Yes, e-learning is affecting students both mentally and physically. But, it would be a highly biased analysis if we focus simply on the adverse effects of e-learning. Digital education or electronic learning has a holistic & profound impact on a student’s development, life and career. Therefore, understanding the intricate effects of e-learning on a learning mind necessitates an unbiased analysis.
This article explores and studies both the negative and positive effects of e-learning on students’ mental & physical health.
- Learning & Its Effects On Student Health
The Covid-19 pandemic wreaked havoc on human society. More than 4 million lives have been lost due to this deadly contagion, and the very nature of human interaction & communication affected. Though the world is limping back to normalcy, things may never go back to the way they were before.
The education sector, for example, has undergone a rapid transformation to cope with the current disruptions. Technology came to the rescue and enabled education systems & institutions to continue their critical operations, albeit in a drastically different manner. For example, online academic writing businesses offer services for helping students with assignment solver , and numerous educational tools such as paraphrasing tools, plagiarism checker, etc., have come up.
E-learning, remote learning, virtual classrooms, Massively Open Online Course
Platforms, assignment writing services and the like are now considered the harbingers of future education.
However, the implementation and adaptation of e-learning in existing educational systems and processes have not been smooth and seamless. And, one of the biggest problems of widespread integration of e-learning has been its negative effects on student health.
Let’s take a closer look.
Negative Effects of E-Learning On Students
- Deteriorating Discipline
The absence of a strict and disciplined classroom atmosphere is detrimental to student behavior and development.
- The comfort of studying from home leave many distracted.
- Numerous students procrastinate or waste their time when teachers are not monitoring.
- Discipline, focus, and diligence take a heavy toll as students pay less attention to their teacher instructions in virtual teaching scenarios. Such actions, however, tend to vary from one student to another.
- Virtual Learning Fatigue
Online classes can exact a toll on mental health in the long run. Lack of physical & social interaction or playtime with friends can be extremely monotonous and draining.
- Feelings of mental tiredness due to regular online classes affect young minds quickly. The result is poor concentration, poor academic performance and decreased motivation.
- Information overload and struggles in following instructions in a virtual classroom scenario are significant reasons behind virtual learning fatigue.
- Physical tiredness can set in as a result of prolonged e-learning sessions. Such adverse effects can be much more debilitating on young and impressionable minds.
- Coupled with academic, peer and parental pressure, virtual learning fatigue can eat away student motivation and severely affect concentration & academic performance.
- Lack of Interactions
Physical and social interactions are integral aspects of human development. Unfortunately, Lockdown and restrictions have made such natural interactivity nigh impossible. E-learning and virtual classrooms do not allow students to mingle as they would in a traditional learning environment. Lack of physical interactions remains one of the most significant adverse impacts of e-learning.
While social networking sites and messaging systems help students stay connected, nothing can suffice or replace the effectiveness of actual one-on-one interactions and physical meetings. Development of communication, social and teamwork skills can be impeded as well.
The situation is far worse for students suffering from nervous disorders and stress
& anxiety problems. Self-isolation, lack of motivation, loneliness, depression, and other debilitating issues can set in, seriously affecting learning and development.
- Stress and Anxiety
Inability to follow or adapt to e-learning practices cause students to worry unnaturally. Lack of focus & concentration due to distractions and inadequate supervision is often the most significant reason and may inadvertently cause stress & anxiety in pupils.
Procrastination and poor focus are pretty common in students who engage in e-learning primarily. The very nature of e-learning requires strong self-motivation and time-management skills, which are pretty challenging for students to develop without proper guidance and supervision. As a result, fear of poor performance and academic year loss plagues many young minds.
- Physiological Problems
Schools and colleges offered students numerous opportunities for physical exertion. Unfortunately, Lockdown, Covid-19 restrictions, and online learning have snatched away all such possibilities.
Lack of physical activity and reduced exposure to sunlight can lead to calcium and Vitamin D deficiencies. As a result, muscle cramps, spasms, strains, tears, and other physical injuries affect the younger generation at an alarmingly high rate.
The above four points remain the most significant problems associated with online learning. It is the responsibility of educational policymakers, academic administrators, teachers, parents and even students to think and determine the best ways to mitigate them.
We need to take into account the current global scenario and the potent advantages of online learning while making our decisions. Digital education is the future and will exist in tandem with traditional systems; hence parents and teachers must prepare their wards accordingly.
Let’s end this particular article on a positive note by looking at the various positive effects of e-learning.
The Positive Effects of E-Learning
E-learning’s flexible, all-pervasive, interconnected, swift and accurate nature makes it the perfect evolution of education. Powered by technology, e-learning has a substantial positive impact on student learning.
- Remote Accessibility Anywhere, Anytime
The most significant advantage of e-learning stems from its digital nature. Thus, man’s aim to make education available and accessible to all becomes a tangible reality when e-learning comes into play.
Online and virtual classes can be accessed from any corner of the world; all anyone needs is a decent internet connection, a Web compatible electronic device with standard configuration and access credentials.
The subject of digital divide and affordability of e-learning measures comes into the picture naturally, especially for students from developing countries. However, such in-depth discussions are beyond the scope of this particular article.
- Access to Myriad Sources of Information
Given its interconnected nature and the central role played by the Internet, a wide array of information resources can be integrated with any e-learning mechanism. Access to a myriad of credible and authoritative information sources, digital libraries, data repositories, etc., expands student knowledge and broadens their perspective, better and more significant than traditional learning methods.
- Ground-breaking & Potent Learning Techniques
Blended learning, game-based learning, self-paced learning, gamification, mixed/virtual/augmented reality are just some prominent avenues & strategies of e-learning that boost student involvement substantially.
Virtual reality, game-based learning, etc., can solve reduced attention and de-motivation problems by creating an immersive learning experience for learning minds.
Studies show that e-learning positively impacts a student’s cognitive skills and improves critical thinking, logical reasoning, perceptive capabilities & self-learning abilities.
- Boost In Self-Motivation & Attention
E-learning requires discipline, proper time-management, self-motivation, effort and good organizational skills. Whether it’s school coursework or a MOOC program, success depends strictly upon the amount of diligence & focused effort a learner puts in.
E-learning endeavors can be an excellent channel for students to cultivate better focus, discipline and the will to succeed against all odds.
Like most things on the face of Earth, e-learning has its positives and negatives. Its recent proliferation is affecting the current generation in both ways. It is up to all the education industry stakeholders to determine ways to amplify the positive impacts and attenuate the negative ones.
And that rounds up this article. Hope it was an interesting read for all readers alike.