As the popularity of distance learning continues to grow, students and instructors alike may have some questions about the process. Although online classes are not as intensive as traditional classroom settings, there are still some issues students may encounter. For instance, students and instructors may experience different levels of anxiety when attending an online course, or they may worry about the quality of their work or future opportunities if they are forced to take classes remotely. There are some things to keep in mind, however, in order to reduce anxiety and maximize learning outcomes.
The most common challenges faced by distance learners involve technology. Often, students experience problems with their computer and Internet connection. A slow Internet connection may affect the quality of online learning. Other challenges are due to lack of basic computer knowledge. Many students do not have the basic computer skills to use appropriate communication apps, or to use study materials. In such cases, technical support services at schools can be a useful resource. But it is important to remember that distance learning places an additional burden on parents.
Besides poor communication, the lack of visual cues and the lack of proximity and physical presence between instructor and students can hinder the effectiveness of distance learning. Students will miss important information if they cannot see their instructor. However, with adequate communication, students will feel more connected than ever. They will be able to share information in a more meaningful way with their classmates. A distance learning environment requires the attention of an instructor, who may not be able to read the reactions of remote students.