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Top 10 Challenges of Online Learning As A Student

5 min
Uploaded on
Feb 3, 2023
Last updated on
Feb 12, 2024
Uploaded on
Feb 3, 2023
Last updated on
Feb 12, 2024
Top 15 Challenges of Online Education
The struggle is real!

The world experienced a tech revolution in 2020 as COVID-19 hit all over the world. Suddenly, the chaotic classrooms turned into a silent place. The classroom was a place of never-ending mischievousness, endless laughter, fights and turned quiet. Everyone was forced to stay home and continue their way of living. The education department faced a whole new transition. The entire system was pushed online. All the students had complete and easy access to study while sitting at home. Even though this shift from offline to online excited the students, the preceding results showed the complete opposite. Even if everyone thought it would be an easy process, plenty of online learning challenges were faced. We've listed the top 10 challenges of online learning.

Top 10 Online Learning Challenges

Online learning has revolutionised education by offering flexible and accessible opportunities for individuals to acquire knowledge and skills from the comfort of their own homes. However, this mode of learning is not without its challenges. As learners navigate the digital landscape, they encounter a few online learning challenges that require adaptation and resilience. From technical difficulties to maintaining motivation, online learning presents unique hurdles that must be overcome. In this article, we will explore some of the key online learning challenges faced by students and discuss strategies to address them, ensuring a successful and enriching educational experience effectively.

1. Lack of Motivation

The first phase of online learning was seen with a high level of excitement. However, as the process continued for a couple of weeks, students started to lose motivation. Most students felt as if they were staring at the wall and were hardly motivated every single day to get up and start online classes. One of the major problems faced by students in online classes is that they feel demotivated to sit in front of a screen for hours unless it's something of their interest. 

How to overcome this challenge of online education?

To resolve one of these challenges of online education, the students can be asked to switch on their cameras to inculcate a sense of face-to-face interaction. More activities can be designed where a maximum number of students can participate. Playing games related to the subject can be a win-win to keep the students motivated.

2. Lesser Attention Span

Most of the time, in online classes, students' concentration deteriorates very easily. It becomes very difficult for the students to concentrate and grasp whatever is taught. This mostly happens because of a lack of interaction between the student and the faculty. If observed, the students are completely attentive in the initial minutes and understand whatever is taught; however, after a certain amount of time, the student does not understand what is being taught. It becomes difficult for students to concentrate and grasp because of the receding span of attention. Due to this, students often face difficulties while self-studying or preparing for exams. This is one of the major online learning challenges that students deal with for a sufficient period of time. 

How to overcome this challenge of online education?

To resolve this, students can organise and choose a specific space to study or sit for online classes. Here are some tips for organising your room, which will help you in making your room a comfortable space to study in. This helps train the brain and sets the atmosphere, which helps in studying better. Here are some tips on how to increase attention span. The students should try and set a specific study table in the corner of the room with minimal distractions. Here is a list of the best apps for studying for students.

3. Too Many Distractions

Another common online learning challenge is you are always surrounded by a handful of distractions. When you're studying in an online learning environment, you're not in the public eye. No one can see or hear you. Such a situation encourages students to start engaging themselves in other things. In many cases, students log in to the meeting but surround themselves with many distractions. They will either play games, listen to music, or watch a movie instead. One of the most common problems faced by students in online classes is they are easily prone to distract themselves and not concentrate on the knowledge they have been provided.  

How to overcome this challenge of online education?

Students can decide upon a dedicated study area that feels like a classroom, for example, a desk and chair. They can also try the Pomodoro technique and stay focused for a longer period of time without getting exhausted. Continue taking notes so that you don’t miss out on anything important. Most importantly, set a time frame for your smartphone usage. 

4. Lack of Tech Facilities

Nowadays, everyone you come across has a smartphone. It doesn't matter if it is a teenager or a grandparent. Everybody has a basic knowledge of how to use it. The only requirement online classes have is a laptop, a desktop or a mobile phone with an internet connection. However, there were still some classes of the economy which couldn't afford these facilities and were not able to benefit from online learning. The lack of tech facilities still continues to be one of the major challenges of online education. 

How to overcome this challenge of online education?

Discuss with your classmates what gears and gadgets they are using to make their online education a seamless experience. Try to implement the same with you. You can also ask your university or teachers to provide you with the required accessories to make the process easy for you. 

5. Unawareness of Specially-Abled Children

Each child has an equal right to educate themselves in whichever way possible. But during online learning, how will specially abled children cope with the rest of the students? The visually impaired students learn with the help of braille, whereas hearing-impaired students study the noises in detail. In online classes, most of the knowledge is imparted through videos. In the phase of online learning, many students who are specially-abled were ignored as videos were one of the main graphics used for online teaching. It was one of the major challenges of online education for this batch of students. 

How to overcome this challenge of online education?

Students can set up a schedule that they can stick to. Setting up a comfortable study station will also help students with special needs to stay concentrated for longer hours. Ask teachers to provide you with study material so you can go through them later throughout the day and revise what the class contained.  

6. Technical Issues

The entire population is distributed in rural as well as urban areas. Strong connectivity is not always offered. This creates barriers in the process of online learning. Additionally, sometimes, due to overloading on a single site, there are high chances of the website crashing. This delays the classes, and students do not get enough time to cover the syllabus. plus, they rarely understand what is going on in the lectures. During online lectures, this is one of the most common challenges of online learning faced by students but this is something which can be covered by student internship and learning services, helping you gain first-hand experience on a subject matter.

How to overcome this challenge of online education?

Talk to your mentors and instructors and share what kind of technical issues in online learning you are facing. Ask what solutions can be implemented to deal with this situation. Universities usually offer technical support and have a designated team for the same. The students can also discuss their hindrances with them and get an all-time solution.

7. Health Issues 

The online classes schedule is the same as the 6-7 hours of school. Continuous screen time for such a long period of time takes a toll on a student's health. Students complain about frequent headaches and fatigue. Online classes disrupt the daily routine to some extent, as there are no specific meal times. Exercising is usually overlooked, which decreases the body's ability to stay fit and causes frequent illness. Health issues were one of the commonly faced online learning challenges. 

How to overcome this challenge of online education?

To make sure students do not go through this, the students should focus on taking small breaks between 2 lectures and try to stay away from any screens during the break. Go for a walk or take a power nap. Additionally, there are some of the best healthcare apps for students that help them monitor and check their health. 

8. Lack of Productivity

One huge drawback of online classes is that students have to sit in one place for hours. This also encourages laziness. The student is tired most of the time and is least interested in taking up another activity. The students may choose to sit in one place, scrolling through their phones rather than doing something productive. This can be a major online learning challenge for students in the long run. 

How to overcome this challenge of online education?

Students can take up their hobbies or try finding new interests.  Here are a few tips to stay proactive during online studying. This was one of the problems faced by students in online classes on a maximum level. Post the pandemic, many opportunities have been explored, and one of them is work-from-home internships. Here are some of the benefits of online internships.

9. Poor Time Management

Greater and effective time management cause less anxiety and results in better academic performance for the student. In reality, many students struggle to manage their studies with their day-to-day lives. For instance, if work is assigned to students, many of them are seen starting the work a day before the submission. This is a very common example of poor time management. This online learning challenge can lead to poor academic performance as they can face anxiety. It is essential to keep a balance between the two. 

How to overcome this challenge of online education?

Here are some tips that will guide students in time management

10. Increased Dependency

In an online environment, it is very easy for students to depend on the internet, artificial intelligence tools, or even an acquaintance from the class to complete their assignments. Students choose to copy work from external sources and submit the assignment. Students are rarely encouraged to do assignments and often go for shortcuts. In order to encourage participation and communication among the students, professors assign group assignments. However, this usually happens as students lack creativity, are demotivated to work and become dependent on others to complete the assignment. Increased dependency on others is also one of the major challenges of online education. 

How to overcome this challenge of online education?

In such cases, the tasks that are assigned can be assigned keeping in mind the common interests of students. 

 Challenges of Online Teaching

Not just the students, teachers also face a lot of difficulties and challenges of online education when it comes to teaching students online. Here are some of the challenges of online teaching:

1. Engaging Students

One of the online teaching challenges for teachers is engaging students on a virtual basis. Students being distracted is quite common in online classes as they are attending those online classes from their homes and from the comfort of their bedrooms. They lose concentration, and it becomes a task for the teachers to keep them engaged throughout the lecture. 

2. Teachers Lacking Technical Knowledge

As the virtual classes started abruptly, given the whole pandemic situation, teachers didn’t get the time to upskill themselves to become technologically proficient. This makes the class slow-moving and not as interactive as it should be. This kills a lot of time for both students and teachers, making the class unproductive and boring. 

3. Keeping Track of Assignments

Not just the classes, but keeping an immaculate record of each and every student’s assignments also becomes an online teaching challenge for teachers. Keeping track of assignments and whether students have honestly completed them themselves or have used AI tools such as ChatGPT is a bigger question for teachers to solve. This makes them doubt every student’s credibility, making it difficult to give grades. 

4. Unplanned Digital Content

Earlier relying on books, teachers had their way out with the content they taught. Books were quite accessible for the students through bookstores & libraries. But, with the pandemic, books became a far-lost dream, and digital books and PDFs took centre stage. It became one of the challenges of online teaching for the teachers to arrange and plan digital content for the students in much less time. 

5. Taking Charge of Class Online

Various teachers get a good hold of the class offline through their presence. However, with everything being shifted online, teachers have happened to lose a lot more control over the students and the classroom situation. With students being a few more steps ahead with the technology, it becomes challenging for the teachers to stop mischief and take charge of the class. 

Online learning comes with its own share of pros and cons. Online learning was something that excited everyone initially, but eventually, people got fed up with sitting in front of the screen all day. Along with anxiety, a lot of students also experienced high stress levels that affected their health. These are some tips for stress management. These are some of the most common problems faced by students in online classes. Some of these online learning challenges can be resolved with the help of certain solutions mentioned. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some common online learning challenges faced by students?

What are the merits of online learning?

Can you overcome the challenges of online education?

How do online classes affect children?

What are the negative effects of online learning on students' performance?

Top 10 Challenges of Online Learning As A Student
5 min
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