5 Common Challenges in Distance Learning

Educational institutions benefit from a variety of teaching methods powered by technology. Offering online classes are quickly becoming the norm, as more instructors attempt to make learning more accessible for all. A virtual class does have many benefits. For starters, every student can work on the course requirements anywhere, and at any time. With greater flexibility, instructors get to personalize feedback for each student’s performance, and in turn, students aren’t pressured to learn at the same pace as their classmates.

But despite these advantages, there are still challenges with virtual learning. It isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. That’s why looking into these challenges is an essential step to making sure that shifting into an online class is the best option for a particular type of coursework or training module.

Virtual Class: Specific Challenges and Their Solution

The current global circumstances have put virtual classes into focus. Many are considering whether it’s the best alternative to traditional classroom learning. While to a certain extent, this may be true, we need to identify potential concerns and how to address them.

  • Online classes tend to be monotonous and boring

Some courses or subjects don’t translate well into online modules. If the coursework consists mostly of text, students won’t feel engaged. If the students aren’t interested or motivated to complete the work, they will likely fail. The solution to this problem is to make sure that the coursework is interactive. You need to feature a variety of tools and activities as well as video and audio instruction.

Related Content: Deliver Successful Training by Nurturing Student Focus and Attention
  • Inability to detect non-verbal cues

Although a virtual classroom is as effective as a traditional classroom in many aspects, there are still some things that a digital class can’t replicate. For instance, instructors won’t be able to read non-verbal cues such as facial expressions easily. These cues are often more indicative of the learner’s engagement than spoken words. The best solution to this issue is by encouraging communication. Asking learners to participate in virtual classes will help increase engagement.

Related Content: 5 Tips for Curriculum Developers and Instructors to Enhance Virtual Classroom Experiences
  • Lack of human interaction

Some learners prefer to interact with other learners, since online classrooms tend to be too inhibiting for them. If this is a potential problem for your virtual class, the best way to allow student interaction is by hosting web seminars and social media forums. If possible, you can also hold partial classroom instruction to augment online learning.

  • Technical difficulty affecting the quality of instruction

Another common stumbling block encountered with online classes is technical problems. Device incompatibility and connectivity issues are only two reasons why students could end up feeling frustrated about the course. As a solution, the course needs to operate on different OS and devices. Attending personally to the needs of your students can also help ease their frustration when experiencing technical difficulties.
A virtual class can be successful if you acknowledge its weaknesses and come up with pre-emptive solutions. While it isn’t perfect, it complements classroom instruction perfectly as it ultimately resolves many of the known problems associated with conventional instruction.

Want to make distance learning more effective? Learn more about our Virtual Instructor-Led Training (VILT) here!
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