Upside of online learning

How online courses make it easier for students to learn

Eryn Tan Zhi Ying, Staff Writer

a photo of a desk with a laptop on it
Photo illustration by Marissa Lordahl

Being able to attend classes from home assists in student learning as they are able to choose where they attend their classes. Each student knows what kind of environment they learn best in and attending classes from home allows the student to create their own personalized learning environment that will heighten their concentration and understanding in a way that a classroom does not always allow. There are many possible challenges in online learning, but there are also important benefits to consider.
The priority to take care of the health and well-being of the people who attend and the people serving students has to come first\; and online learning is a part of that. But it allows for more than just safety.
One beneficial aspect of online learning is that every student may attend class from their home. This can provide a comfortable and familiar environment to learn in and, in times such as these, it is a welcome contrast to the uncomfortable and unfamiliar environment of the world right now.
Since the dorms have stayed open for students, if it is financially possible, some students can find safety in their dorm rooms. This can provide emotional support to the student, allowing them to have a calmer and more orderly mind which will facilitate their learning.
Aside from the pivotal fact that it safeguards the health of students during this pandemic, online learning may also benefit students’ learning process.
Students can create their own study space in their house, or they may go outside to study in the tranquillity of nature or the slightly busier environment of a park. Whichever they do, online learning allows the student more agency to integrate their own study styles that most encourages their learning.
Another advantage that comes with online learning is that it saves the student’s time by removing the need for commuting or walking to class. Some students live on campus and, in the business of running to classes, might not notice how the time walking around the campus to get to class accumulates throughout the day.
Online learning eliminates this time commitment by allowing students to get to class with the click of a button. Though this benefit is more noticeable for students who commuted to campus, students who lived in walking distance also benefit as they save an hour or so that they would have used walking around campus or waiting for classes to start.
So by saving time for students, online learning facilitates the student’s learning as it frees up the student’s schedule to get more work done, revise their work or take more breaks. Having more time to do all this will also reduce the stress that the student may feel toward their studies and creating more time and energy to be focused on schoolwork.
Even though online learning has always been a way to pursue secondary education in this virtual age, some students may begrudgingly face this switch to a digital format, because of the uncomfortable change they face.
On the other hand, there are other students that struggle with courses held over Zoom and Microsoft Teams because of unreliable Wi-Fi, differences in timezones and electronics that they may have trouble accessing, depending on their living situations.
This is why universities are taking more initiative to guide their students to the online resources available to them and instruct them on how to use those resources to better their educational experience.
Online learning also brings students’ attention to all the online resources that they may have previously taken for granted.
Universities are designed to be resources of knowledge and often have various online resources available to aid their students’ education. These online resources can make researching topics easier, provide more detailed information on subjects and access more services and materials than physical resources would.
But some students might not recognize or utilize these resources because they can easily pick up a book from the library or talk to a librarian in person. Students are being encouraged to take advantage of the valuable online resources of their universities.
Online learning also benefits students because it allows professors to record their lectures and post it for the students to watch on their own time.
Students can then choose when they are most receptive and focused to watch the lectures, making it easier for them to concentrate and retain information. Recorded lectures also benefit the student as the student may now learn at their own pace, pausing the lecture to take notes or stopping it to take a much-needed break. Learning at their own pace will allow the student to focus more on the lecture and, thus, facilitate their learning the way they need to.
Though online learning remains unfamiliar and disorienting, there are many potential benefits to this learning format. During these times of distress and anxiety, it may be better for us to look on the bright side of things and make the most of our situations.