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Pursuing a college online degree comes with its benefits.
While online learning has managed to curb high tuition fees, travel and living expenses, and increased flexibility, a fair share of challenges have presented themselves.
Let us look at the best solutions for these challenges.
Problem: Feelings of Isolation and Lack of Motivation
Distance education or online learning lacks the benefit of face-to-face interactions that regular classrooms offer. While students get to occasionally interact with one another over the video, it’s not the same as live-classroom interaction.
Not every student has the ability to stay focused in an online class. It isn’t uncommon for students to turn their cameras off unless they’re specifically told otherwise. The visual absence of classmates for an extended period makes students feel isolated.
Without control, it’s hard to manage responsibility and a steady learning pace. Research shows that without the regular college routine, students can feel unmotivated to carry on and tend to procrastinate.
Solution: Networking Events, Interactive Forums, and Positive Reinforcement
Most institutes hold various types of non-academic networking events. The purpose of these events is to allow students and alumni to interact freely and make connections. Students of online programs can also participate in these networking opportunities and make friends.
As far as in-class exchanges are concerned, both professors and students can take the initiative to make the class more interactive. Teachers can create an online environment that’s inviting and engaging, with options like judgment-free discussion forums and quizzes. Students can form study groups to keep each other motivated and on top of their work.
Apart from conducting interactive discussions, professors can implement positive reinforcement in the classroom as an alternative to motivate students. Incentives have been proven to improve academic performance and raise confidence in students.
Problem: Poor Time Management
Along with the lack of physical peer support and frequent procrastination, the issue of poor time management arises. It’s arguably the most challenging problem students face.
It’s easy to lose control especially when you’re preparing for something as unconventional and flexible as an online degree. Students often get riddled with extra time and end up failing to utilize it well.
Research has linked academic performance to time management. Apart from skill sets, effective time management plays an important role in academic success.
Solution: Routines and Multitasking
As you grow older, you realize the power of having a routine. Even if you don’t have a fixed one, it’s necessary to create a regular to-do list for efficiency.
There are a lot of customizable time management apps for students which will help set a daily routine.
Another important skill to learn is multitasking. There should be a good balance between personal time and school. Student life both online and offline is often clouded with endless college activities and homework.
Many times, tasks tend to overlap. Rather than risking spending your leisure time completing assignments, find affordable college papers to take that load off you.
Problem: Lack of Equipment and Technical Issues
Any college degree requires you to type out assignments and possibly print out worksheets and reading material for your convenience. Not everyone has access to the devices required for these tasks, nor do they come cheap.
Technical issues are inevitable. Sometimes, students may be unfamiliar with the technology and software used for online learning.
A lack of equipment and knowledge of said equipment can put a wedge in pursuing an online degree. But these are normal and fixable issues.
Solution: Internet Cafes, NGOs, and Training
Internet cafes and some libraries allow students to work in designated spaces for a nominal fee. Depending on the cafes, some computers can be reserved for your use.
If you prefer owning a personal device, several non-profit government organizations support students in need. Apply for financial assistance and arrange meetings with volunteers.
While technical issues are unavoidable, there’s always a way to deal with them. For more frequent occurrences, students can approach a professor or a student representative who can guide and train them to solve the problem.
Online college degrees may seem unorthodox but they can be super convenient and efficient.
The future of a community that grows up with the normalcy of online learning is culturally rich as it facilitates access to education on an international level in the comfort of your home.