Debunking Myths About Online Learning

When planning to practice online learning, it’s necessary to understand what it means to be an online learner.

For a student, new to online learning, it is common for them to feel uncertain about what lies ahead. There may be an apprehension regarding the quality of online education, the relationships to-be-build with instructors and fellow students, or difficulty in learning the technologies (if not tech-savvy) or more. Most importantly, there are several myths about online learning, so learners might be skeptical and observing that it is necessary to debunk these myths, at first.  

Herein, in this article, we debunk 10 biggest myths about online learning. Let us have a look!

Myth 1: Online-Learning is complex and incomplete

There’s a belief that involvement of technology and the internet makes the learning procedure a bit complicated and is not feasible for those who are not tech-savvy and know less about computers. Additionally, many students think that the instructor is never going to complete the course online.  

However, the fact is online-learning is very easy. You don’t need to master computer skills to learn online. Also, whether a teacher finishes the course or not, is not a function of an online or offline class, it completely depends on the professionalism of a teacher. 

Myth 2: Online-learning lands up to no learning

Since, learners are allowed to learn online at his/her own pace, it is assumed that there is no self- discipline. It is also believed that students can cheat easily in an online exam. Thus, making the whole learning process ineffective and may lead to no learning. 

But, alike tests in brick and mortar schools, students have to submit assignments and write tests in online classrooms. When it comes to cheating, to some extent it is impossible because it is easier to detect plagiarism if the assignments are submitted online. And, the flexibility offered in online learning makes it easier for the student to learn at his/her own pace and understand the topic before moving on to the next module. 

Myth 3: Online learning has unnecessary interruptions

Exposure to technology, such as laptops and phones along with internet may not provide a classroom like environment to students. There can be various unnecessary interruptions which might make students miss out important topics. The distractions could be of social media, notification alerts, YouTube video recommendations etc. 

If a student has strong concentration power then nothing can stop him/her to focus on online lectures. In fact, students can focus better in online learning environment because they are already in a comfortable zone, not surrounded by their friends; it’s only the screen and them.  

Myth 4: Coping with incompetent teachers

Another misconception is that the teachers who teach online are not subject experts. It is believed that they are incompetent and ineligible to teach in a real school or university and have therefore chosen to teach in virtual classrooms. Apprentices believe that in traditional classrooms they receive an inherently better education from real professors than online instructors. 

But, the truth is there ain’t any difference between an online instructor and a teacher in a traditional classroom. Online teachers too are highly-qualified, have in-depth subject knowledge and excellent communication skills. 

Myth 5: Online-learning is high-priced

Just because online-learning involves computers, internet connection, video conferencing, and good quality course materials it is assumed that it must be costlier than offline learning. 

In reality, online-learning is way cheaper than offline education. It cuts down learners travel & lodging expenses. Learners have multiple options, and are free to choose the course which best meets their requirement. 

Myth 6: Learners have to self-teach themselves

It is believed that since students are not physically present in front of their instructors, so they won’t be there to guide them along the way. 

But, there’s nothing as such. Both online as well as offline class instructors are responsible for engaging their students and teaching them the subject matter wholly. 

Myth 7: Zero interaction with classmates

Because students do not have a classroom similar to traditional setting, they believe that they will have zero interaction with their peers. 

However, the reality is that they can utilize technology to speak to a friend face to face across the globe and also utilize it to interact with professors and 

Myth 8: Learners can’t build a network

Many learners rely on college networks to land jobs and learn about solid opportunities and it is believed that relationship-building might seem hard in an online class. 

Well, whether an online or offline, one of the underrated perks of education is the people you meet can help build networks and in case of online platforms, it could actually make network-building easier. 

Myth 9: Online learning is all about lecture

When it’s about online learning, it’s definitely more about video lectures, as they’re a component of most programs, but online learning goes much deeper than that.  

Besides, having videos the online curriculum involved lots of hands-on work too. In some online programs, instructors assign projects that often reflect what a learner will do in a real work setting to help learners apply what they’ve learned by far and demonstrate their comprehension as well. 

Myth 10: Online degrees are not valuable

Earlier, when online learning was newly introduced many employers did not find it valuable, especially in education and healthcare industries. It was prevalent even now, but thanks to the pandemic that forcefully brought almost everyone to online learning mode and helped clear the long-prevailing doubt. 

By now, your myths about online learning must have been debunked. You might have got a clear picture of what online learning is in actuality. So, now choose the best-suited online learning program with careful consideration and have a great learning experience just as a traditional classroom.  

About the Author
Author: Saniya Khan
Saniya Khan I am Saniya Khan, Copy-Editor at EdTechReview - India’s leading edtech media. As a part of the group, my aim is to spread awareness on the growing edtech market by guiding all educational stakeholders on latest and quality news, information and resources. A voraciously curious writer with a dedication to excellence creates interesting yet informational pieces, playing with words since 2016.

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