The growth of the internet has had a lasting impact on society by creating more convenient and accessible ways to perform tasks. One example of this includes internet learning, also called e-learning. Online education proves to be an evolved stage of distance learning. Early forms of distance learning included videoconferences and educational television. E-learning has several advantages, including convenience for taking college courses while maintaining a hectic schedule. However, internet learning also has disadvantages.
Lack of Direct Interaction
The direct interaction of a classroom setting serves as beneficial for both students and professors. For students, the classroom setting allows for direct feedback from the professor, as well as an opportunity to make friends with classmates. A classroom setting also allows professors to obtain direct feedback from students, enabling professors to know if they need to change their teaching approach. E-learning hinders the benefits of direct interaction by decreasing its need.
Decline in Grades
In "New Answers for E-Learning," Kim Clark of U.S. News & World Report reports internet learning has led to more failures and dropouts. According to Clark, the reason for failures involves students not being honest about how much time they can dedicate to their online classes. A reason cited for the increase of dropouts includes feeling isolated.
Need to be Tech Savvy
The U.S. News article also indicates success in internet learning involves being somewhat tech savvy, especially if the professor requires the use of internet technology, such as blogs and Skype. The need for being tech savvy can be problematic for some students.
Reduced Financial Aid
The federal government offers financial aid to students through FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). However, the government only offers financial aid to students of accredited institutions. If your online university hasn't received accreditation, you cannot receive financial aid through FAFSA. You can find out if your online college is accredited by searching the Department of Education's database of accredited institutions.
Not Universally Transferable
If you decide to transfer to another college, your credits from your online courses may not be transferable. Clark notes in her U.S. News article about e-learning that researching whether your online course credits will transfer before registering for online classes can help you avoid earning credits that won't transfer.