eLearning, being the latest wave of education, is already having a fair show despite posing challenges for both instructors and students. While instructors need to put in intensive work and time to design the instruction, students need to equip themselves with technical proficiency to decode the course material. There are 5 common problems faced by students in eLearning classes and which they need to be solved through proper initiatives for the students’ future benefits:
- Adaptability Struggle.
Switching from traditional classroom and face to face instructor training to computer-based training in a virtual classroom makes the learning experience entirely different for students. Their resistance to change doesn’t allow them to adapt to the online learning environment, whereas it takes time for them to get accustomed to Course Management Systems (CMS) and the methods of computer-based education. While passive listening and notes taking are expected in a traditional classroom, online discussions or creating a web page demand springing into action. Students with a “traditional” mindset find it difficult to adapt; however, they need to accept the new learning circumstances with an open mind and heart. Understanding the benefits of eLearning and even discussing them with their peers may change this mindset and better prepare students for online classes
- Technical Issues.
Many students are not provided with the high bandwidth or the strong internet connection that online courses require, and thus fail to catch up with their virtual classmates: Their weak monitors make it hard to follow the Course Management System and their learning experience becomes problematic. Moreover, most of them live off campus and find it difficult to keep in tune with the technical requirements of the chosen course. Some of them don’t even own computers and seek help in Learning Resource Centers for technical assistance. The only solution to this problem is knowing exactly what kind of technological support they will need for a certain course before enrolling in it, as well as properly equipping themselves for the course’s successful completion.
- Computer Literacy.
Although students are generally tech savvy, and thus able to manage computers well, lack of computer literacy is a major issue among students today. Many of them cannot operate basic programs such as Microsoft Word and PowerPoint and therefore are not able to handle their files. Furthermore, many students find fixing basic computer problems troublesome, as they have no knowledge in this area. However, technological proficiency is a must for following online courses, as it enables students to manage their assignments and courseware in an organized manner without struggling. Basic courses in computer literacy enhance students’ knowledge in the field; having a fundamental knowledge of computer hardware would help them participate in online classes without interruptions and hindrances.
- Time Management.
Time management is a difficult task for eLearners, as online courses require a lot of time and intensive work. Furthermore, whereas it is mostly adults who prefer web-based learning programs for their place and time flexibility, they rarely have the time to take the courses due to their various everyday commitments. A regular schedule planner would be a significant help to these learners, as they could even set reminders for their courses and assignments.
Self-motivation is an eLearning essential requirement; however, many online learners lack it, much to their surprise. After enrolling in distance learning courses, many learners fall behind and nurture the idea of giving up, as difficulties in handling a technological medium also seem insurmountable. Students need to find the motivation to follow the new educational trends and also properly equip themselves for future challenges in their education and careers. Only a positive attitude will help them overcome the challenges in eLearning; though this is hard to practice, students need to understand that it is necessary in order to reap the eLearning’s benefits in the future.