Opinion: Online learning is not advantageous in the long run


Laptop computer / Stock Snap / Startup Stock Photos / CC BY 3.0

Many students work on their laptops to complete their online schooling.

I always heard that online school was so much better than having to go to school, outside of the comfort of your own home. 

According to a study conducted by the U.S. Department of Education, there are 1.7 million homeschooled students and counting, who are either studying online or with the help of their parents. However, online school is not all that it seems and I believe that students who attend online schools are at a disadvantage compared to other students.

For example, online schooling provides an in-home experience that does not accurately represent the real-world problems that students will face in the future.

The fact that students have to deal with missing assignments and talking one-on-one with their teachers is essential to developing their communication and interpersonal skills. With online school, the interaction with teachers is limited which can lead to miscommunication and disengagement, which BBC News reported is the “biggest challenge for online teaching.”

At school, students have to move to different classes and adjust to new situations as they are presented, opportunities that online school may lack.

Sometimes, parents may choose to hold their child back or enroll them in online schooling to give them the extra help they may need. However, the failure they are trying to avoid is critical to the learning and growth of the child as a student and a productive member of society.

Online schools may also lack face-to-face interaction with peers. While some say that online friends are real friends just behind a screen, students likely won’t have real problems or conflicts with those people because they can just shut their computer or phone off to avoid such confrontation.

Additionally, those in support of online schooling may make the argument that online students can go at their own pace and achieve the same as regular students do. However, on campus, students must work in a timely fashion to turn in assignments within the indicated class period, a requirement that teaches them how to manage their time efficiently.

While some think that online schooling may be beneficial for their situation, it is most likely not.

According to a report, conducted by researchers from the University of Washington, Stanford University and the Mathematica policy research group, online students fall far behind their counterparts in the classroom. Likewise, the study found that only 2% of online schools outperformed campus students in reading and none did so in math.

Ultimately, on-campus learning allows students to interact with figures of authority, like teachers and other faculty, and teaches them how to adapt to different personalities that they may come into contact with. These skills are essential for virtually every high-achieving and a high-paying job where one would need to understand interpersonal relations and make compromises to succeed in the workplace.

Therefore, online school is less beneficial than a regular school for a student’s overall success.