With the COVID-19 pandemic raging in many places around the world, virtual learning is fast becoming a norm in several countries. Research on virtual learning has been ambivalent, to say the least. On one hand, there are papers that highlight the positive outcome of this learning method, but there are also papers that describe the negative effects, especially within the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
For students who have to learn on a virtual platform, here are some of the major impacts of virtual learning to keep in mind.
Here are 6 Major Impacts of Virtual Learning
1. Aggravated Digital Inequity
Digital inequity is a major issue for children and students. Virtual learning needs devices with the right hardware to be successful. These devices can be their phones, their tablets, or their PCs. However, the fact that some students lack these devices will be a major issue. Some even lack a high-speed internet connection, which is a basic requirement for virtual learning. Thus, some students might not be able to take in new knowledge when they have to rely on virtual learning.
2. Lack of a Structured Environment
Students are used to a structured environment that is designed exclusively for learning purposes. When they have to switch to virtual learning, this habit will be disrupted. The home environment students have to study in is not designed for educational purposes. The line between daily life and school life is extremely blurred, and young students might get distracted from time to time. Thus, your productivity might suffer.
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3. Decreased Engagement
Naturally, when learning on a virtual platform, students will see decreased face-to-face interactions. As a result, the class will be considerably less engaging than a real-life class. This low level of engagement will push disengaged students even further from class activities, making it difficult for the class to be successful. Furthermore, the lack of face-to-face interactions means that teachers will have a more difficult time discerning which students require special help.
4. Feeling Unmotivated
Learning in a group can help motivate students to perform better and to be more engaging in classes. Even though virtual learning still presents a lot of chances for a group project, the projects are mostly less engaging than in a real-life context. Thus, the students will be less motivated to learn, impeding their progress. Looking for resources online can help with the problem of motivation. Praised for their high accuracy and good overall writing quality, CleverrUp has always been a top choice for students needing help with virtual assignments.
Isolation is a big issue when students learn through a virtual learning platform. As they will have to spend their time sitting in front of the screen, students might become more and more isolated from their surroundings. This, coupled with the lack of face-to-face interactions, will negatively affect the students’ mental well-being and social skills.
6. More Equality in the Classroom
Perhaps one of the few positive impacts virtual learning has on students is the fact that students may feel more equal in class. There is no podium, and there is no student seat. Thus, both the teacher and the students can freely interact with one another without any class barrier between them. That said, the teacher should also be mindful of the digital inequity between students so that they can be ready to provide personal assistance whenever necessary.
Virtual learning can be a great boon for students who enjoy more flexibility and equality in the classroom, but the negative impacts are still there. Without the right preventive steps, it can be very difficult for students to adjust to these negative impacts, and if they cannot adapt, their learning performance, as well as their social skills, will suffer.
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