Online learning has been on trend for quite some time but not as much as a compulsion as it is ever since COVID 19 struck our world. Despite its many advantages like greater flexibility and easier accessibility to resources, online learning throws up several challenges for learners.
In November 2020, TEQSA released a report on Student Experience of Online Learning Quality in Australia in which 41% of respondents cited IT problems, while 34% pointed out inadequate academic interaction. Further, 29% of responses highlighted lack of engagement and peer interaction, 30% of students had grouses against assessment modes, while 7% – 15% of respondents tackled issues like finances, lack of motivation, isolation, etc.
The list of challenges revealed in the TEQSA report is as long as two scores but can be thematically segmented as:
Teaching and learning and professional accreditation
Moving away from conventional face-to-face teaching has led to a lack of engagement, a perceived notion of inadequate academic inputs, and minimal collaborative efforts between peers.
Assessment and academic integrity
The quality of academic content and delivery online, the load of continuous assessments, and adjustments made to the grading system to incorporate fairness into the evaluation process has raised questions about academic integrity.
Causes of concern in the context of technological hindrances range from no or limited access to computational devices to lack of digital proficiency, connectivity issues, and the overwhelming volume of lectures one has to attend in real time.
Student welfare and wellbeing
Keeping oneself motivated to pursue online classes, while in isolation from peer-group, can affect the mental health of students profusely.
Tackling the Challenges
There are challenges in online learning that you cannot do anything about, like accreditation, assessment or content quality issues. But, until you return to the physical campus, it is best to adapt to the scene so that your learning doesn’t stop. Let us check out some measures suggested by experts at Learning Cloud Australia for you to cope with some of the challenges.
- Approach your professors or course coordinators for any small issue that you face in academics. Engage with them in class, ask questions, do not sit with your doubts.
- Interact with your peers virtually even beyond class hours to build up a camaraderie. Form groups to compete and complete assignments. Let the sense of competition drive you.
- Set feasible milestones to motivate yourself. Plot each activity and project in your planner so that you get ample time to complete them beside your self-study and social engagement.
- Staying confined at home yet slogging away at your desk can seem bleak. Engage in activities that uplift your mood. Pep up your study area with good lighting or some repurposed artwork to inject excitement into the scene.
More and more people are benefitting from the accessibility and flexible features of online learning. Whether it altogether replaces face-to-face learning is yet to unravel. Yet, it is undeniable that the future lies in eLearning. So, buckle up and adapt to grow and never stop learning.