The Perceived Disadvantages of Online Courses

Online classes are available for many different facets of training programs. Many schools utilize these online courses to help get more students into the (virtual) classroom. However, some of our customers prefer the more traditional, instructor-led training approach.

While there is nothing wrong with the actual content that is covered throughout the lesson, many just find an issue in the classes being online at all. In this post, we will talk about what qualifies as online learning and the top disadvantages that come with it. We will also discuss our online delivery method, Online LIVE (OLL). Let's begin.

Fact vs. Myth

Many people have preconceived notions of what online learning is and what its flaws are.  Before we take a look at some of the common perceived disadvantages of online courses, let's first give a thorough explanation of our popular learning modality Online LIVE (OLL).

What is Online LIVE (OLL) from New Horizons?

Although it's 2017, and several professionals are aware of eLearning, there is still a very real misconception of Online LIVE from New Horizons. Online LIVE is not video-based training. Across the training industry “eLearning” means on-demand video. Regardless of the actual definition, which we discussed earlier, that’s what some customers think when they hear the term eLearning. With that said, let's take a moment to clarify a few things. 

Online LIVE is instructor-led training delivered virtually. This means it gives you the freedom to attend class from anywhere—at home, at the office, or at a New Horizons location. Utilizing the eLearning platform, Adobe Connect, Online LIVE provides a rich, engaging, live classroom environment that allows you to easily interact with instructors and fellow students.

Just like our physical classrooms, students attending training through Online LIVE have a real time, live instructor-led student experience. The live instructor teaches the course and provides the opportunity for students to ask live questions via voice or instant message (IM) questions during the live training event.

5 Common Perceptions of Online LIVE

The misunderstanding about what OLL is and how it works creates ideas and concerns about the disadvantages of online courses. Let’s give a clear understanding about what’s true and what’s a myth in terms of the perception of online learning. Chances are, if you’re considering taking an online course, you have had these concerns come into your head:

Perception #1 - I'm Just a Number

When you elect to take an online class, you may be thinking that you are just another name on the screen to the instructor. Because you’re not in the same room as the instructor, you won’t have the opportunity to get some one on one time with the instructor if you should have any questions. This makes a lot of people feel as if they are not valued as a student, as if they will have a lesser education on the subject because there is less chance for them to really understand the lesson and have any questions answered.

Our Counterpoint

Many students worry about being missed by the instructor or not having enough one on one time for questions. New Horizons instructors work harder to help you understand the material and can even help with decisions on the path to continue on for certifications.

Perception #2 - I Can't Communicate with Peers

Being in an online course takes away the traditional classroom experience. You are alone in your study space, responsible for your work and your work alone. Being online doesn’t mean that people won’t talk to you though. Just like being in the classroom won’t guarantee that people will talk to you there either. It’s understandable to be concerned about study groups taking place and you being left out because you can’t all physically be there.

Our Counterpoint

Chat forums and study groups can be done electronically to help you reach out to others in the class. Another tip would be to check out public forums that discuss the topics to get outsider understanding. It may even be from a professional.

Perception #3 - My Technology Might Not Work

Unfortunately, technology does that. It isn’t always reliable. Sometimes it’s the fault of the program; sometimes its user error; sometime technology just likes to be temperamental. Whatever the cause, you have to trust that those hosting the course will do their best to correct any issues. Though that could then mean the possibility of being stuck on hold with the tech support, missing parts of the lesson.

Our Counterpoint

For New Horizons Online LIVE (OLL) courses, we recommend you log on about 15 to 20 minutes early to make sure everything is running properly. If it isn't, our instructors can manually enter your program to help make adjustments. Our Lab on Demand (LoD) and OLL services have 99.9% uptime run rate throughout 2019. For LoD specifically, we normally run at better than four nines, month-to-month. New Horizons works to create a reliable environment for students; 92% say they would choose an online virtual instructor-led training (OLL) as their preferred training modality (based on 761 users). 99% of students who rate our OLL courses as exemplary (based on 421 users). 

Perception #4 - I Won't be Able to Focus

When it comes to sitting down and actually doing the work, many people find it hard to focus. Especially when working from home. Many people find themselves distracted by other chores that need to be done because they can see them. The same could be true if you are trying to take the course while in the office but co-workers are still trying to ask you questions about everyday matters. How are you supposed to focus when so much is happening around you?

Our Counterpoint

New Horizons has hundreds of learning center locations where students can come to take classes or exams. Rooms are quiet and create a studious environment. If you are looking to have your whole business or department take courses, these spaces are available to rent to ensure everyone is learning the same lesson at the same time. 

Perception #5 - I Won't Receive the Same Quality

All of the above concerns come together to make up this final one: all of these issues can give the perceived idea that online courses are of lesser quality. Because there is too much interference, I won’t be heard, the technology might fail, etc. All of these make users think that online classes are lesser than physical classes. Many people even think that the content being taught is not at the same level as that taught in person. The negatives factors resonate more in customers’ minds than the positive. Therefore, the more hassle there is in taking these classes, the less customers think of them.

Our Counterpoint

There is no need to worry about the quality of an online course because it is the same material covered in a traditional classroom setting. In addition, with our Labs on Demand, you have online access to the same client and server technologies we cover in our physical courses, which means you can test, apply, and hone your skills on real equipment accessed over the Internet.

Some Closing Thoughts

Many people have perceived notions about the disadvantages of online courses. Just as there are negatives to these courses, there are also many, many benefits. View our blog, “The Benefit of Online Courses” for a complete look, and you decide.

We hope this helps you realize where there is truth and myth in regards to online courses. If you have taken one of our online courses and would like to share about it, leave a comment below. Our readers would love to hear your thoughts on the matter.


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NH Learning SolutionsCindy Velazquez

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