How Online Learning Affects Students (Effects & Solutions)

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Online learning has become superly popular after the rise of the Covid-19 pandemic. It has been showing significant growth over the last three years, as education and the internet are combined to provide people with the opportunity to gain new skills. 

Since the pandemic, almost every university, school, and college have started to adopt the ease of online learning. 

Students are also becoming more intentional about the comfort level that online learning provides.  Also, online learning is a more economical way of learning and providing cost-effective education.

Also, students prefer the distance learning option from the top universities rather than traveling abroad. So online learning allowance them quality education in their comfort zone and is so much more cost-effective.

Though there are lots of positive sides to online learning education, there are many downfalls, also. 

This article will explain how online learning affects students and the solution to conquer these disadvantages. 

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

How Online Learning Affects Students

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 the 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 which 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.

While 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 around 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 also, it 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.


Here are some of the solutions to the downfalls of online learning in students.

Create a study system to concentrate on: 

Creating a separate study corner can help students to concentrate on their studies and avoid distractions. 

Set a healthy diet and sleep timetable to cover the mental and physical health: 

A healthy diet and enough sleep are equally important to your studies. So try to fix a healthy diet chart and comfortable sleep schedule in order to keep yourself fit and fine.

Maintain a routine to work on academic performance: 

While establishing a schedule will compromise going out and living a healthy lifestyle, students can find security in it. 

The monotony can be broken up by setting a regular wake-up and bedtime, preparing for online classes the same way they would for in-person ones, and taking breaks.

So, maintaining the proper routine can definitely help students to achieve goals.

Self-Motivation to get over social isolation: 

To succeed in the online learning environment, building disciplinary skills and strong self-motivation can help. 

Students can work on their skills and build a robust self-motivation system that would allow them to concur to every challenge

Interacting sessions with other students to work on communication skills: 

Students can do interaction sessions with other students so that they can learn communication skills and other ethical skills. Also, it can help to blend learning environments. 

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Bottom Line: How Online Learning Affects Students

I have covered with impacts of online learning and some of the solutions to conquer them.

Students are incredibly adaptable and can readily deal with changes in their environment. 

However, with so many things changing, it is important to look after our mental health and well-being while also being aware of how external factors, such as online education, may affect them. 

Students can definitely learn to enjoy the comforts of the internet world and grow, even though it can be a problem in today’s environment.

I hope this article helped you to discover the impact of online learning on students. Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.

Adam Cheise

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