The issue of high tuition rates, course shortages, and funding cuts confronting conventional universities and colleges has prompted some students to seek an alternate method of learning other than full-time attendance. Furthermore, online learning programs, which are an alternative to face-to-face learning, have grown in popularity with learners who work full-time because it allows them to focus on their job while still learning. Online courses are adaptable, comfortable, and offer a conducive atmosphere for the advancement of professional skills. But we cannot rule out its disadvantages such as limited chances of meeting professionals and friends who are useful in the career development and lack of structure. Despite the drawbacks of online learning platform, students who are fully employed would find it more desirable to expand their academic knowledge through this program just as the way it could happen in face-to-face education. Both the learning institutions and learners in the online program are capable of getting the best way to deal with the challenges, otherwise, it just as effective as a face-to-face program of education for a full-time working student.
The convenient nature of online courses is one of the advantages making it desirable for full-time working students. The students taking online courses have the opportunity to continue with their learning and at the same time remain at work. The time that would be consumed to travel to college can now be diverted to work. Also, the learner can find a comfortable place for studies rather than being disturbed by noise from fellow students moving in classrooms. Lecturers can submit learning materials electronically to the students to read at their comfort time and place. Assignments can also be sent to the learner through electronic means and submitted back for marking via the same means. Furthermore, the students would not have to fight traffic during rush hours to attend class since they can do their studies even in the offices where they work.
Online course also tends to be flexible. The flexibility nature of online learning gives it an advantage over face-to-face education. Students who are fully engaged in work and lack the ability to attend the traditional face-to-face education can have the opportunity to take their classes online. Where the employment cannot allow the learner to attend classes during normal hours, he or she can make arrangement for weekends or evening hours’ classes after work and take part of the course online. Its flexibility nature also saves money that would be used to travel to the learning institution as well as the costs of tuition fees the student would have paid if he or she had to be in school on the full-time program.
On the other hand, the student taking his or her course online will be disadvantaged due to limited social interaction. People learning online will only have the materials to interact with and no opportunity to share with others during the learning process. Socialization is necessary for networking and sharing ideas during discussions in the classes. The traditional face-to-face learning is characterized by informal social interactions where peers play and share their thoughts together, a process that helps in installing a sense of community in the learners. The fact that you can ask questions directly to the teachers and get explanation instantly makes face-to-face education more desirable than online. Additionally, you can hear the views of fellow students on the topic which is suitable for knowledge expansion. A person who wants to know much about other people culture and how they behave should go for the traditional face-to-face learning and not online one.
Another disadvantage of online course is seen in the fact that it lacks formal structure and only self-disciplined students can survive. Students do their assignments at their convenient time without close supervision by the instructors. Also, you don’t have to meet your instructor regularly for guidance. Therefore, the learner must have self-disciplined to complete his or her assignment on time and use learning materials as required by the instructors.
Anything with pros must have cons. The cons of online course which include poor structure and limited social interaction seem to have solutions, and I can confidently say that a full time working students should consider online learning as the best option. For example, the solution to the issue of the structure lies with the student. He or she only have to be a disciple to complete the assignment within the scheduled time and submit them for marking. Likewise to the problem of limited social interaction, the learner should involve fellow students in online discussions and interact with teachers on such platforms to have their questions solved. The student should also read more on the topic using online materials to expand his or her understanding. Otherwise with the current technology learning has become essay and there is no need for people working on a full-time basis to move to the learning institutions. The students can take his or online courses at their convenient places and hours to allow they continue with their work.