With the advancement of technology and innovation, our dependence and use on technology are also evolving. Progression in time changed the needs and priorities of mankind. In the beginning, smartphones were used to make calls and texting purposes only, but now there are several activities done by the smartphone-like, online shopping, music, watching videos and, online education.
E-learning is a word that describes the use of technology by an individual to learn skills. In 1999, this word was coined by Elliot Massie, who stated it is the use of network technology to design, deliver, and administer the learning.
No one could expect that a time will come when people all around the world will have to follow the idea of e-learning of Western Behavioral Sciences Institute in California which opened its school of management and strategic studies in 1982 to provide distanced and online education to their business executives.
This is a big change in the education system of the world, fabricated positive and negative impacts of the online education system today called e-learning on the life of students. The prompt emergence of this disease left no choice for the world to shift their educational needs to e-learning. But does the platform of e-learning worthy enough to meet the needs of the current students. This is another question to the latest version of online and distanced education.
To anticipate the fate of the current students we will have to consider the opinions and analysis of the teachers and students that are directly linked with e-learning. This will not only help us to make a strong approach to the effects of online learning on student performance but will also lead us to how do students feel about online learning.
Teachers’ perspective about e-learning:
What else the medium or source of learning is, the teacher is the keen observer of his student’s activities and behavior. As the technology progressed and further developments made in it, e-learning evolved itself. Teachers are found to have vast perspectives about the nature of the students.
According to a teacher in a private school in Chicago who is linked with the teaching for a decade, a single undisciplined student can ruin the whole class while learning physically. Now his highly committed and regular students with disciplined behavior are no longer obstructed by their classmates. With the evaluation of the e-learning, he came to this point that bright students get benefitted from e-learning with a deep focus and even their attendance at the peak during e-learning. While a minority group in the class that did not even participate in e-learning or have done enough to take the burden off got distracted further because there is not a single teacher to keep an eye on them.
A socio-economic disadvantage of e-learning:
Another teacher who is a community professor and lives in Michigan evaluated e-learning as his students have to face the socio-economical disadvantages during this online education. Most of his students are with an average financial background and the education level of their parents doesn’t meet their rich and educated neighbors. Better educated parents are better able to assist their children in the absence of teachers. For example, if the students of a student are with a chemistry background, they can assist their children better than those parents who don’t have this educational background. There is a gap between the poor and the rich for the sake of e-learning.
Another point he noted is that the availability of the proper devices is compulsory as it made e-learning further tough for the students which don’t have these devices available. In contrast to poor and rich, we can find a different kind of map along with different levels to be achieved to get to the point that is called online education or e-learning.
E-learning does not suit the nature of every student:
After many years of teaching, another teacher with a psychology background concluded that e-learning may be best for bright and sharp-minded students but an average student needs the physical assistance of a teacher who can talk to them to get them to understand the different points of a single topic to instruct them enough according to their needs. Class is the atmosphere that has different levels of students. Every student needs the teacher’s assistance in a specific way to combat its hesitations, so in his view, e-learning has a different type of justice system in comparison to physical learning.
Flippant behavior of students:
Another teacher in Columbia University Teacher College stated that the students have to meet the things or the levels which are to be given in the physical classes. The e-learning made the students lazy and they are paying no heeds to the education while as they do in the physical classes. They took the e-learning for granted and many of the average students performed their minimum and looked at all this as their homework with vacations. This not only destroyed their pace and skills but also make them vulnerable for the difficult tasks which is not a good sign for the current students for their professional life.
Students’ perspective on e-learning:
When we consider the views of the students that are sailing in the same boat, we can have different views and the comments made by the students getting the distanced and online education because how do students feel about online learning is an important matter while looking at the impacts of online learning to the students.
Students have a two-sided perspective about e-learning. They feel better when they are asked about taking the classes without traveling to the classes, moving towards the tea shop, commuting or eating, and during works breaks in the evening.
But they look reluctant to accept e-learning as a permanent source of learning when they remember their activities in the school like, playing in the playgrounds, group tasks, performing practical in the lab, and their participation in physical activities. Students have many benefits of e-learning but they have some reservations too.
Access of students to e-learning devices:
E-learning is the source of learning which needs some necessary electronic devices like smartphones, laptops, or tablets. The availability of these devices allows the students to learn online education. Some students show interrupted access to the device for e-learning and few of them had to share the devices with their neighbors or colleagues and found unavailable while needed. Many of them even don’t know to overcome the hardware problem of the device.
Too much screen time for e-learning:
In the answer to this question, many students disclosed that they are using screen time more than 8 hours a day which makes them mentally tired for the rest of the days. In case the physical education will be better for them than e-learning because they are asked to do some physical assignments and perform co-curricular activities which make their body and mind strong.
E-learning potency towards students:
Despite herculean efforts of parents, students, and teachers, the latest result of e-learning performed across the globe did not go well. Students think that e-learning took them months back in contrast to physical education. Sometimes forced e-learning lessens their interests and with time, student engagement was down, teachers lowered their teaching standards for rigor and students’ performance. Because, e-learning instead of its features, engage you only with the devices that are used in the learning. The physical classroom offers a more lively and interactive environment.
Inefficiency of the institutions:
As every single day of COVID-19 showed us a different story as news of the closure of educational institutions, educators and families are scrambled to respond to a situation that was uncertain and without precedent. Will the term be extended or will this year be lost, will college or school admissions be affected? All these things spotted the performance of the institutions in making the availability of the resources for the students during e-learning. Most of the students were on their own to make the resources available for them to go for e-learning.
Busy and hectic academic schedule:
While during a stay at the home and managing many things at a single time could be stressful for the students. No doubt students claiming to have better management skills during e-learning than before in the physical classroom, but when they were asked about their time consumption they triggered their eyes to the busy and hectic academic schedule not having enough for their playtime.
No-proximity between students and the teachers:
The statement measures the extent to which the students can find their teachers helpful. In the distanced or e-learning, there is no proximity between the teachers and students due to which many students could find the e-learning not much fruitful as the physical education was for them. Because these are the students who need special assistance to get them to understand and they take more time to interpret or perceive the things. These are the students who consider e-learning futile and less constructive than physical classroom education.
Advantages of e-learning:
- E-learning proved to be economical and time-saving by skipping the travel of the students towards educational institutions.
- E-learning does not need a specific place for educating the students. They can learn while eating or moving, during the recess time of their job or in the evening.
- E-learning offers students to fulfill their attendance requirements easily.
- E-learning provides social interaction opportunities to the students. They can globally interact and discuss with the students of the same discipline and make research associations.
- In e-learning, students don’t need textbooks and stationaries. Even massive open online courses (MOOCs) are self-reliant. They provide the recommended books and other material to the students which they can approach on the websites.
- During e-learning, students can stop or change the speed of the lecture according to their requirements and availabilities. They can select the specific part of the lecture by considering interactive transcripts provided by the institutions.
- The recorded lectures available to the students help them to make their notes and research properly.
Disadvantages of e-learning:
- E-learning allows the students to leave or stop the lecture anytime they want. This inherent freedom of e-learning, sometimes prove no-learning for the students. They often switch off the device and or are distracted by some other activity playing on their device. This shows a lack of self-discipline from the students.
- E-learning is found to be very interactive nowadays because it offers video conferences, webinars, and face-to-face video chat but there is no actual face-to-face interaction as someone is sitting in the physical classroom having the interaction of real fellow humans.
- After an e-learning course is created, it can take an unreasonably long effort for any required changes to be worked in. On the off chance that a plan of action changes, or economic situations are disturbed, e-learning preparation can rapidly be made old. This is a misuse of the time and energy that were contributed to getting the course fully operational. However, the course in the physical classroom can change abruptly according to the new scheme of the studies.
- There are sometimes very less chances of finding the answers to the questions or to solving problems in the physical absence of the teacher. Then students have to solve the mystery on their own.
- There is no availability of practical laboratories and students are sometimes asked to perform those activities at their home which is not possible in all kinds of disciplines.
- There is no physical grooming of the student’s confidence development in the e-learning which confronts the students with difficulties in the practical life. They need self-motivation to overcome their hesitation.
It is about the fate of students:
When you are talking about the fate of the students, the thing which actually to is considered is that what the meaning we are getting from fate? If we are thinking that it is like a man only with good knowledge then maybe to some extent the e-learning could be able to satisfy us. But when we are comparing it with the man who got the physical classroom education where he has to interact with his colleagues, classmates, teachers and different staffs which make him a strong and a responsive person, we may prefer the physical education. Because learning does not mean getting the lessons, learn by heart and then get the degree certificate at the end. A student should be able to stand in the community and should be a responsible and fruitful person for his country.
Discussion and analysis:
Learning basically, itself has a huge word comprising many things. When we talk about education it does not mean getting lectures, notes down, and learn them by heart. There should be a practical application of their studies and for this, there should be a platform to practice all these things. In e-learning, the students have to skip many things which have to be learned by a single person in his daily life. Because these things are not possible during e-learning. A student or a learner along with the knowledge must have an account of ethics and the disciplines that cannot be found in e-learning.
No doubt, e-learning has certain features that the physical traditional means of education do not have. The e-learning offered a chance to the teachers and the students both to enhance their abilities to use the digital medium. E-learning allows every student to work at their specific speed and style. There is a 15 minutes break after every 45-minute lecture however the students have to cut their time off playing video games, television, or smartphones. Global online educational webinars and workshops were new things to learn and to interact with the world socially in a new style.
From the whole discussion, we can come to a point that there are different kinds of impacts on student life during e-learning. There could be some positive impacts but there are lots of negative impacts which are to be faced by a major portion of the middle and lower class students either in the case of financial or in the case of no physical assistance or guidance in the absence of the teacher. E-learning removed the face-to-face interactions of the students which scaled down their confidence. E-learning was found to be the source of racial discrimination according to the preliminary findings of two recent studies. This racial discrimination put the students on the bark of damage their fate in the time of e-learning.
For instance, if we neglect the other characteristics of a common student and just consider the online study then the results of e-learning are not satisfactory in comparison with the students who got physical education. Even the students themselves can figure out their performance and willing to treat them not like the students with physical education.
These students are prepared to get physical education but not enough to appear in the physical exams after getting the distanced and online education. This is because the teachers and the students have to be upgraded with the technology accordingly. There should be other ways to combat the obstacles that are coming in the e-learning to make it productive enough to meet the level and productivity of physical education. If it does not happen then we will see a big gap between the current students and their performances in the future professional life. For the majority of the students, e-learning may prove to damage the fate of the current students.