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Online Education and Learning

The wake of the Covid-19 pandemic registered a range of changes in almost all human undertakings globally. The virus’ severity, unpredictability, ease of spreading, and lack of cure forced people to enter into a new norm as directed by the World Health Organization, setting guidelines including restricted social meetings, traveling, and, if necessary, social gatherings had to observe measures like maintaining one-meter distance and strict sanitization regularly. As a result, the education sector, like many other sectors, felt the weight of the pandemic. Online learning, which in the past received little attention, now became the fundamental way for education as it conformed to the set regulations to combat the virus. In online learning, the model of learning is accomplished via the internet. Following the spectacular growth and development of technology, the internet has been made simpler, corresponding to the simplification of online education and learning (Palvia et al., 2018). The fate of online teaching and learning is to replace the classical educational system that operates on the physical learning basis. OECD (2016) states that the continually changing educational and economic front has noticeably affected the education and learning sector. The system (online education and learning) has been cited for incorporating a myriad of advantages in the education sector. However, this does not imply that the traditional learning system has become ineffective as its in-person teaching approach attracts several benefits for students.

Online education and learning allow flexibility in education in the first place. Learners can access their educational services beyond the distance boundaries. This means they can receive an education without necessarily having to travel to their respective academic centers. Those students who are unable to enroll in a traditional classroom benefit from the concept of online learning and allow them to alter their studying schedule and learn based on their speed. It is critical to ensure that, as we dive into internet learning, students undertaking their studies through the internet must be scrupulous and make sure that their coursework is accomplished through a valued and credited learning institution. Conveniently, online education supports students to study from home or any other place as learning materials are available on the internet. Statistics reveal that about 6.1 million college learners complete their studies online, and as it goes, the number is expected to grow to about 30% per year. Dumford and Miller (2018) narrate that many colleges and universities are getting increasingly interested in online learning and therefore concern themselves more in how they will ideally offer reliable course content to their learners. However, consolidating online learning and traditional learning, often called blended learning, can significantly benefit students. The rise of blended learning that has been happening within the last two decades allows for appropriate accommodation of the rising numbers of diverse learners’ population, thereby enriching education (Serrano et al., 2019). This can happen when vital aspects of conventional education such as one-on-one are blended with online and self-paced learning. Ordinary merit for blended learning is the improved student experiences and outcomes and effective teaching and course management practices ((Serrano et al., 2019).

Incorporating digital technology like the internet in the education system offers numerous chances to the opening of new opportunities, proper ways to disseminate digital data, ensure there is equity in the access of digital knowledge for all who wish to procure it, and increase competency among students based on digital literacy (Makarova, & Makarova, 2018). Researches recently speculated that the outcome of digital virtual learning is not perfectly corresponding to the experts’ expectations. For instance, students may be unable to practice higher standards of autonomy while learning online. And their inability to self-regulate themselves and become their own best self-advocates turns out to be the biggest failure of virtual online learning. Hence, receiving online education from real-live educators can help solve this problem. As Gary Miron, professor of evaluation, measurement, and research at Western Michigan University, says, having the presence of these educators can help students maintain their research lanes within the speculated ranges making a big difference in the quantity of information they consume. Typically, blended learning operates uniquely by practicing both online and conventional learning practices. For example, the school schedule may require students to attend physical education on certain days, while on other days, they may be assigned tasks virtually for completion.

A plausible advantage of online teaching and learning, as Coman et al. (2020) state, allows for the distribution of content to a large group of learners simultaneously, a concept called one-to-many and many-to-one. Further, E-learning offers a better and effective environment for educators and their learners to communicate. Through this, learners can be given appropriate direction on obtaining helpful study material that over-flood the internet, a situation that often presents inherent choosing challenges. For example, in teaching chemistry at the University of Santo Tomas during the Covid-19 pandemic, Lupitan et al. (2021) report about a blended learning model that was developed to facilitate the continuity of learning. The model is comprised of five parts- Discover, Learn, Practice, Collaborate and Assess (DLPCA) (Lupitan et al., 2021). The model incorporated the use of lecture videos prerecorded on youtube and live video conferencing using an application like zoom and google meet. The model’s success was superb despite a few challenges like unstable network connection and lack of knowledge of the software that facilitated online learning by the instructors and, sometimes, the students. Thus, students in poorly developed areas face a profoundly problematic situation when trying to enter into the mainstream of online education due to the poor internet connections, lack of data bundles that are relatively expensive, and lack of compatible devices to aid them swiftly participating in online classes like their counterparts in the developed areas Agung, Surtikanti, & Quinones, 2020). Students at the university reported having been satisfied with the model. This specifies why blended learning serves a crucial role in improving learners’ experience and overcoming the limitations of the two education systems-online education and traditional education.

Navigating the learners’ experience since the strict implementation of online learning among the Kindergarten (K-12) students, Yan et al. (2020) report that, among the Chinese students who were abruptly immersed into virtual learning due to the pandemic, their experiences were undesirable when compared to the traditional educational system. These students face various challenges related to the delivery of online learning, and therefore, close attention is needed to quantify these students based on their needs and learning capacity (Yan et al., (2020). Further, for effective online learning to be implemented, customization of students’ needs at different levels- primary, middle school, and high school- and different learning years need to be critically considered. Acknowledging that the already oriented education system resulting from a covid-19 pandemic is here to stay, and even after the virus has been completely eradicated, the impacts will still be visible is critical. In essence, the key stakeholders in collaboration with parents must critically assess all the issues about the concept of online learning and therefore implement measures to make online learning effective (Yan et al., 2020) in developing students’ experience and academic performance.

Generally, online education and learning attract a myriad of advantages if implemented appropriately. However, this appropriate implementation calls for critical observance of the existing challenges in the system corresponding with proper implementation of intervention measures. For instance, based on the discussion above, it is possible to make online education and learning applicable to all who partake it when needs at each level are quantified to address the needs of each student at their levels. For example, children in the K-12 education level require a special approach in channeling them into the adoption of online learning and education. Consequently, for best results, concentrating on blended learning that collaborates both online and traditional learning methods can realize the increased performance of online teaching and learning. The greatest challenge with online learning is seen among those students in undeveloped areas where access to stable internet connection is the most significant issue. Also, these students may come from poverty-stricken families where affording internet bundles to facilitate their online learning is a big issue. Governments need to assess this issue and come up with measures such as the installation of network boosters in such areas to back up the network stability and even collaborate with internet data providing companies to offer more affordable data deals for generalized access to the internet.


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