I believe the advantages of online learning outweigh the disadvantages even though a face-to-face classroom works better for me. However, I do see the benefits of an online learning environment. An online learning environment requires an individual who is motivated and willing to work toward an end goal. For some people working toward a goal and being motivated to accomplish a task is easy. For others, it might not be as easy. To facilitate a successful online learning environment, educators should keep in mind six key components. Key components include:
- clear expectations,
- concise instructions,
- engaging and robust content,
- guidance and support,
- quality feedback,
- and expect educators (Ribeiro, 2017).
Speaking from personal experience, some advantages of online learning that I have enjoyed are (1) the ability to learn anywhere you want, (2) to enjoy being comfortable when attending class or working on assignments, and (3) to learn whatever I want. Furthermore, I can enjoy a flexible schedule which means I can continue to work full time while earning my Master's Degree. Getting an education online is also eco-friendly because you do not have the added cost of gasoline and vehicle maintenance. In addition to the gasoline and vehicle maintenance savings, the environment is also being saved due to the lack of paper that is used.
Educationally, the benefits of technology in the classroom are substantial. One important benefit is the personalization of the learning experience with the utilization of different technology and multimedia tools. For example, teachers and students have instance access to knowledge with search engines like Google and Bing (Mata, 2015). Additionally, students taught to utilize technology will be ready to join the workforce and perform tasks such as: (1) create documents and presentations with programs akin to Microsoft Office, and (2) navigate a computer system and the internet. Another key benefit is that digital textbooks are more cost effective because of the cut down on the use of paper. Lastly, technology in the classroom increases motivation, interest, and focus in the student (Mata, 2015).
Just as there are advantages to using multimedia in the classroom, there are also disadvantages. One disadvantage is the cost. Multimedia tools are expensive. Poor school districts may not have the funds to designate toward the purchase of laptops or tablets for every student, projectors, or other high-tech multimedia tools. Other disadvantages are educationally related. For example, classroom management becomes much more difficult. Tablets and laptops become a distraction if students can play games or watch video websites without supervision.