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Pros and Cons of Online Education for Teachers

January 21, 2016 - Posted to How to: Essay writing tips
Pros and Cons of Online Education for Teachers

Pros and Cons of Online Education for Teachers

With online classes becoming a more and more popular choice it has become blatantly obvious what issues ensue with taking online classes. Not being able to contact a teacher, more chances of missed deadlines, are a couple of cons to taking online classes. While being able to do classwork from the comfort of home, and working at a more leisurely pace are a couple of pros to taking an online class. However this is only the surface, did you know that the teachers and professors face many pros and cons to teaching online? This proves that much like using the internet to learn isn’t for everyone, using it to guide isn’t for everyone either. Let’s look at the good, the bad, and the ugly of online teaching by looking at the good first.

Pros of online teaching

  1. Help students reach learning goals
    The reason most students choose to take online courses is because they can’t attend traditional classes due to prior obligations. The students on the other side of the computer screen are most likely parents with children who are their top priority. Or they might be individuals who work extended periods during the day who can’t afford to take time off. These classes help them pursue a better education and career opportunities that they wouldn’t have access to without these courses.
  2. Teaching an online course can help you be a better teacher
    In traditional classrooms, you go by a strict course, and it can be very hard to be aware of everything that goes on in your students lives. Online classes help give you an open window to your pupils, and lets you know who is participating and who isn’t. This can make reaching out to students who need your help much easier
  3. Brings great opportunity for feedback
    Teachers can post online surveys asking how they are doing and what they can improve on to help make the classes better as the semester goes on. As a teacher, you can also give your students more one on one feedback, something that many of your students will prefer
  4. Can help you provide better explanations of concepts
    When writing, you must know how to form your sentences so that they are clear and easily understandable. This can be difficult through a computer screen because you can’t talk directly to your students or see their expressions. Although it can be hard, this is a good thing because even the best speakers in the world have trouble explaining things from time to time, and this makes for excellent practice.

With all of these pros, many teachers might love the idea of teaching an online course. However, there are also many cons to consider as well. Now that we have gone over the good, it’s time for the bad and ugly of teaching online.

  1. Teaching online means a lot of hard work
    Many believe that teaching online is not nearly as time-consuming as teaching in the classroom. For most the opposite turns out to be true. Taking the time to develop an online course takes a lot more time because the lesson may not translate well from a lecture to a more virtual standpoint.
  2. Students don’t always complete assignments at the same time
    This means that as an instructor you must be in constant communication with your pupils. Which in retrospect isn’t a bad thing, however, this can become time-consuming as you constantly check your email. As well as keep up with constant messages from your student who may or may not understand the assignments.
  3. Students may not have access to individual pieces of technology
    Now most students are indeed much more tech savvy than before. However, not everyone has access to the latest tech. This means that you should avoid using video and audio effects to make your website look appealing. Although they are nice, these features can cause frustration and hindrance to your students as they are trying to learn.
  4. Assignments can take longer to complete
    Most tasks that take a simple classroom period to complete take much longer to complete virtually. This is because in a classroom setting students are usually discussing the issue of these assignments together, and more than likely for discussion periods the students may not be online at the same time. This completely throws the discussion process to the side which leaves your students to figure these things out on their own. Besides, for students who can discuss the assignment, discussing over the internet usually takes much more time because they need to do a lot of reading and writing.
  5. Online teaching can make you feel isolated
    While teaching online, you usually don’t meet with your fellow instructors and students in a classroom setting. This can cause difficulty in discussing what works best and doesn’t work at all with your fellow teachers. Usually, the only way to overcome this is by using online chat groups that are made for online educators.

Although there are good and bad aspects to online teaching, the job can be very rewarding and help you learn some viable skills. By being an online instructor you can learn how to:

  • Be more organized
  • Manage your time better
  • Become more comfortable with technology
  • Learn software skills
  • Become an influential writer

If you are considering a career in online education, start by asking questions, receive information on what the job is like. Ask people who teach online and teach in the classroom, and using that information evaluate for yourself if you would like to teach an online course. Remember that teaching online can be good or bad, depending on who you are and what works best for you. If you don’t think that online classes are for you, then you don’t have to teach them. However if the pros stand out more from the cons, then you will be able to learn new skills which will better help you in the classroom, and help you to better your career.

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