The pros and cons of online course delivery

Worldwide, universities are heavily curtailing in-person instruction and drastically reducing housing.  The origination of universities was predicated on the necessity of bringing great minds together as a way of sharing and generating knowledge.  Of course, today we have digital technology that can unify scholars in ways previously unimaginable.  We at Unemployed Professors want to draw you into a very vital and relevant discussion about the merits of online instruction in an unprecedented era of its widespread adoption, in the wake of COVID-19. In this article the staff at Unemployed Professors review the pros and cons of online course delivery.

As universities scrambled to bring their courses online, the entire complexion of post-secondary education has shifted.  There are several advantages to online learning:

  • Flexible Learning: Since digital classrooms can be accessed anytime, anywhere, online courses offer students the opportunity to learn at their own pace and according to their schedule. Mandatory classroom attendance at a specific time and place necessarily excludes a lot of potential students in an era in which lifestyles are frequently hectic.
  • Individualized Learning: The greater emphasis on independent work naturally facilitates a more personalized education, since students can study according to their learning preferences and proclivities. Additionally, in an online milieu, more introverted and retiring students will not be penalized for not speaking in class.
  • Caters to All Students: Parents and the elderly will benefit strongly from the online learning platform. Those with children will enjoy the flexibility of online courses, which they can fit into their complicated schedules.  And the elderly, who are often intimidated by joining a classroom of much younger peers, and who have difficulty relating to their fellow students, will be consoled by the anonymity of identity provided in online learning.

Against these pros we must also weigh the cons of online learning:

  • Stigma: Credit in online courses may be deemed a cheap substitute for classroom equivalents. Often, the reputation of digital learning as inferior will tarnish an applicant’s credentials and weaken her chance of getting a job.
  • Greater Discipline: Keeping up one’s motivation and maintaining pace with class assignments may be more challenging in the online milieu. Greater flexibility and the free-form nature of online learning mean that students must be more disciplined in time-management and organization.
  • Less Mentorship: With less one-to-one teaching and interaction with instructors, students struggle to form close bonds with mentors who can inspire and lead them. Additionally, inability to ask questions in-person can lead to huge lags in getting them answered, depending on the professor.

The coronavirus has forever revolutionized university education, ushering in change that will likely outlast its demise.  This is because online learning brings several advantages that will benefit students, including flexibility, individualization, and diversification of student base.  It is also prudent to acknowledge its defects, which include the possible inferiority of online education in some cases, the intense discipline it demands, and the cost to mentorship and motivation.

With that in mind, ask the team of academic professionals at any questions you may have regarding their college writing services and they will be more than happy to guide you along the arduous path!

James Sullivan
the authorJames Sullivan