Many students were first introduced to online learning for the first time because of Covid-19-related school closures. As the closures extended, students and parents alike began to have stronger opinions on the learning style.
On one hand, some strongly disliked learning through a monitor — understandably so! On the other hand, some students enjoyed how flexible online learning was, and thrived with their individual learning styles.
So, is online learning just a weaker, less effective version of in-person class? How does it compare, and what unique advantages does it have over face-to-face school?
Online learning is when students learn in a completely virtual environment with a computer or a smart device, and it’s more common than you might think!
Think if you or your child has:
Surprise! These are all different forms of online learning!
Working with others on shared google docs, and discussing learning topics through zoom are also part of the online learning experience — online collaboration is how students can communicate and learn from different perspectives, fostering important teamwork skills.
Now that in-person school has resumed for most people, will online learning go away? The answer is: probably not!
Online learning has many advantages that simply cannot be overlooked, such as
Boring, one-sided lectures don’t only exist on zoom, they also exist in the classroom! The only way for students to interact with the teacher is to raise their hand and ask a question, which happens rarely both online and offline.
Low interaction level decreases students’ learning motivation, which is something we all don’t want
With the help of online learning tools, there are so many more ways that students and teachers can interact with each other. Teachers can engage students through
Aside from increased interaction, online learning can also increase learning motivation by allowing students to have control over their learning.
In an education system where teachers are the centrepiece of learning, many students adopt the mindset of “if the teacher doesn’t teach it, I won’t learn it.”
Online learning gives students access to a wide range of resources on the web and channels to discover new knowledge. With the help of online resources and search engines, students can research and gain a deeper understanding of topics that interest them.
With this learning style, students are rewarded by satiating their curiosity rather than merely a grade on their report cards, fostering a mindset of continuous learning.
Most online learning platforms have advanced data systems that track students’ progress and performance. It helps teachers to know what a student needs help with, so the appropriate resources can be allocated to help them.
On the other hand, students can monitor their progress easily and strive to improve. While they shouldn’t obsess over grades, having guidance on what to look out for (eg. careless mistakes) definitely helps students become more responsible and more prepared
Kids are messy, forgetful and easily distracted. Online learning helps with that.
All in all, online learning allows students to access previous resources easily.
Deadlines make learning stressful, and many students lose the sense of enjoyment in the learning process from battling with time.
Many students enjoyed online learning because they could learn anytime and anywhere they wanted, at their own pace.
Motivated students are free to learn and complete assignments the teacher had planned ahead, while others can have more time studying the material with the time they saved from having to travel back and forth from school.
And of course, not having to commute frequently makes learning a more comfortable experience.
Last but not least, regular interaction with technology through online learning equips students with adequate technological literacy to maneuver the 21st century.
Much of the work comes from online learning elements of graphic design, video editing or even coding, which are the ways that the world communicates nowadays. This gives students a huge advantage.
Online learning does cause increased screen time, but teachers can use this opportunity to teach about the importance of a balanced lifestyle from an earlier age, preparing them well for the future.
A recent study shows that up to 88% of teachers incorporate video into classes at least once a week. Video classes could be in the form of a video live stream, recorded lectures or educational videos
The benefits of online videos include
Example of online learning videos: Big Bang STEAM
Online readers are modern alternatives to heavy encyclopedias you can only find in the library! With online readers and textbooks, kids can learn at home or even on vacation!
Benefits of online readers include
Examples of online readers: Khan Academy Kids
Kids love interactive online learning games! These types of games and activities could range from online simulation games to video-guided experiment crafts!
Benefits of online learning games include
Not only can online learning boast effective learning, it also teaches students many valuable skills.
A study found that 60% of students feel that online learning increased learning motivation as well as decreased learning-related stress. Being able to discover new knowledge on their own under a relatively flexible schedule allows students to enjoy the learning process more.
Beyond that, 65% of students found that online learning opened doors to greater and more exciting learning experiences.
From teachers’ perspective, 80% of schools found that online learning was able to increase learning motivation. 59% of them also believed the medium was able to provide more learning opportunities to students.
With students and teachers both appreciating the benefit, the advantages of online learning are clear!
To sum it up, the benefits of online learning are
Even though in-person school has started again, it doesn’t mean online learning is going to disappear any time soon!
In fact, educators in Hong Kong have been pushing for online learning for the past 15 years! With new research and innovation, kids will be learning even more online than ever before.
A key advantage of online learning is how accessible it is! Nowadays, people from all walks of life are learning online without having to enrol in school, especially those in the workforce who learn to improve their skill set!
Growing up in an ever-changing world, children will have to constantly learn, adapt and improve in order to succeed. That’s why it’s so important for them to fall in love with learning early on in life and gain learning motivation!
Combining Cambridge educator-directed video lessons with interactive hands-on experiments, Big Bang STEAM has everything your kids will need to fall in love with STEM! Equip your child with the STEM knowledge and motivated mindset to succeed in the future through
Sign up now with 55% off and transform your child into a curious, motivated and adaptable learner!
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Maison is a content writer at Big Bang Academy. Inspired by innovation, Maison strives to showcase the latest science learning solutions to the world.