How Online Learning Affects Students

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Considering the convenience, it’s natural to enjoy working from home.  However, online learning has negatively affected young students (especially those who started school for the first time during the pandemic). After researching the statistics on how online learning affects students, I have jotted down how online learning affects students.

In addition, this article also talks about the solutions that would help students to overcome these obstacles and further enhance their academic, personal, and social life.

Wondering what they are? Let’s get into it!

The Impact of Online Learning on Students

Before you get into the negative impact of online education and learning, we have also separately covered the benefits of online learning that you can check out.

Let’s find out some of the major effects of online learning and solutions for them. 

1. Social Isolation 

The E-learning education method tends to make students undergo examination, contemplation, learning activities, and large screen time. 

Students and teachers are spending more time interacting with each other through online mode. 

Students need human communication support in order to maintain their mental and behavioral needs. This support can be emotional, behavioral, academic, or physical interaction. 

How Online Learning Affects Students - Social Isolation

The increased use of online learning makes students rely on technology instead of interacting and communicating with others. It decreases the growth of communication skills and results in increased social isolation.

This social isolation results in various health and mental issues like stress, poor sleep, anxiety, depression, and negative thoughts.

2. Lack of Skill Development

Another problem students may face is a lack of skills. The online education method is inadequate in face-to-face interaction and in providing various skill development opportunities. 

Due to this gap in interaction, students may undergo the low skills that they need for overall growth. 

Students may lack skills like communication skills, time management skills, self-discipline, creative thinking, teamwork, public speaking, and goal planning. 

Lack of Skill Development

These are the most important skills that define the overall growth of the students for their future. Online learning may cause low-efficiency performance in their academic years. 

Plus, students lack many activities that are important for the proper growth of their mental health, like field sports, debate activities, and events. Games, contests, and projects. 

3. Less Interactive Knowledge

Traditional learning system gives hands-on communication chances and interactive sessions. But in the online education system, you have to learn by yourself with the help of online lectures, books, or software.

In schools or universities, students learn how to communicate and make friends. It stimulates ethics and manners while communicating with each other.

This leads to developing proper communication skills and public speaking skills.

In the case of online learning, there are no such interactive sessions or productive events that boost the various skills of the students. 

4. Affect On Mental Health

Students learn through all the factors that stimulate various skills. Online learning led to increased technology usage and decreased physical activities. 

The traditional education system provides many opportunities to learn skills through activities like life skills games, co-curricular activities, and classroom interactions. This leads to the complete development of the emotional quotient and intelligence quotient.

But unlike the traditional education system, online learning impacts differently on mental health. It decreases the chances of cognitive growth.

The online learning method is affecting the mental health of students in every aspect.

Students are facing many issues:

  1. Depression
  2. Anger issues
  3. Anxiety
  4. Low mood or lack of interest
  5. Self-esteem issues
  6. Demotivation and Isolation
  7.  addictions

So it is essential to keep in mind that all these aspects can harm the entire future of the student and may turn into lifelong problems.

5. Physical Health Effects

There is a significant correlation between mental and physical health. 

With this massive shift to the online mode, students are adopting the ‘Eat- sit and study’ lifestyle to their daily routine. 

Due to no physical exercise or physical activities, students may face many health-related concerns like eyesight problems, obesity, back pains, vitamin D deficiency, bad postures, disturbed eating habits, etc.

Physical Health Effects

This also affects the lack of classroom ethics and bad ergonomics. Moreover, it also causes inevitable headaches, poor sleep, and sometimes exposure to violence. 

Not getting enough physical activities impacts the mental health of students, as they are facing social isolation and see so much trauma around them.

6. No Practical Knowledge

There are some courses that need practical knowledge in order to apply them in real-world practices. 

Academics like MBA, MBBS, and Law need real practical knowledge that online learning is unable to provide. 

Other than these courses also, students need practical knowledge on how to apply various skills in practical life. 

Online learning methods might decrease the practical skills of students. A medical student’s autopsy or an aspiring engineer’s real-world industrial training cannot be replaced by any amount of online lectures.

We are not yet at a stage where we can thoroughly teach all vocations with E-Learning alone. However, this may change in the future.

Thus, this results in career concerns, like students may find it hard to implement the skills in their job or career situations.

7. Low Academic Performance

The most significant disadvantage of online learning is students perform low academics. 

Moreover, in an online learning environment, there are fewer extrinsic factors that motivate students to perform well.

During their learning activities, students are frequently left on their own, with no one prodding them toward their learning objectives.

Students who enroll in e-learning courses will discover that they frequently have to master challenging subjects in a relaxing home environment without the added pressure typically connected with traditional universities.

Students consequently fall short of their optimal academic performance.

However, there is a way to fix this. To help students overcome these challenges, I’ve included some solutions below.

8. More Screen Time

The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically increased screen time for students as schools have shifted to online and hybrid learning models. While technology can be a powerful educational tool, excessive screen time may harm students’ health, well-being, and academic performance. 

Staring at screens for extended periods can lead to digital eye strain, headaches, and poor sleep quality. The constant distractions and notifications from devices and apps can reduce students’ attention spans, cognitive focus, and retention.

Social isolation and lack of movement during prolonged online learning sessions may also negatively impact mental health and physical activity levels. Educators and parents should promote proper screen time habits by encouraging regular break times, physical activity, device-free family time, and educational apps and programs that stimulate creativity and learning skills.

Balancing high-quality online education with adequate offline time is important for nurturing healthy, well-rounded students in the digital age.

Tips to Overcome The Negative Effects of Online Education on Students

Online education is here to say, considering it has many benefits. However, with the rising negative effects of online learning on student performance, it is crucial to come up with the right solutions to tackle them.

  1. 100% Present & Active

Most students/ teachers have complained about distractions while working from home. The only solution to fix this is to be completely present in the class and keep engaging with the teacher, be it answering the questions or asking them. 

This way, you can avoid being distracted and not worry too much during exams as your concepts are already cleared. All you need is gentle revision, and you’re good to go.

  1. Take timely breaks

Nobody advises sitting in front of a computer for 8 hours straight. It’s neither good for your joints nor for your eyesight. Taking breaks every 30-40 minutes will loosen up your limbs and give your eyes a break. 

In that 5-minute break, you can stretch, stand on the balcony, close your eyes, and rub it with ice. There are many things you can do. However, the most important one is not to check your phone or any kind of device. 

  1. Time Management

Online lectures are shorter than in-person lectures, as you spend too much time traveling. What you can do instead is utilize your time well. Just prepare a detailed schedule and stick to it.

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Bottom Line: How Online Learning Affects Students

Social anxiety is one of the common themes noticed in teenagers, mostly because we are so consumed in the online world that we barely touch the grass. As you know, humans are social animals, and it’s almost a necessity to maintain healthy communication, even if it’s small talk. 

Students especially are harmed due to excessive online learning, with zero physical contact with the outside world. Hence, in this article, I have discussed some of the negative effects they are struggling with. 

Additionally, I have also talked about some solutions for them to overcome these side effects. So, with the right approach, one can enjoy online learning as much as offline!

Adam Cheise
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