche, the features that will be required to transfer knowledge in that specific industry-related content, the preferences of the target market of the learners, and many more points. In the case of online learning, focusing on a specific teaching method becomes even more challenging. Discovery-based learning is an accepted approach to the teaching process.
Challenges of Online Learning #8 A Lack of Credibility
In the digital environment, it is difficult to trust people, so trainers may feel a lack of credibility. It is normal that the learners may not immediately trust you without learning about your previous experience, your level of knowledge and skills, or at least your previous students’ opinion about you and your teaching services.
To tell more about yourself and evoke credibility, you are highly recommended to create a network. Start using social media in your educational business, share some tips and tricks, pieces of advice, and any form of content your potential learners will be interested in. Social media is a great support in e-learning that will help you in this regard. You may also share blog articles, record videos for YouTube or something related that you think will be useful. Take into consideration that such content should be free in order to arouse the potential learners’ interest make them trust your quality knowledge. Once everything is done properly, they will come back to your educational material (paid courses, lessons, webinars, etc.).
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