Disadvantages of Online Learning


With various technological advancements taking place globally, online learning in the educational sector is quite inevitable. Despite its few advantages, like conferring student flexibility and allowing learning to take place at learners’ pace, online learning has various advantages that are attributed to it. Some of these disadvantages include: it weakens the student-teacher relationship, it is expensive, there is limited student feedback, it is theory-oriented rather than practical oriented, it requires people who are good time managers and self-motivated, and computer illiterate people cannot access online learning, it lacks quality assurance and accreditation, and exam cheating is hard to control. Unlike classroom teaching, online learning provides limited room for immediate feedback.


In the traditional classroom setting, there was face-to-face interaction which created room for immediate feedback. Learners experiencing curriculum problems would resolve them directly and quickly, either during lecture hours or during the set consultation hours. The teacher was able to quickly identify and correct learners’ misconceptions. However, with online learning, there is little or no feedback at all. This causes dissatisfaction among learners, especially those having regular assessments. Immediate feedback is also limited due to poor internet connections in some areas and this lowers the efficiency of online learning.

Online teachers focus mainly on theory with the least concern for practical work. This is since theoretical classes can easily be implemented on online learning platforms than practical classes. For effective practical lessons, learners should actively participate by doing the practice under the guidance of the teacher. Online practical lessons are thus expensive to implement and most of them are limited to teacher demonstrations which are less effective than real practical lessons.

Online learning could also lead to social isolation. The methods utilized in online learning can make the students undergo remoteness and contemplation. Due to the absence of human communication, teachers and learners who dedicate much time to online learning may experience social isolation signs. In traditional classrooms, there was active interaction among teachers and learners and cases of social isolation where isolation was rare. Social isolation leads to boredom, lack of concentration, anxiety, and even stress, which hinders E-learning effectiveness. Despite the above shortcomings, online learning has some advantages attributed to it.

Online learning is efficient. Online learning provides various learning resources such as charts, PDFs, and videos that can be used for effective teaching and learning. Learning resources in traditional learning were limited to textbooks, specimens, and charts. However, with online learning, the teacher is provided with a wide range of resources that enable them to become efficient educators.

The efficiency of a learning resource depends on its effectiveness in delivering the intended information. It is therefore difficult to assess the effectiveness of these resources since there is limited room for immediate feedback in online learning. some of the online resources are from untrusted sources and they contain misguided information which creates misconceptions among students.

Online learning is cheap. This is because, with online learning, real estate, meals, and transportation expenses are cut down. Besides, learning resources are available on the internet, and this creates a paperless teaching-learning environment.

Although online learning cuts down on various costs, it requires computers and smartphones that are expensive to purchase. The computers require power availability which is not available in some regions, especially in third world countries. Students can attend online classes from locations of their choice and this reduces the chances of absenteeism. Online learning requires learners to focus on a computer monitor for a length of time. This challenges many students and they lose concentration, sleep or engage in other activities.


Online learning has several shortcomings whose solutions must be provided for it to be efficient. Some of the disadvantages include resulting in social isolation; it has limited feedback, and it is theory-oriented.

REFERENCESGautam, P. (2020, October 9). Advantages and disadvantages of online learning. Retrieved from https://elearningindustry.com/advantages-and-disadvantages-online-learning
Norman, S. (2020, April 22). 5 advantages of online learning: education without leaving home. Retrieved from https://elearningindustry.com/5-advantages-of-online-learning-education-without-leaving-home
Tamm, S. (2019, December 21). Disadvantages of E-learning. Retrieved from https://e-student.org/disadvantages-of-e-learning/
Tom. (2019, May 1). 5 disadvantages to consider about online education. Retrieved from https://www.petersons.com/blog/5-disadvantages-to-consider-about-online-education/

2022-09-08 10:05:18

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