Advantages and Disadvantages of Online Classes: 2023 & Beyond

Most of us had first-hand experiences with online classes. Undoubtedly, these make learning more accessible, convenient, and personalized.

In India, many students and stakeholders have started harnessing the unparalleled advantages of online education. But again, our vast country is full of individual differences. And not all of us are still on the same page!

This article aims to apprise you of the advantages and disadvantages of online classes from a neutral point of view. Do read this information write-up to make the most of this positive force in education.

We begin with some relevant facts before breaking down the pros and cons of virtual classes to help you make an informed choice. 

Keep Reading!

Insights into the Challenges Advantages and Disadvantages of Online Classes in India

  • By the current year (2023), India will witness a 40% increase in the number of internet users reaching a mark of around 750 to 800 million.
  • This year, the number of smartphones is also expected to cross the mark of 700 million.
  • The online primary and secondary supplemental education segment was 11.99 billion (in Indian rupees). By the year 2024, the same is estimated to be around 123.65 billion.
  • The FICCI Future of Jobs report stated that around 37% of the jobs require a workforce with completely changed skill sets (from 2022).
Increase rate of internet users by 2023
Online primary and secondary education segment value in billions
20182024
11.99123.65

Source– Online education in India Opportunities & Challenges A report by FICCI A non-government, not-for-profit organization.

So by far, you must have understood the criticality of skill-building for your child. For many reasons like these, the advantages of online education are a widely discussed topic across the world.

Let’s decode these now and see how virtual learning can surpass our conventional classrooms here in India.

Noteworthy Advantages of Online Classes in the Indian Context

1. Student Empowerment

A traditional classroom has a long list of prerequisites. It requires the student to be physically present in the classroom, needs adequate teacher count, and is based on traditional teaching practices. Other than all this, it functions on a fixed timetable.

Clearly, it is not possible to meet all these ends perfectly all the time. And this is where the greatest advantages of online classes help us. With this model, we can bring the entire school set up right to the doorstep of the student. This means that a student can learn at any given point in time, literally 24/7/365!

With this innovative format of instructional delivery, a student need not struggle to match the pace of any other peer. He/she can create a desired pace of learning, go slow or fast all as per the individual learning gaps.

And there is no need to master the topic/concept/lesson within the rat race to be with someone else. In India, student empowerment is directly related to educational satisfaction including their retention in the mainstream stream. Because the problem of school dropouts is quite serious at the higher levels of formal education.

Dropout Rate by level and gender-2021-22 (in %)
Secondary (9-10)
BoysGirls
1312.3
Student dropout rate by level and gender

We already know that our Indian system battles with numerous challenges each day. But the good news is that online classes/online school is empowering students in many possible ways.  

Do you know that 90% of students feel that online learning is better than traditional classroom learning?

Percentage of students thinks online learning is better than traditional

2. Credible Alternate Pathway

The digital paradigm has also contributed to new and better ways of instructional delivery. Unlike mundane methods like chalk and talk, the advantages of online education extend to a new pedagogical framework.

All this allows more opportunities to hone student’s skill sets, making them critical thinkers and inquisitive learners. Online classes are designed in a manner that a teacher can gauge the interest levels, learning, and consumption patterns of students well.

Contrary to a traditional classroom environment, virtual learning also improves student engagement levels. In this way, it makes a desirable impact on the teaching and learning processes. 

Here’s a quick fact about the retention levels in online education before we move on.

Students tend to retain 25-60% more material during virtual learning. The same is only 8-10% in a regular classroom.

Student retain percentage in virtual learning

3. Designs Student-Centric Experiences

While discussing the advantages and disadvantages of online classes, we can never ignore the aspect of student-centric learning. Today, skill acquisition is a widely discussed topic in this highly skill-driven world.

In India, our students across all family backgrounds require student-centric educational designs to develop real-world skill sets. Our nation has major challenges like teacher quality, accessibility in remote areas, personalization, etc.

For instance, one of the harsh realities about students with disabilities is that they tend to struggle to complete graduation. And eventually, they also find it difficult to enter the workforce.

With virtual learning, 15% of the world’s global population with disabilities finds a safe haven. They can carry their studies at home. And stay away from issues like bullying or school violence etc.

4. Reduces Sky-High Costs

Can you guess the cost of educating a child in India?

Well!

This can be a tricky one for many of you!

Let me simplify this one with a couple of facts.

  • An average Indian middle-class parent/couple usually spares a couple of lakhs for their child’s education. But it is estimated to be a mammoth amount of 30 lakhs only for a private school (from 3 to 17 years).

Here’s a look at the minimum and maximum costs of school education (main expenses only). 

Fee TypeMinimumMaximum
Admission fee25,00075000
Discounts10,00020,000
Preschool (tier-I and II cities)60,000150000
Daycare5,0008500
Tuition fee (primary)125000175000
Yearly Fee (middle)160000180000
Books in Grade XI4,0007,000
High school180000220000
Minimum costs of school education | Advantages and Disadvantages of Online Classes

Imagine saving the costs of daycare, books, travel, and many more school supplies every day by enrolling your kid in an online school.

And just to add on, most of the accredited online schools also do away with any hidden charges making it a lump sum amount with some installment options for parents.

5. Miscellaneous Benefits

A study proved that 18% of parents found the flexibility of online school its biggest advantage. In fact, the individualized designs of online schooling give students more free time for hobbies or interests as well. Similarly, a self-decided study pace and a student-centric productive learning environment also boost better results.

Having said that, there is no denial to the fact that there are both advantages and disadvantages of online classes. Here’s a look at some of these now.

Downsides of Online Classes

1. Requires Strong Discipline

Unlike a traditional school, online classes suit students who can make a judicious use of their time during asynchronous learning.

This means that a student needs to be more disciplined and prepared before the virtual class in order to make the most of it. Most virtual classes are ideal for doubt clearing.

However, an online learner needs to be more independent and disciplined in comparison to a regular student.

2. Limited Teacher Interactions

Virtual classes are different from traditional classes. In this design, students cannot be with the teacher all the time. Many online institutions have a limited number of online classes.

This number can vary from school to school. Some students depend on more teacher assistance. Hence, for these, this format might not be the ideal choice.

3. Fear of Procrastination

Another important disadvantage of virtual learning is that many students might fall for the threat of procrastination.

A student who lacks the intrinsic motivation to study can pile up assignments/work, making it more difficult and burdensome eventually.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Online Classes

Before we wrap up, let’s understand how online education can help our Indian youth achieve what they really want in life.    

How Can the Advantages of Online Education Support Indian Youth?

A report by the World Economic Forum reveals the mindset of our Indian youth:

Feel there is a lack of  mentoringInterested in earning with gig workNeed a degree in higher education
30%63%97%
Indian Youth mindset

Our nation has over 1.4 billion people under the age of 30. But the gap between the expectations and reality is sinister. In India, only 3% of the population is vocationally trained.

This means that the age-old systems need to be fixed in order to bridge these huge gaps. The advantages of online education are perfect to help our youth gain skills that match the requirements of the job industry.

Graph showing professionally trained population in India and other countries
Infographic showing ways in which Online education can support youth| Advantages and Disadvantages of Online Classes

Final Thoughts

There are many evident advantages and disadvantages of online classes. And in the Indian context, online education is certainly creating an efficient path to strengthen student success at all levels. Our nation needs to harness its greatest asset, the power of its youth!

With the new and credible solutions provided through the online school, our students can beat all the variations and thrive in a complex world with the right skill sets.

This is the biggest boon in this post-pandemic world. It is not an exaggeration to say that virtual learning is the pathway to top-notch job opportunities in the global workforce in the years to come!

Thanks for Reading!    

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are the top advantages of online classes?
    The key advantages of online classes are as under:
    • Flexibility
    • Self-paced learning
    • Less costly
    • Suitable for many types of students
    • Good for introverted students
    • Reaches all nooks and corners of the world
    • Improves teacher quality
    • Reduces barriers to learning
  • What are some of the advantages of online education for students?
    Our Indian students can benefit from the advantages of virtual learning in the following ways:
    • Preparing for the global workforce
    • Acquiring the skills for future jobs
    • Save time, money, and energy that gets wasted in attending traditional classes
    • Improve digital skillsets
    • Understand the paradigm of the global village
    • Develop inter-cultural understanding
  • How can I enrol my child in an online school?
    An accredited online school has a full-fledged official website that can be referred to for all details. You can also reach out to the shortlisted schools and take a virtual classroom session through their academicians. Once you decide on the best-fit school, follow their respective admission process.

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