How Safe is Online Learning?  

 By Siphosethu Tshakatsha 

Ever since the inception of the pandemic in 2019, most students have been worried about how secure they are in their career paths as most academic work is done online, leaving them unsure of whether or not they are gaining enough knowledge to sustain them in the working industry. It’s good that institutions of higher education are catching up with the fourth industrial revolution but the question on the table is; how safe is it to study online? 

“Learning online has advantages and disadvantages because I am able to work at my own pace which is an advantage but I struggle to ask for help from my classmates as we have no relation” said Luther Mzwakali a second-year student in Bachelor of education. This means that students might lack team working skills in the future because of online learning as individuals are mostly working on their own. Attending physically could also improve the contribution of students in extra mural activities, especially first year students since they are new and would easily adapt in contact sessions than online.  

As much as online is a disadvantage to others, some prefer mask to mask sessions. “Online learning creates an atmosphere and environment that stimulates a different mentality, with this I mean that students are encouraged to think more about the content that is being offered” said Natalie Le Clue a Lecturer in Media Studies. This means that students have more time to understand work as lectures are recorded and saved on Moodle.  

Online learning also becomes beneficial in that most things are done digitally, for example job applications are submitted online so students will be more familiar with complicated procedures of finding a job. “Learning online from the comfort of your own home definitely disciplines you and it also improves time management” said Wensely Jackson a second-year student in psychology. 

As stated before, online learning can be an advantage or a disadvantage so it solely depends on an individual to gain or lose from it.  

Photo credit: Khanya Mtshulana

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