Attitudes toward online learning are generally positive, but this doesn’t mean the concept is perceived as perfect by everyone who has chosen to learn that way. As great as you may feel a course is, there’s always room for improvement. Many students share the same gripes about their online degrees. There’s a lot to love, but there’s also a lot they’d be eager to do without.
A professor who is notoriously hard to get a hold of can make students feel isolated. Many get the impression that they’ve been thrown to the wolves, expected to figure things out on their own. While online learners generally appreciate their autonomy, they need proper guidance in order to be able to effectively complete their assignments. Professors who only check in periodically aren’t able to provide that instruction, and students are forced to sit around with their questions unanswered. Notoriously absent teachers halt their students’ progress and have a detrimental effect on their motivation and studies. In the end, if students have to figure everything out by themselves, they don’t understand the point of paying for someone to act as a useless figurehead.
Bad customer service
Students on campus have the option to meet with an advisor. Students online have a much harder time dealing with issues that require the assistance of an advisor, because the advisor doesn’t exist. So how do these students get their issues resolved? As it would turn out, many of them feel like they never do. Since many online education programs don’t offer counselling or formal customer service, students have no way to figure out what’s going on or see their problems solved.
Infuriating group assignments
Many online schools use group assignments because they’re cost effective. They’re easier to manage and grade, and they promote teamwork. Since online courses have more lax acceptance criteria, a lot of students feel like their teammates don’t care about their work. Some students feel like they’re pulling everyone else’s weight, and because everyone is sitting somewhere else hiding behind their computer screen, slackers tend to get a free ride. Since lazy students aren’t held accountable, the diligent co-learners feel taken advantage of which is yet another motivation killer.
Some students find their experience to be very inconsistent across the online learning environment. What’s the chain of command? Who reports to who? How are technical issues resolved? Why are unresponsive instructors just as prevalent as great instructors? Students feel the structure of some online learning programs falls apart. Because everyone is working remotely and the material is spread around the Internet, they don’t see unity within the administration that shows them one hand knows what the other is doing.
Interfaces count for a lot, and students are quick to mention that. Students want their course to have great production value but at the same time be easy to navigate, read, and comprehend. In addition, students hope to receive a full experience that speaks to their personal learning styles. They want visuals, audio, and even videos to demonstrate the material. They want consistency between the material in the courses and the things that they’ll be tested on. Finally, they need access to current information that’s been modernised, instead of content pulled from dated text books and thrown onto the Internet.
The majority of students actually report that their overall level of satisfaction with online learning is high. With some improvements, the favourable rating will continue to improve, drawing in new learners and boosting the rating averages even higher.
Author: Monique Craig is an avid blogger and self-learner who enjoys reading self-improvement literature and gaining more business-related experience. Professionally, Monique is an employee at www.oneflare.com, where she shares her knowledge and expertise with others.