Challenges of Distance Learning

Distance education is becoming increasingly popular, the possibility of distance learning is attractive to many people, and the proportion of students receiving education remotely is growing rapidly. The market for electronic educational solutions is also expanding. However, the latter is often far from the potential ideal, and their use is associated with several problems.

Let’s consider in detail what problems may arise during distance learning and how to deal with them. We will also pay attention to the advantages of such a solution, and find out how relevant it is.

Problems of distance education and ways to overcome them

Any innovations in the implementation are accompanied by certain difficulties. Despite the widespread use of distance education, its active users have been observed only during the last five years.

Let’s focus on the problems that students and teachers face when implementing a distance education system.

Problem 1: Technical problems during distance learning

The educational system cannot instantly solve the problem of teacher communication with a large number of students. Lectures are often held for several hundred students at the same time. In such situations, it is sometimes impossible to avoid troubles when some of them do not have access to the image, and others do not hear what the teacher says.

The transfer of all students to distance learning means impressive financial costs for the university. In addition to the technical equipment of the entire teaching staff and students with the necessary devices and software, training of specialized personnel is required. Such employees will assist in the prompt elimination of problems in the training process related to technical problems and failures.

Solution

To solve this problem, you can resort to the help of proven tools that are popular all over the world. As an example, we can take the model of successful online schools and courses. In their work, they use solutions such as:

  • Zoom and Skype video communication applications;
  • tools for working on documents that provide shared access, such as Google Docs;
  • platforms designed for independent work with content.

Phone services can also be extremely helpful, especially at the “hottest” time of any educational institution – the time of the entrance campaign. During this period, applicants especially need various information on the enrollment process, the list of necessary documents, and so on. Use the recommended picks to choose the best provider for such a service. 

Problem 2: The challenge of adjusting to the online environment

This disadvantage is difficult to classify as significant, today there is inevitably a need to master digital technologies. Switching to a new style of work can cause certain inconveniences. It can be especially challenging in the absence of uniform instructions.

Distance Learning

Suggestions for teachers

Tell the students beforehand what to anticipate from the digital format, clarify how much information they must learn, what the learning tactics and how long one lesson will take on average.

Post links to resources where students can find support and relieve emotional stress, for example, such as a psychological help hotline, and sites with various meditation and breathing practices. Encourage students to share tips and strategies that will assist them in adapting to the process.

Suggestions for students

First, adjusting to new realities with an open heart is required. If you experience resistance, acknowledge it and do not blame yourself. Also, concentrate on the pluses of e-learning: you do not need to spend time and resources on transport to get to your place of study; you have the opportunity to choose your own time for studying; the home environment is less stressful; distance learning makes it possible to acquire new skills.

Problem 3: Low computer literacy

The insufficient major issue in the modern world. A lot of people still do not know how to operate a computer and basic office apps. Even among skilled educators and students, there may be a misunderstanding of distance learning tools, like web learning platforms, video calls software, and multiple apps related to communication and viewing educational materials.

Nevertheless, technical abilities are mandatory for the successful completion of distance learning.

Suggestions for teachers

Educational establishments have to help in providing lecturers and students with the required materials and tools to assist students in enhancing their computer skills. For example, you can create a corresponding library of video tutorials. 

If the digital learning instruments are too complex, nobody would like to use them, so you need to choose powerful, but easy-to-use educational portals that will be understandable to users of any level.

Suggestions for students

Computer skills classes for beginners are always a good idea. A deeper understanding of the work of PCs and basic apps will allow you to take part in digital classes with no stress and loss of time.

Problem 4: Weak motivation and lack of a sense of responsibility, weak control of the educational process

Among the problems that cannot be solved with the help of modern technical equipment is insufficient motivation. If they do not understand what the role of learning in life is, and what advantages it can provide, they cannot avoid deplorable consequences. As a result, the student may be left for the second year while studying at school. If we are talking about students of secondary and higher educational institutions, they may be expelled.

Not everyone has enough willpower to maintain the motivation to learn. Often the selection of a profession is carried out by students unconsciously, and the lack of practical skills prevents the desire to start work as soon as possible. This is especially true for first-year students who have not yet mastered the university and are not used to the rules. They do not realize the importance of independent work, because this is not taught at school. School homework is not comparable to the curriculum of universities.

Succeed With Distance Learning

If you want to stay motivated and succeed with distance learning, consider the following suggestions:

  • Enter the training platform daily to view assignments and chat conversations. Interact with classmates and instructors to express your thoughts, ask questions, and seek help if needed.
  • Use positive self-talk. Affirmations that are life-affirming should repeat. They will take root in awareness and bear fruit in the form of stable self-confidence over time. Remember that your success is solely dependent on you.
  • Praise yourself for your activities. Have you completed another history class? Have you ever written a final paper successfully? Great! Everything that allows you to feel like a champion should recognize. Reward aids motivation.

Problem 5: Inadequate understanding of time management basics

The freedom provided by the distance learning format frequently lulls vigilance and creates an illusion of perpetual limitlessness. Online education places greater requirements on self-control and organization than offline one, though this is not yet fully understood. Inadequate planning can result in a significant backlog in the curriculum and lead to significant stress.

Distance Learning Challenges

Everyone should know that good time management is a crucial skill for digital training. Here are a few ideas to assist you in handling your time effectively:

  • Set aside a particular time for classes. Rather than trying to fit web-based learning into your schedule, do the contrary: plan your day around lessons. Make a set schedule with specific time intervals for taking courses and watching online manuals.
  • Create a daily to-do list. To enhance student performance, try breaking large tasks down into smaller ones. Stick to the plan, and don’t forget to take breaks.
  • Distractions should avoid. If you are frequently on social media, use special apps to block them for a set period.
  • Stop multitasking. It minimizes overall productivity and performance. Concentrate on accomplishing one task at a time, beginning with the most complicated. Furthermore, numerous scheduling solutions will let you set up notifications for your activities, which will be extremely useful during the learning process.

Problem 6: Lack of live communication, the ability to compare yourself with others

The lack of live communication can also affect the learning process. This problem associates with the deterioration of the psycho-emotional state of students and their adaptability to a new environment. When transitioning to distance education, students face new responsibilities.

When studying in a group, children and many adults tend to compare their progress with the achievements of other students. This is often a catalyst for motivation to achieve academic results. We are not talking about competitions in obtaining grades, but about pumping the skills of speaking at conferences, etc. All this allows you to evaluate your progress, but the virtual learning process deprives this opportunity. The lack of comparison with others and growth indicators sometimes hinders further development.

The way out of the situation will be an objective assessment of your success without looking at others. If feedback is important to you, you can ask teachers for it, and listen to the significant criticism of fellow students in the chat.

Advantages and relevance of distance learning

Today it is difficult to imagine a student or teacher who does not use Internet technologies in teaching and work. The educational process is not complete without the use of electronic journals, as well as the search for additional training materials on the web.

But, despite the effectiveness of the Internet in the course of training, many teachers question the effectiveness of distance education. They believe that it associates with a lot of inconveniences and is a threat to students’ academic performance. However, this is a fundamentally erroneous opinion, as evidenced by many advantages.

The main ones include:

The possibility of an individual approach to each student

Thanks to the distance learning format, the teacher can work individually with each student. Each student will feel more comfortable on the remote and can open up to the maximum. And teachers will be able to choose individual tasks that correspond to the abilities and interests of the student.

Automation of processes

The introduction of modern technologies allows you to avoid routine work. With the help of such solutions, it will be possible to significantly reduce the time for checking homework and compiling performance statistics.

Relevance of knowledge

Printed publications used in the classical education system do not always contain up-to-date information. Often they morally out-date, and students have to work with irrelevant information, etc. Thanks to the remote learning process, teachers have the opportunity to use materials corresponding to modern realities in the classroom.

The measured pace of work

With distance education, the main part of communication with students carry out using messengers. This makes communication more relaxed, and the relationship between the teacher and the students becomes more professional. The teacher gets time to think about the answer and search for information in the reference literature.

Accessibility of information

Many online libraries provide free access to textbooks. Electronic versions of books that are helpful in learning are invaluable for students and their parents, who deprive of the opportunity to purchase expensive textbooks and manuals.

Modern way to evolve your brain

The advantages and disadvantages of distance learning have already been appreciated by many students and teachers. But, despite certain disadvantages of the system, it is quite effective. With its help, more and more people are gaining the opportunity to receive a quality education.

By Punit