What Affects Your Virtual Learning Experience?

See also: Learning Styles

Virtual or online courses offer unprecedented benefits and opportunities, especially for students. This education system model is designed to provide highly engaging activities, collaborative learning strategies, and a synchronous community when compared to traditional learning practices. Virtual learning aims to effectively eliminate the restrictions of a traditional classroom education.

In a world where distance learning is becoming increasingly common, the curriculum, school system, and accessibility are experiencing constant and extreme change and challenges.

In this article, we discuss the strengths, weaknesses, and impact of virtual learning and consider how to succeed in an online course.

The Advantages of Online Learning

Online learning breaks the creativity wall built by traditional learning methods.

The new learning methods used today offer new options, not just for students but also for teachers and instructors. It is important that the learning integrity of the program strengthens the capacity and output of students. Unfortunately, the qualitative learning experience of students is threatened if an organization remains resistant to adapting to new methods, innovations, and structures.

1. Flexibility

Earning a master’s or other degree can be challenging, and many individuals rely on their day job to fund and support their education. Such students have to commit to a certain amount of time going to work and must then fit their classes in around this. Unfortunately, this can lead to exhaustion and poor academic performance.

Online learning provides positive opportunities that allow students to study remotely so that they can both work and earn a degree at the same time. Individuals can now gain qualifications to become professionals by attending virtual classes or courses. All course requirements and interactions are disseminated through group chats and other social media or educational platforms. E-learning platforms, such as the Distance Learning Centre, offer flexible schedules and a wide range of courses, making education more accessible for working professionals.

Self-paced learning helps to develop your time management skills and increases your productivity.

2. Accessibility

Instead of physically attending a class, students now have the option to stay in their home and access their learning material through the use of the internet. Famous universities like Harvard and Cambridge, as well as other institutions, have created an extensive portfolio of courses that allow international students to access and earn a degree with them. They also offer a global peer connection system which gives first-hand experience and opportunities for those who are limited by geographical boundaries.

Common tools like a laptop, desktop, headphone, and webcam are required to access to digital learning materials.

Tip: Do not miss this kind of world class opportunity

You can earn qualifications and certificates from top universities.

The Disadvantages of Online Learning

Virtual learning demonstrates different drawbacks from the learning environment, technological issues, and literacy.

The primary requirement of an online class is a student’s access to the internet. This is a factor that should be considered, especially in rural or lower socioeconomic neighborhoods. Internet access varies in cost, speed, and signal reception which put some users in a difficult situation.

1. Learning Environment

Minimizing distractions plays a significant role in determining a student's focus and success. Their inability to focus on their class may be because of different factors such as class location, technical difficulties, and dependence on learning. Is the student in the ideal spot for learning, or is it too noisy and busy? Do they have access to a reliable and stable internet connection? What tools are they using? Are they up-to-date and can they function with the required software for the specific course or program?

Computer skills are often expected to be self-taught, which some will find difficult and problematic. Literacy and competency with software, apps and technology can affect the time required for students to complete their assignments and projects within the deadline.

2. Long Study Hours

Institutions often tend to overwork their students. They forget to calculate the probability of time spent on certain assignments and classes. Lack of educational process compromises learning opportunities and only encourages procrastination. Students are more driven to just finish a task and not understand it: they may be more concerned about deadlines than the quality of the learning experience. The pressure to stay on track rather than to genuinely understand a concept may compromise mastery and readiness.

Instructors must evaluate their students as they come with different learning styles and needs. They should be able to accommodate learning methods and adjust their timetable to strengthen both interest and productivity.

Experts suggest that self-awareness is the key to self-directed learning.

  • Post sticky-notes on your wall to help you to remember important words or topics.

  • Practice a reward system. For example, eat a gummy bear after every ten minutes of reading.

  • Find an open space that is calming and relaxing to work in.

3. Social Isolation

Due to a lack of face-to-face communication, online students have the tendency to be less participative. This disadvantageous situation may affect how they express their sentiments, opinions, and emotions. The interactive aspect of the virtual learning experience is compromised and is more geared towards individualism.

What to do?

Stay connected with friends and family since this reduces loneliness and isolation.

Keep yourself up to date with different activities outside of your curriculum requirements.

Don’t allow yourself to get burnt out as this will only lead to disinterest in your learning.

Further Reading from Skills You Need

The Skills You Need Guide for Students

The Skills You Need Guide for Students

Skills You Need

Develop the skills you need to make the most of your time as a student.

Our eBooks are ideal for students at all stages of education, school, college and university. They are full of easy-to-follow practical information that will help you to learn more effectively and get better grades.

The Verdict

There are still a vast number of improvements that should be considered to finally strengthen this new educational system and way of learning. But at the current point in time, online learning does not disappoint when it comes to increasing the options and accessibility of learning for students around the globe.

It is now much easier for institutions to disseminate learning materials, create an interactive learning environment and boost critical thinking.


Maximise the opportunity and gain credentials from top-notch universities such as Harvard, Stanford and Cambridge offering free online courses.

  • Set your goals. This will provide you with motivation and inspiration.
  • Understand your current situation (technology or location).
  • Make every study session exciting.

About the Author

Amy Waters is a content writer who provides creative and strategic content that raises awareness and engagement towards the community.