1 What is Online Learning?

Due to the transition to online learning, student life as we know it has been severely impacted. The majority of challenges encountered by students when starting their online learning journey stems from a lack of understanding as to what online learning is. In this chapter, we will be exploring some differences between online learning and in-class learning, and some challenges that online learning may present to students.

Students often make the mistake of attending an online course and expecting it to be exactly like a traditional in-class course. The diagram below will illustrate some of the differences between in-class learning and online learning.

Now that some of the differences between in-class learning and online learning have been established, we can discuss some of the issues that you may face as you start your online journey.

1.1 Problem of Too Much Flexibility

A lot of students often forget about the responsibility that comes with having a very flexible schedule. The illusion of “having a lot of time to spare” can lead to students procrastinating with their school work. Procrastination can cause students to struggle with committing to their study schedule and prevent them from finishing online assignments. These habits can have a negative impact on their grades. Proper time management strategies and discipline can easily remedy this problem.

1.2 Lack of Social Connection

Some students find it harder to make connections with their classmates and professors in an online learning environment since online learning lacks the physical face-to-face connection. This lack of social connection can negatively affect a student’s online learning experience by making students feel bored or alone while attending their classes. Students can help themselves by connecting with their peers through joining clubs and societies, participating in online discussion boards, and organizing online study groups. Even connecting with just one student can help keep you motivated, updated on class information, and prevent you from missing deadlines.

In conclusion…

While several students may find online learning challenging due to the lack of face-to-face interaction, it can still be beneficial. If you are willing to put in the work, then online classes can be an overall positive experience and present a new way of learning.

If you are worried about this new experience, continue reading further to understand how to be an effective online learner.


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Learning to Learn Online Copyright © 2020 by Bailey Csabai; Bilal Sohail; Jykee Pavo; Kristen Swiatoschik; Maryam Odeh; and Nitin Ramesh is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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