E-learning is relatively new, and people around the world are still adjusting to this model. Especially in a country like India, where it has always been a tradition to adorn bags on the back and head to schools and colleges to attend classes, e-learning is still making its way into the learning industry.
This sudden shift from traditional school learning to learning through the screens may overwhelm many students and learners, and this feeling is mutual with the trainers sitting on the other side of the screens. From poor internet connections to concentration issues, there are several challenges of e-learning that we are yet to resolve.
10 Challenges of E-learning and Ways to Tackle Them
E-learning is a saviour and has proved to be a great opportunity, but at the same time, it also brings in many challenges that need to be tackled. In this blog, we have pulled together a list of 10 ways you can tackle the challenges of e-learning.
1. Connectivity and Internet Issues
With the pandemic hitting the world, the education system everywhere shifted to computers and mobile devices. This led to high usage of online learning systems, video streaming platforms and software and other related digital tools needed to run the system. A stable internet connection is required, covering all the progressive e-learning needs. While the country is moving towards 5G, some areas are far from experiencing even 2G services. Especially in rural areas where people are still struggling to have an internet connection, e-learning is more challenging to manage.
To tackle this connectivity issue, the software used in the system should be designed to use less data, or data plans should be managed after considering total internet usage.
2. Lack of Attention and Motivation
We live in an era where people have access to more data than they can consume but, unfortunately, deal with poor attention spans. Unfortunately, this is the biggest roadblock in the e-learning system. Not every learner is 100% committed and comfortable with an online learning experience. They either get distracted or simply remain unmotivated.
In order to improve learner engagement, it’s imperative to make e-learning courses engaging and inspiring. No matter how boring they are, every topic can be fun to learn and understand if made relevant and interesting to the learners. Games, interactive videos, visuals, scenarios, etc., can be incorporated to achieve this.
3. Digital Illiteracy
The pandemic shifted schools to online platforms but did not allow the time to provide additional training to trainers and learners on how to use those e-learning systems. It became difficult for teachers, students and even parents to start using online platforms, digital tools and learning management systems out of nowhere.
Complete training sessions or multiple, if needed, should be arranged for teachers, students and parents to make them digitally and computer literate. Students and parents should be made aware of how to make the best use of digital tools to attend classes, use provided resources, and submit assignments. Other than that, there should be technical support accessible through email, phone or live chat so that they can guide the learners to navigate through the platform without many hassles.
4. E-learning for Different Generations
When it comes to making e-learning modules and digital tools, one aspect that needs utmost consideration is that it is not one-size-fits-all. Every generation uses e-learning platforms nowadays, whether it is toddlers, Gen X, millennials or Gen Z. It makes it challenging to create different experiences for every generation since each generation has its own set of traits and requirements.
To overcome this, data should be collected through surveys or any other medium about the learner’s traits like background, behaviour, goals, preferences, etc., which are important while designing e-learning courses.
5. The Misconception that E-learning Offers No Support
There’s a misconception that learners do not get any support in e-learning courses. This can cause many learners to back down even before enrolling in their desired courses, even when they have the resources and motivation to do so.
To tackle this issue, it should be ensured that there is a solid and proper support system in place for learners using digital platforms and software. A properly designed and crafted Frequently Asked Questions or FAQ section can interactively answer all possible questions. Video manuals, voice manuals and well-written answers can help the learners in case of any queries or more complicated concerns. Further, support on call should also be made available with proper operative hours so that learners can ask questions which are not available in the FAQs.
6. Busy Schedule of Learners
Everyone is running short on time in this day and age. A major section of people hesitates to enrol in an e-learning course because they think it will not fit into their tight busy schedule as it will require a great deal of time, and they will end up wasting their money.
This notion can be dealt with by designing courses that fit in the busy schedule of learners. The entire course should be split into small videos or bite-sized portions that learners can access whenever and wherever they wish. Further, visually appealing images, videos or presentations can keep them hooked on the course and the learning experience.
7. LMS Imperfections
A Learning Management System, or LMS, is the heart and soul of an e-learning module. Trainers and learners interact through LMS, and it is important to design it in a way that provides convenience to both parties. If designed poorly, it will end up crashing the whole online learning medium.
To overcome this problem, it should be made sure to understand the psychology of teaching and learning and how the whole teaching system works. It can be done by interviewing teachers and students from different domains and understanding what they need from a learning management system to make it easy for them to operate. An LMS should be visually appealing and designed in a way that lets the users navigate through it smoothly.
8. Lack of Interaction
One of the major cornerstone problems with online learning is the lack of interaction between teachers and learners. It is difficult to maintain concentration without face-to-face contact with the trainers. It becomes more problematic when a subject demands in-person instruction like physics, chemistry, nursing, art, etc.
There are numerous ways to push down the scale of difficulties and engage students during online sessions, like live presentations, gamification, live question-answer rounds, tracking progress, etc. Students can be provided with scientific modelling and simulation applications for practical learning.
9. Security Breaches
Going digital for e-learning or business brings in the risk of security breaches. It can become the hub of cyber crimes if not tackled in advance. Data security should be prioritised, and sensitive data should be saved from being stolen at any cost.
Regular software upgrades, pop-ups, and reminders for learners and trainers to not follow any suspicious links or visit any suspicious websites or applications must be implemented to ensure web security.
10. Data Privacy
Trainers, students, and other users often connect to digital platforms without paying attention to which data these platforms collect and end up giving personal information and data. Sometimes, we tend to overlook the information requirements and compromise our privacy while filling up the subscription details.
To ensure that no data is leaked, the software should be designed in collaboration with a trusted company and integrated with filters. And the learners must pay special attention to the information they provide to the e-learning platforms.
E-learning is the need of the hour and comes with endless opportunities. But every opportunity comes with its own set of challenges. Although it is almost impossible to foresee all challenges of e-learning that may show up, it is always beneficial to stay proactive rather than reactive.
With the information mentioned in this blog, you can prepare for the majority of the hurdles well in advance so that your e-learning journey can achieve new standards.