The Advantages and Disadvantages of Online Learning

E-learning can easily be accessed in all areas.. E-learning has eliminated the time and cost...

Photo credit: Sean Reilly @Our Lady of the Wayside

Online Learning, a global trend made famous by the coronavirus pandemic. Many people in the world did not know about it, and those who did prefer the traditional one to one kind of learning. Thus, it was almost associated with being a form of learning exclusively for students on distance education. But with the coronavirus pandemic, in which social distance is a fundamental health guideline, learning institutions have no other option but to resort to this method of learning commonly acknowledged as Electronic learning (E-learning). Even though E-learning has reduced the physical learning time that would expose learners and teachers to the deadly coronavirus, it has brought about various rewards and drawbacks in students and educators’ lives.

E-learning can easily be accessed in all areas that have network coverage. All learners need are devices that can be connected to the internet for them to join online classes. E-learning has eliminated the time and cost for learners to move from their homes to school. It has greatly reduced the cost institutions spend on training facilities (Anna, 2021). E-learning has made it possible for students to have part-time jobs during their off time for learning. During the pandemic, E-learning has prevented the loss of study time for a lot of students as they continued with their studies in the comfort of their homes. And E-learning has also enabled full-time employees to easily upgrade their qualifications as it is flexible.

However, even though almost all areas nowadays have network coverage, internet connectivity is very poor in some of these places, thus students fail to join classes or if they join a smooth, consistent connection is not assured. E-learning cannot fully replace the traditional one to one type of learning as students who have doubts find it difficult to ask questions. It is expensive, thus it disadvantages the modest learner as it requires expensive devices and data bundles. E-learning requires one to have a conducive space in which one can attend classes and study, but not everyone can afford or access such spaces. According to Montgomery College (no date), E-learning requires personal time-management skills, and not every student is equipped with this skill, and it can make students develop a sense of isolation through the loneliness it imposes on a learner. The lack of understanding of technology by teachers has proved to be disastrous to learners. And the devices learners and teachers use are dangerous to their health as they may unexpectedly cause eyestrain, obesity, chronic neck, sleep problems and many other health implications.

 With the present circumstances, learning institutions, teachers and learners have no other better alternative replacement of physical learning apart from that of E-learning. Although it has some challenges that are overweighting the benefits in the present day, eventually in the future they may be dealt with to grant the learning process continues smoothly.


Anna (2021) Our top 5 advantages and disadvantages of online learning, Easy LMS, 31 July. Available on: (Accessed: 19 Oct. 21).

Montgomery College (no date ) Advantages and Disadvantages of Online Courses, Available on: (Accessed: 19 Oct. 21).

Law Student, The University of Zambia

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