Since the inception of the internet and other technological gadgets, so many aspects of life have taken a 3600 turn. From simple and basic things like house chores to complex things like communication, we are eliminating the barrier of distance and saving time.
With regard to education, there have been so many changes, but the most amazing one would be that learning is now not only limited to the four walls of the classroom. A practical and universal example was when there was an international outbreak of the COVID-19 and a lot of countries shut down public gatherings including schools.
Rather than let the education of a billion kids be affected, schools turned to platforms like Google Classroom, Zoom, Google meeting to continue their academic sessions.
This form of learning is referred to as distance learning and it has numerous advantages. The major benefit is flexibility in location and learning materials. Meaning that I can be miles away from my teacher and the class still is ongoing.
However, it would be surprising to note that they have their imperfections too. Here are some of these problems and ways they can be solved:
Lack of tutor’s physical assistance
For some courses that have a lot to do with one-to-one interaction, the distance might be a problem. Classes that include art courses like music, fine art, and environmental sciences like chemistry fall into this category. The need for guidance by the instructor varies depending on the student but total elimination can pose threat to the education.
According to assignmentgeek.com a solution to this would be to schedule one on one meetings with the lecturer from time to time. Where this might not be possible for people with a large distance difference and location barrier, you could meet with professionals in that field around you or work with a tutor.
Lack of student-to-student relationship.
Despite the resemblance that this might have with the point listed above, they are different things. Student-to-student relationships come in the form of group discussions, answering questions, and defending points outside the classroom. This feature could however be eliminated when the classroom itself is eliminated and you have no idea who your colleagues are.
A solution would be to create or search for online platforms that connect people like you with the same interest. For example, Ablo is an online platform where you can chat with people all over the world; suitable for language learners. You could also create WhatsApp or Telegram links and have their links circulated; it might just amaze you to see the number of people with similar interests and courses.
Lack of Motivation
There is an effect that the school environment has on students. There’s this pressure and consciousness it gives them concerning their academics. When it comes to distance learning, the only school environments are their technological gadgets and their materials and there is only a little pressure that this can exert on students.
A solution would be that students exert internal pressure on themselves in the absence of external stimuli. At the end of the day, it is all up to them to decide their attitude towards the learning process, whether the environment is encouraging or not. At this point, the platforms advised in the earlier point could come in handy.
As distance learning involves the use of phones, iPad, and computers, there will be an overwhelming amount of distractions. Notifications from various apps, various games, and social media apps stay on the screen and can quickly suck in attention thus wasting time.
There will be many times when innocent Google searches will slowly evolve into hours of scrolling through social media pages. An innocent search on YouTube can lead to many channels you never thought you’d reach.
A solution would be to turn off data or Wi-Fi when not in use. However, that solution might not be effective enough as most of these learning platforms utilize mobile data.
A more suitable solution would be to turn off app notifications through settings and freeze these distracting apps using app freezers (a feature that accompanies some gadgets). If possible and not too drastic, you can go as far as uninstalling these apps.
Some students due to location or other issues do not have access to great internet or well-equipped technological gadgets.
A solution would be to provide recorded or soft copy materials that can be accessed by the students at any time. Also, institutions can go as far as making sure that the students have all they need to undergo this method of learning, most especially if it wasn’t started early enough. Students should also try as much as possible to put themselves in favorable conditions.
On the surface, distance learning could be cheap but when all the underlying costs are analyzed, they don’t look so cheap anymore. If these extra payments are not considered, students could end up being frustrated and quitting.
A solution would be to analyze possible costs, most especially all that have to do with accessing the internet. If possible, students could also ask questions from those who have taken the courses before on similar platforms.
Then, a mini-budget can be made and some money set aside for when the demand arises. The key is noting that distance learning is just like every other learning process, and it equally comes at a cost, underlying or clearly stated.
Distance learning is a lifesaver for so many students with issues of location and other issues. However, they can pose certain problems that can make the learning process difficult and the goals set unattainable. Still, every problem has a possible solution and so do these problems.
If utilized well, distance learning can be a way you bag the certificates or learn the skills that you need in your day-to-day life. So many people have used and are still using this method of learning.