The Advantages and Disadvantages of Online Classes

It has become very common for students to take online classes these days. Not only as their free choice for personalized online courses but students are also forced to take online classes at schools, colleges, and universities, especially after the pandemic COVID-19, which has previously caused the lockdown in many countries for days and even months.


Online classes are a form of distance education by a teacher to one or more students over the Internet using computational devices such as mobile phones, tablets, laptops, or computers. It is also known by other words like online learning, e-learning, digital education, etc. The trend of online classes is still widely used; however, there are some advantages and disadvantages of online classes that we must know.

In this article, we have covered both the advantages and disadvantages of online classes. Let’s check them out:


Advantages and Disadvantages of Online Classes

Advantages of Online Classes

Below, we discuss some of the main benefits or advantages of online classes:

1) Convenient, and Flexible

Online classes are extremely convenient and flexible for students and teachers in various ways. The timings and schedules for classes can be adjusted as per the flexibility of both. Both students and teachers have access to online classes from the comfort of home. Hence, students need not carry their heavy bags full of books and travel to attend in-person physical classes. 

Online classes, being conducted on computational devices, can be recorded and shared. This makes it easier for students to access learning materials multiple times in the future as per convenience. Also, the availability of a wide range of options like images, videos, and PDFs makes learning easier for students and teaching for teachers or instructors.

If for any reason the teacher is not present at the scheduled time of the digital class, students are free to use this time for other work, be it study, play, or homework. Similarly, if the student has an important task at the scheduled time, he/she can request to reschedule the class or access the digitally shared content or recorded class videos in free time.

2) Less in Cost

Online classes are more affordable or cost-effective than traditional offline classes. The significant impact of cost savings relates to travel expenses or parking expenses. With offline classes, schools and colleges often charge irrelevant money in the name of maintenance, functions, seminars, projects, sports, etc. Due to digital classes, students usually do not need to pay such unnecessary amounts while studying.


Nowadays mobile phones and internet connections are available in almost every middle-class family. Students can easily join their online classes using these two sources. With online classes, teachers can teach students using information from the Internet, reducing the need for so many books. It also helps in saving a good amount for financially weak students.

Since online classes are taken from the comfort of homes, students are usually not forced to wear any specific school uniform. Even though some schools ask students to wear uniforms in digital classrooms, parents are free to buy the uniforms on their own. They are usually not forced to obtain uniforms from schools or affiliated vendors. It helps the parents to save some money which is earned by the schools as commission.

3) Maximum Attendance

With the comfort of home and parental guidance, students typically attend most online classes. Even if the student is not at home, he/she can attend the online class on a mobile phone while traveling or from other places. This helps in increasing the attendance percentage, resulting in a somewhat higher education rate among the students.

Apart from this, it has also been observed that when forced to go to schools/colleges to attend offline classes, many students bunk their classes and go to play sports. Online classes have also reduced class bunk scenarios.


4) Better Attention

Unlike traditional in-person classes, online classes are often conducted with a limited number of students. With offline classes, it is often seen that back-benchers do not get the proper attention of a teacher and even a proper view of the contents being taught by a teacher on board. This is not the case in online classes. In online classes, every student has equal access to the same content.

Since every student is treated almost equally, students do not feel afraid or ashamed to ask questions and clear their doubts in online classes. Additionally, students also get the availability to communicate with the teacher over text, chat, and phone calls. This allows students to ask their questions personally at any time, even without informing other students.

The more attention is given to each student, the better the result of education.

5) Limited Competition

Since the number of students in individual online classes is often limited, there is generally less intense competition among students. This to some extent helps the students to feel less stressed, and more relaxed, helping them boost their self-confidence. Due to limited competition, students pay more attention to their studies and remain mentally fit.

Even though the competition is limited in digital classrooms, students with a focused mindset always try to be on top. In this way, students take advantage of internet access from home to enhance self-study and expand their knowledge to beat the competitors.

6) Tech-Learning

Since online classes are conducted over the Internet using computational devices like computers, laptops, smartphones, and tablets, teachers as well as students are forced to learn how to operate these devices. With constant focus and practice, they soon learn to handle such devices and become tech-savvy with digital learning.


Being tech-savvy with online classes, students and even children are often seen guiding their parents or elder family members to operate the devices like mobile phones, tablets, laptops, etc. This can be considered an essential advantage as most of the jobs in today's technological era require tech-savvy employees.

Many teachers and even students have created their accounts on social media platforms including YouTube. With a sufficient number of followers and unique content, they can also earn decent amounts of money on the internet.

7) Worldwide Connectivity

With online classes, students are not limited to their individual school or university. They can learn things or educate themselves from any specific school or university in the world, thereby making education accessible to all.

Getting digital education is very helpful for those students who are thinking of taking a degree abroad but there are some financial problems or restrictions on traveling there. They can contact the respective college/university and attend online classes from home. In addition, digital learning has provided a better education for students in many global rural areas where there are no professional teachers.

Disadvantages of Online Classes

The increasing use of online classes is causing various problems in society. Following are some of the main problems or disadvantages of online classes:


1) Lack of Focus

It becomes difficult for many students to focus on their learning during online classes. They often struggle to focus on the screen for long periods of time. Many reasons may distract students from studying online as digital classes are conducted through computational devices such as smartphones, tablets, or laptop computers.

As we all know, computational devices are the primary source of entertainment these days, be it for music, videos, movies, or games. Moreover, modern devices can easily handle multiple tasks at a time. Such features often distract students while studying and attract them to entertainment content.

Apart from this, another primary concern for most of the students is the performance of their devices during the online class. Older or low-end devices often perform slowly due to heavy loads which cause irritation during virtual classes. Also, slow internet causes trouble during class. In addition, these devices can receive phone calls during the study, send regular notifications from social apps and display random ads, etc. Due to all these reasons, students get distracted from their subject studies.

2) Health Problems

With online classes, students are constantly forced to focus on the device screen for long hours. Looking at the screen of the device makes the eyes dry and causes eye strain, headache, etc. This often leads to weak eyesight in the future. This is the reason why many children nowadays prefer eyeglasses while studying.


In addition, prolonged and improper use of computational devices can negatively affect human health in many other ways. When sitting in front of the screen continuously for a long time, students may feel pain in areas of the body like the neck, back, waist, etc. This can result in serious injury over time with comparatively prolonged use.

3) Lack of Social Skills

The biggest disadvantage of online classes is considered to be the lack of social skills. When students are completely dependent on online learning, they spend most of their time with computational devices. They become familiar as well as addicted to these devices over time and start spending a lot of their time alone at home. This sometimes creates a nature to live alone or in isolation.

Both teachers and students can feel a sense of isolation with continuous classes online for a relatively long period. This is usually due to little to no physical communication from person to person. This not only removes cooperative skills but also does not create socialization skills. In such a situation, people are unable to share small problems with others and often feel depressed.

4) No Practical

Online classes are not effective for all subjects and streams. Many fields, including science, technology, engineering, medical science, and many other disciplines, require practical or hands-on learning. In such situations, instructors need to use certain equipment in specific areas such as the laboratory to properly teach the particular concept.

Thus, one cannot clearly teach or learn anything practical with online classes. However, such practical knowledge is essential to develop certain skills in specific streams.


5) No Discipline

It is often seen that some students do not respect their instructor or teachers during online classes. They are also not afraid of teachers and joke or talk unnecessarily during class. Additionally, some students take it to a whole new level. They even cheat in online exams as teachers cannot physically supervise them. As a result, some students do not learn discipline while studying online.

Also, when students go to offline classes, they usually learn to sit among people, interact with them, respect each other, work as a team, etc. They become friendly with such an environment of sitting for long periods at some other place than home. This, in the future, helps the students to adjust easily to the corporate environment during their job. However, students taking online classes don't practice sitting in such an environment which could be problematic in future jobs.

6) Online Frauds

Although there are many benefits to using computational devices and the Internet, some people take advantage of it to do a variety of frauds to make money or to bully people. Students (especially children) can easily fall into such online frauds while taking online classes.

Usually, students are attracted by an advertisement giving them free prizes. These ads are often sent through some unwanted apps, or fake sites or links. Students are asked to pay a small security deposit or delivery fee to receive their huge winning prizes. Later, students often share their details including some personal and financial details. Once students get trapped, they often share the card details of their parents, causing serious financial loss to parents' earnings.

In addition, there may be many fake educational or learning courses on the internet, which students can join after paying a decent amount. There is always a security threat when one is connected to the internet. Students or children often get caught up in such online frauds.


7) Not Eco-Friendly

If online classes are promoted to the majority, there will be a significant increase in the number of computational devices in the environment. The rays and heat originating from these computational electronic devices negatively affect the atmosphere. As the number of these devices increases, the need for more and more energy increases as a higher number of devices will lead to more consumption.

It is often seen that most of the people change or upgrade their devices as soon as new technology is added or more features are provided with new devices. In such a situation, their old devices very soon become garbage and are thrown away. Most computational devices contain heavy metals, such as lead and many other toxic chemicals that can pollute soil and even contaminate groundwater.

Summary

Although online classes are extremely convenient and flexible for both students and teachers, there are some major drawbacks. Hence, it is good to conduct both online and offline classes for a fixed time duration to balance the overall impact on the students.

In this way, online classes will make technology accessible to students but for a limited period of time, helping them avoid health issues. Also, the offline classes will teach them to connect with people face to face, build discipline, and self-confidence, and respect everyone equally in real life.


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