Prof. (Dr.) Tapan Kumar Nayak, an avid reader, researcher and academician in the field of Economics and currently working as Director (Officiating) and Dean-Academics at Jaipuria School of Business, Indirapuram, Ghaziabad, has more than 19 years of teaching and research experience in the field of Economics. Prior to this, he has been working as Professor & Dean-Academics at IMS Ghaziabad since 2007. He has been working at IMS Ghaziabad in various positions, such as Professor of Economics, Programme Chairperson-PGDM, Director-in-Charge and Dean-Academics since 2007.
In the recent unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, the emergence of online learning system has taken the centre stage and become the new normal for whole education system of the universe. Online Learning has opened new opportunities in the teaching-learning process and has also fostered creativity in B-Schools. There are many distinguishing benefits of the E-learning process; though it also has some common disadvantages. Below are few unique benefits and challenges of the e-learning system:
Benefits of Online Education
Flexibility (Anytime Anywhere learning process): Online learning has empowered students and learners to take class from anywhere and anytime (if permitted) at their convenience. This adds to learning opportunities for the working corporate professionals and many other segments of society as a whole.
Cost Effective: Online learning is a digital asset and can be utilized by more students at the same time without any incremental input cost. Additionally, learners save a lot of time and money in travel too.
Ease of access: Online education facilitates the students to take down notes by taking screenshots, convert them to a document and download it. Unlike in traditional classrooms teaching where, after teacher has finished teaching, the content is erased from the board.
Wider choice of subjects and courses: Through online education, students can form their own combination of subjects, regardless of the minimum percentage required for taking up a specific subject.
Wider Reach: Online learning is just a click away as it can be accessed with the help of a computer/laptop and an internet connection. It’s particularly useful in remote areas where school or college infrastructure is inadequate.
Immediate Assessment: Online learning uses various software to conduct online quizzes and other assessment of students. This also aids in giving personalized assessment and feedback of learning on a real-time basis to both teachers and students. This is a vital advantage of online learning.
Challenges of E-Learning process:
Lack of in-person interaction: A primary disadvantage of online learning is the absence of in-person interaction. If courses are taught purely online, there is a lesser possibility of creating a healthy relationship with the teacher and classmates. This will lead to negative impact in team-building and social skills.
Neither regularity nor discipline: Online learning requires a higher intensity of self-direction and motivation from learners and there is limited social/peer pressure or support. Students and learners with discipline and focus on their learning requirements get better results and are able to gain more mileage from e-learning.
Challenges in Technology: Online education has created a ‘Digital Divide’ where the rich have access to all and the poor are deprived of learning as approximately 65% of India lives in villages and majority of our population fall below middle class.
Health Issues: This has appeared as the most perilous challenge for the learners. Long duration of e-learning has resulted in the cases of eye-strain, backache and several other health effects on the learners since online learning requires the use of computers or other screens for many hours. Lacking human touch and sympathy, online learning has led to the issues of depression and mental health.
In light of these pros and cons, the most prudent approach for teachers and learners shall be a form of hybrid learning that blends the benefits of online and physical learning in a way that optimizes learning experience and outcomes.