Education has been witnessing a steady shift to the online world over the past few years. Leaving behind rote learning in physical classrooms, schools, universities, and other institutes around the world are now offering online learning solutions that enable people to access education from anywhere they might be.
While this revolution has had several benefits, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, as it allowed students to attend their classes regardless of the physical restrictions levied by lockdowns the world over, the approach comes with its fair share of challenges.
This blog will dive into five key challenges in online education for teachers and students alike and what institutes can do to bridge these gaps.
Table of Contents:
- What are the Five Key Challenges in Online Education in 2023?
1.1 Decreased Resolutions to Technical Issues
1.2 An Increasing Lack of Motivation
1.3 The Lack of Technology to Access Online Education
1.4 An Increasing Feeling of Isolation
1.5 The Challenge of Keeping Students Engaged
- Who is Likely to Face Challenges in Online Education?
- How to Overcome the Challenges in Online Education?
What are the Five Key Challenges in Online Education in 2023?
1. Decreased Resolutions to Technical Issues
Online education has only been made possible due to the immense role played by technology. This could be in the form of the devices students use to access their programs online, the massive platforms that provide these programs, or even the devices both students and teachers use to access these resources.
While this whole ecosystem has improved access to education on the whole, it also means that any technical issues now have to be dealt with at an individual level.
For instance, the sudden switch to online education during the pandemic came with a huge learning curve, especially for teachers who weren’t as accustomed to using technology as younger students were.
To further complicate this, any issues with their devices, difficulty in understanding the interface, or more, had to be dealt with by the teachers themselves by seeking their kids’ help or that of those around them. This is one of the key challenges that can be a barrier to accessing this technology.
2. An Increasing Lack of Motivation
One of the biggest changes the shift to online education has brought about is an increasing lack of motivation. This is because students are often more motivated to engage with their academic courses in a physical environment around their peers and teachers.
With the switch to online learning, however, the lack of a friendly and competitive environment often takes away from a feeling of urgency and the importance of time management.
This, in turn, affects their ability to meet deadlines, attend their classes on time, and progress in their learning. Further, it makes students more prone to get distracted, especially with the immense amount of content available online.
3. The Lack of Technology to Access Online Education
According to a study conducted by the Pew Research Center, one-third of households with children between the ages of 6-17 and an annual income that falls below $30,000 have no access to high-speed internet at home.
This digital divide prevents this group of students from being able to access a commodity as essential as their K-12 level education.
While the US has been significantly increasing its investments in e-learning, this gap is yet to be bridged. Further, students’ preference for a fully virtual system of learning is also relatively low.
65% of teens in the US say that they would like to return to school in person post-pandemic, displaying a strong preference for learning with their peers present in person.
4. An Increasing Feeling of Isolation
The sudden shift to online education has also led to increased feelings of isolation, as students no longer have their peers around them to be able to rely on.
After all, human beings are social animals, and human interaction is crucial from a psychological perspective. This is possibly one of the biggest challenges in online education.
While the quiet and alone time that comes with studying from home can benefit some, it often leads to demotivation for others. This sense of demotivation also makes it easy for them to get distracted.
Further, the preference for studying in school is one of the primary factors influencing the statistics mentioned in the previous section.
5. The Challenge of Keeping Students Engaged
While it’s common for students to feel a sense of boredom, demotivation, or even isolation, tackling these issues in a constructive manner can also be challenging for teachers.
This is because online education doesn’t offer them the luxury of curating engaging modes of studying or collaborative projects the way they would in a physical classroom.
As a result, teachers also have to think of new ways to keep their students engaged to ensure that they remain motivated, manage their time well, and progress well academically.
Who is Likely to Face Challenges in Online Education?
The challenges in online education mentioned above are just the tip of the iceberg. There are several more ways in which online education, at its current nascent stage, can prove to be challenging to all its stakeholders.
Among these, those directly involved in the process of dispensing this education and receiving it (teachers and students) are bound to deal with these challenges on a daily basis.
However, teachers can only do so much when they’re separated from their students via a screen, and this is where ed-tech companies and those that curate online courses must find intuitive ways of making the learning experience a lot more wholesome and engaging for students and teachers alike.
Moreover, those from comparatively underprivileged backgrounds are likely to face these challenges far more intensely, as they often deal with a lot more when it comes to the digital divide, isolation, or even distractions as a result of them having to contribute to their finances.
How to Overcome the Challenges in Online Education?
While institutes around the world are witnessing a return to the physical learning model, online education and its adoption among students are only bound to increase with time.
With this in mind, several strategies and solutions can go a long way in mitigating the barriers that online education can bring about. Some of these include the following:
- An increase in awareness among students about their prospective programs and their technological requirements can help them make the right decision about whether or not they will be able to access the course material once enrolled.
- Institutes must make it a point to provide a strong student support system, which could be in the form of IT support, so issues can be dealt with in a timely and stress-free manner.
- Encouraging pupils to set goals for their learning journey can help them stay motivated, thereby increasing their participation and improving their willingness to put distractions aside.
- A strong student and alumni network can go a long way in helping negate feelings of isolation, as learners can easily reach out to those around them if they ever need to.
We’ve listed some of the most common challenges that online education brings with it. However, with the industry still at a very nascent stage and with countries investing more money with every passing year into online education, the scenario is bound to change.
We’re more likely to see intuitive solutions to some of these challenges to ensure everyone benefits from online learning with no barriers standing in their way. Hurix Digital’s K-12 and Higher Education Solutions are making massive headways in bridging this gap to make online education more accessible and intuitive for all its beneficiaries.