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Introduction

Remote learning is an increasingly popular mode of study in the modern age. This form of instruction entails the use of multimedia communication technologies, such as internet-enabled computers, to deliver instruction to learners outside of physical classrooms. Distance learning has revolutionized the education landscape by introducing new experiences for both educators and students. Remote learning as an educational model is largely beneficial, but it has various disadvantages that may limit its effectiveness. E-learning is advantageous to learners because it offers a flexible, convenient, time-saving, and cost-effective way to acquire knowledge, but it may be detrimental because it contributes to social isolation.

Flexibility and Convenience

One benefit of remote learning for students is that it is flexible and convenient. Unlike traditional face-to-face classes, distance education programs, like the ones hosted on course management system (CMS) platforms, allow learners to access course materials whenever they want.1 This unrestricted availability of learning content facilitates flexibility of study because students can customize their study schedules to suit them. Hence, individuals who combine work and education can balance the two aspects of their lives through distance learning. Additionally, online access allows learners to study from any location, which is convenient because learning remains unaffected by factors like inclement weather that often disrupt physical classes.


1. Michael G. Moore and William C. Diehl, Handbook of Distance Education, 4th ed. (New York: Routledge, 2019), 125.

Remote Learning in the Modern Age

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Financial and Time Savings

Another advantage of remote learning is that it enables learners to save time and money. According to a study conducted on Georgia State University School of Public Health students, one benefit of switching to online instruction during the COVID-19 period was that it eliminated the need for travel to and from school and the associated expenses.2 Commuting and accommodation costs can often take up a significant amount of the money available to a learner. However, because e-learning programs do not require physical attendance, students avoid incurring travel expenses, and they do not waste time traveling to their institutions. Hence, learners can spend their travel budgets on additional learning resources for their courses, whereas the time saved may be used to complete course assignments.


2. Elizabeth Armstrong-Mensah et al., “Covid-19 and Distance Learning: Effects on Georgia State University School of Public Health Students,” Frontiers in Public Health 8 (2020): 5, https://doi.org/10.3389/fpubh.2020.576227.

Social Isolation

One downside of remote learning is that it makes learners more isolated. According to one study, a switch to distance learning from physical classes was associated with diminished interaction with instructors and fellow students.3 Learners in online courses who undertake their studies at home have no opportunity to meet their classmates and educators. The reduced frequency of interaction means that students cannot seek immediate clarifications of concepts they fail to understand. Additionally, learners cannot brainstorm and share ideas with their colleagues, which is an integral element of an enriched learning experience.


3. Wassnaa Al-Mawee, Keneth Morgan Kwayu, and Tasnim Gharaibeh, “Student’s Perspective on Distance Learning During COVID-19 Pandemic: A Case Study of Western Michigan University, United States,” International Journal of Educational Research Open 2 (2021): 5, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijedro.2021.100080.

Conclusion

Remote learning is an important element of modern learning. Distance education helps learners save on transport costs that they would incur while attending physical lectures. Additionally, e-learning helps students to save time because they do not spend hours commuting between their residence and the institution. Students who pursue remote learning also benefit from round-the-clock access to learning material, and this allows them to plan their learning schedules. However, online programs may exacerbate social isolation by denying students opportunities to interact with their peers and instructors.

Bibliography

Al-Mawee, Wassnaa, Keneth Morgan Kwayu, and Tasnim Gharaibeh. “Student’s Perspective on Distance Learning During COVID-19 Pandemic: A Case Study of Western Michigan University, United States.” International Journal of Educational Research Open 2 (2021): 1–13. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijedro.2021.100080.

Armstrong-Mensah, Elizabeth, Kim Ramsey-White, Barbara Yankey, and Shannon Self-Brown. “Covid-19 and Distance Learning: Effects on Georgia State University School of Public Health Students.” Frontiers in Public Health 8 (2020): 1–10. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpubh.2020.576227.

Moore, Michael G., and William C. Diehl. Handbook of Distance Education. 4th ed. New York, New York: Routledge, 2019.

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