Myths About Online Learning During COVID-19
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Myths About Online Learning

The current COVID-19 pandemic has made online learning the new normal [1], regardless of a learner’s age and goals. While it takes a few tips to truly get the most from it, this form of learning offers more flexibility, access to expertise, and value for money.

Despite the constant growth of online learning and its appeal, some learners hesitate to enroll in online courses. This is apparent in the fact that less than 90% of individuals are studying online. One reason for their lack of enthusiasm could be the numerous myths about online learning out there.

Here are 5 common myths out there and their truths.

Myth #1: You Cannot Focus During Online Classes

Many believe that it can be difficult to avoid distractions while taking a class from the comfort of home. This is especially true in households with kids as they too are confined to the house. If you’re used to traditional classroom learning, you may have the same reservations.

However, you can put your mind at ease. Online learning platforms have proven to be highly effective in helping learners achieve their learning and career goals.

What you need to do is master a few tips to be able to focus better. For instance, you should identify a relatively quiet corner where you can easily focus on your session. Another way to stay focused is to prepare for the class like you would a traditional one( i.e., have your notepad, pen, and study materials within reach).

Once your mindset and environment are geared for studying, your focus will only be on the materials covered in the course.

Myth #2: Online Learning Is Not Recommended By Organizations

Employees and businesses alike assume that online courses aren’t designed to address today’s corporate needs. This may be true considering the growing number of platforms offering curated eLearning content.

However, not all courses are the same. There are platforms that offer accredited courses which help employees improve their knowledge and skills. These courses are also offered to budding professionals who are serious about their careers.

Unlike other courses, accredited courses focus on high quality in every aspect. You don’t have to worry about the quality of the material or the credentials of the trainer. In fact, most accrediting bodies such as AXELOS take an active part in ensuring the quality of content before it can be used.

Myth #3: Online Learning Isn't Interactive And Can Be Boring

Classroom training is highly interactive because you can see your trainer and fellow classmates. They include Q&A sessions and small activities that keep you focused throughout. For someone who is used to this level of interaction, the idea of being seated in front of their device can feel less exciting.

However, online classes are just as interactive. If you opt for Virtual Instructor-Led classes, you can communicate with your instructor via chat or ask your questions during Q&A sessions. Some courses also offer support after sessions, which ensures maximum value for money.

Some courses also allow you to form groups with fellow students to address tasks or activities together. Even if this isn’t offered, your course may include quizzes and short interactive activities.

What you need to do is to carefully select your course and its provider. You can even check free online learning websites if you’re not planning on enrolling in an accredited course.

Myth #4: Online Classes Require Less Effort From Learners

There’s a misconception that online classes are easy and don’t require much effort. Yet ask any online learner and they’ll tell you eLearning can be as challenging.

The majority of courses carry out assessments to analyze the progress of learners. This can be in the form of quizzes at the end of each section or practice exam(s) in the case of certification courses.

Learners need to be regular, consistent, and well-focused during online classes to be able to correctly answer quizzes and exam questions. As a result, their levels of self-motivation need to be higher than they would be during traditional sessions.

That aside, online classes conducted by virtual instructors demand your attention and interaction like traditional classes. This is because the only difference between methods of learning is the medium they are delivered in.

Myth #5: Learners Have To Be Tech-Savvy

The fact that the average age of online learners is 32 [2] has helped fuel this myth. Millennials are definitely more tech-savvy while Gen Y is tech native. However, this doesn’t mean older learners aren’t accommodated by eLearning platforms.

In fact, research shows that older generations—mainly Gen Xers and baby boomers—have embraced the digital life. While it may take them some time to readjust to the new norm, they can find their way easily around most online course platforms.

One reason for this is their familiarity with similar tools. For instance, for self-paced courses, all they need to do is click on course modules and then play them like they would any video. Online learning platforms use a familiar design while creating courses for this reason.

So, Are You Ready To Enroll In An Online Course?

Now that your mind is more at ease, don’t miss the chance to boost your knowledge and skillset with an online course. Just make sure to thoroughly assess the course provider and the materials they offer. You can also opt for a free trial to decide if the course provider is right for you.

References:

[1] The COVID-19 pandemic has changed education forever.

[2] U.S. News Data: The Average Online Bachelor's Student

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