In these modern times, can anyone argue that the internet does not provide better and more timely learning experiences? Can anyone dare to say that it does not provide access to real-time information from far away? Today, the world has literally shifted from the ground to the internet. So much so that even people buy groceries online, let alone products like books or mobile covers! With such inundation, we cannot ignore the internet as an entity in our lives. In that very spirit, the education sector today is growing by leaps and bounds because of the available online platforms.
However, when online learning was first introduced, it was met with a lot of negative feedback. Many did not understand the value of education taught so differently from traditional learning, which only happened within the confines of a classroom. However, that did not stop online learning from successfully becoming a large part of today’s educational sector. Today’s online learning is not what it was when it was first introduced.
Let’s debunk a few of the myths about online education that are commonly proffered by critics:
Myth # 1: Online education is costly.
People concoct some outrageous ideas sometimes and spread the web of ignorance. This myth is a perfect example. People harp about random ‘hidden costs’ and similar things about online education. It’s partly because of the typical ‘fear of the unknown,’ but this notion is far from the truth.
On the contrary, online education happens to be much cheaper than physical educational sources. It’s because the amount of manpower involved in online education, the overheads, and infrastructural costs are much less than that of conventional methods of education. Today, we see almost every person having at least a mobile, if not a laptop. Thus, all that one needs is a smartphone (or laptop) and a sound net connection to get you started learning in the cozy comforts of your home. In the words of Dr. Shashi Tharoor, “Today’s India is upwardly mobile. Figuratively and literally.”
Myth # 2: Online classes are easy.
We hate to burst your bubble, but if you’re enrolling in an accredited program, this is simply not the case! Perhaps reading this myth got you a little excited and hopeful that online education would be a simpler option. Students access learning materials and connect with classmates via a virtual classroom online. They can also study and interact at times convenient for them. It’s this flexibility that makes online education ‘easier’.
Myth # 3: There are no deadlines; you are your own master.
There is a misconception that because a class is online, it is “lazy.” Though there is flexibility to complete coursework around your schedule, there are deadlines for assignments and learning activities just as in a traditional course with a start and end-date. Effective time management is an essential skill for students studying online. There’s little room for procrastination or cramming. Online students must be careful about thinking that they are in control of their due dates and schedules.
Myth # 4: There’ll be no interaction whatsoever, and it’s going to be lonely.
Whether working on a group assignment, conducting research, or studying, online learning is far from lonely. In fact, it is up-front and interactive. Online education offers active learning opportunities that encourage students to communicate and collaborate. Social media platforms are for making learning connections too, not just social ones. Students need to make an effort to get involved, show a presence, and reach out to instructors or classmates for help and guidance.
Myth # 5: You have to be computer-savvy to do well with online education.
Well, you order a pizza with your smartphone with a few simple taps on the touch screen. You share pictures and communicate with your friends and family on your favourite social networks. So, you’re probably a lot more tech savvy than you give yourself credit for. Most of these educational websites are easy-breezy and just about anyone can browse through. Also, platforms for online courses have significantly improved their user interface over the last few years.
Myth # 6: Online educational courses are not recognized.
The entire plank of protest against online education was that they can’t stand the test of a ‘resume’. So, if you have done a course online, then that certificate won’t be recognized by companies and prospective employers. It is the most hare-brained thing I could have possibly heard in my life. Employers look for diligence and earnestness in their prospective employees. They honestly do not give two hoots about where you got your certificate from so long as you have the requisite skills and a piece of paper to justify your degree.
The primary argument for online education is that one can stay at home and study at his/her convenience. One can also pause a video and take his sweet time to understand. Whereas, in a classroom, one has to straddle somehow along with the instructor. Try asking your teachers the same doubt ten times; you won’t get anything more than sullen stares and sarcastic comments (with due respect).
Keeping up with the changing times, portals like Toppr.com have entirely revamped the scene of online education. Judging your level of preparation with a few questions, picking out your weak topics and providing you problem practice in the areas necessary, all at one place – you’ll be amazed at what powers technology has bestowed upon us to make learning a better experience for you!
No matter how much you look at online education with a jaundiced eye, you have to accept that it’s worth trying out at the least. After all, we embrace the future, not shy away from it, right? I am not proposing that the world of the brick-and-mortar education needs to be destroyed. Yet I proffer that technology exists; we should not be afraid to use it.
Did we unveil all the stigmas related to online learning in our myth-busters list? Let us know in the comments below.