After the past two years, working from home has virtually become a staple of society and something that does not seem to be going anywhere anytime soon, and for a good reason.
People have realised that it doesn’t need to be as structured or routine as the typical 9-5 and that you can change it up. People can work to the same quality, if not better, from the comfort of their home and with more flexibility. More freedom to have a balanced life outside of work.
As much of a breath of fresh air as this feels for so many workers and employees, it is far from being the perfect set-up and not without its faults.
This is a new form of hybrid working, and we are all still adjusting to it, trying to figure out systems and processes that work best for the individual companies and an all-rounded best practice.
So when attending something like a creative online course, it can truly bring so much insight, but it is still in the learning phase of how best to present to you and what way is best to keep you feeling engaged when you could be hundreds of miles away.
So, with that in mind, let’s look at the pros and cons of virtual learning.
One massive pro for virtually learning is the flexibility it offers you in your lifestyle, primarily where you can join from.
No more having to turn up to a set location and travel early in the morning only to turn up tired and exhausted already, just before you’re meant to be at your most creatively active.
You can be anywhere and also not tire yourself out just before learning. This means that regardless of where you are, as long as you can connect properly to the internet, you can learn just as much as you would within a physical learning environment.
Con: Internet Connection
One massive con of virtual learning – and something we have all experienced – is that we truly are at the mercy of our wifi. Not only the ability for our devices to connect and be reliable, but that the connection has strength enough to withstand the entire meeting, lesson, or session.
Not only does this distract you from the actual learning as you are trying desperately to stay connected, but you could also miss out on the entire learning session in the worst of times.
The most challenging aspect about this con is that it is so based upon individual experiences and their ability to sort out their connection, which can happen for several reasons that might be out of your control.
Pro: Articulate your thoughts
One thing that happens to so many of us when being a part of a large group and you have a question or need something clarified is that we have stage fright. We stumble, can’t get our words out or just simply don’t want to.
However, this is less likely to happen online, especially if there is a way to type this out; you can take the time you need to collect and compose your thoughts to refine your question or comment to what exactly it is you wish to say and express.
This anonymity really can help you in your learning as far too often we nod along when we don’t know what is going on, whereas this offers an alternative to ensure we don’t feel pressured but can keep up and ensure we are getting as much out of it as we can.
Con: Lack of involvement/participation
Participation and interactivity is essential to a good learning experience and ensures people stay engaged and help break up theory to practice.
This can be a massive struggle during an online learning session to effectively supply an interactive aspect to participants as you can’t get them up and doing things with you and are completely reliant more so on their willingness to participate than being able to persuade them into a task.
This lack of practicality to the learning means it can be hard to gauge how much people are taking in and if it is being appropriately explained and they can take it away and apply it later on in their lives.
Overall, online learning and online working, in general, is just something that is still in a learning phase and best practice is still being figured out. However, it is also something that is likely not a one shoe fits all issue.
It is highly dependent on the point of the call, the type of interactivity you want from people and how you best want to communicate with people virtually on methods you might adopt to achieve this best.