Most Common Challenges of Online Courses

Would you rather travel a few miles daily for the sake of your degree or sit at home and get formal education without commuting? I would prefer to do my online class rather than facing the trouble of transportation and spending extra money. Online education has become mainstream already. It has taken over most of the responsibility of educating apprentices with the flexibility of teaching the pupils around the world.

Distant learning or online learning is another miracle of technology along with others. In ancient times, people would travel hundreds of miles to learn new things. They wanted to gain knowledge and would travel across the cities, rivers and even oceans. However, now we have internet as the world has turned into a global village.

With its flexible timings and convenient method, it is the best way to learn and foster in modern academic world. However, with convenience, there is always a few other problems. These problems make online education challenging for many students across the globe. Hence, online education has a higher ratio of course drop out than the traditional form of learning. Let us see what these challenges are and what can be done to cope with such situations.

Adaptability Challenges:

Online learning is rather a new form of education. Students who switch from traditional to online classes face many challenges and one of them is the struggle to adapt into this new environment. Online classes are different from traditional courses in many ways. When apprentices are confronted with new ways of learning, they do not fully understand the approaches this new form and consequently lag behind.

For instance, the benefit of having a physical presence of a teacher in front of you in traditional courses can never be underestimated. Students, who are habitual of this practice cannot easily switch to virtual classes. This is too big a change of for them.

Moreover, having friends and colleagues around helps creating an environment in traditional classes. Online courses do not offer this environment. You must create it by your own. Hence, it is always a troublesome activity to adjust yourself to this new atmosphere without having any outside help.

Learning management system is the only friend you have during an online course. You must become a passive learner and listen to what your lecture says. Any kind of involvement in the subject matter during the lecture is simply impossible. These are the perks of traditional classes, which online courses usually do not offer. Therefore, it becomes trialing for students to switch the mediums. They feel left behind and consequently leave their courses a bunch of times.

If this classroom interaction in online classes can be handled easily, then online learning can soon surpass the traditional system certainly. However, it depends more on course providers and not students themselves.

Computer Literacy:

Not all online learners are computer engineers. In fact, most of them are not literate enough technically to perform actions a little higher than basic level. When these students enroll themselves in online courses, they are required to use the learning management systems for their classes, notes and exams. Though, most course providers tend to make the user interface of their LMSs very friendly. Yet some of them are not easy enough at all to be used by a non-technical student.

Moreover, some of these students do not know how to use some basic programs like Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint etc. Hence they are unable to handle their assignments most of the times. This results in lower marks or sometimes failure of course, in worst case scenario.

What these students need to do is learn a few basic programs which are really beneficial in completing their assignments. Having a good command on MS Word does not require you to be very technical. Similarly, your presentations can be handled very easily by using PowerPoint.

You can simply allot a half hour for the learning of these software and within  you a couple of weeks,  the difference will be evident of your skills. These programs  are easy to use and the user interface is hassle free as well.

As far as your LMS is concerned, if you are unable to use it, contact your service provider. They are always there to guide you how you can use its tools and buttons.


This is perhaps the most common and most irritating problem. During your traditional courses, you have friends to ask you why you have not attended you classes. You have your professors to motivate you and come more frequently to attend the lectures.

This is not there during an online class. A dying motivation is the worst that can happen to you during an online course. If you do not feel like attending your class today, nobody is there to urge you. No one is going to ask you why you did not come for class.

This is another reason for course dropouts as well. However, it is not as difficult to overcome this problem as it seems. All you need is a little spark and a destination at the end of this apparently dark tunnel. You will keep running to the end and will cover the distance without falling down.

Ask yourself, why you have enrolled in this course. Why this course is significant for you and what is going to be its impact on your studies, career or overall life? When you have these things to ponder over, you can never lose your track during the course. Keep asking and answering yourself whenever you feel like losing your heart in online classes.

Setting up your aims and objectives before entering the course is another way of tackling this issue. When you have an ambition in front of you, you are going to fight for it. A directionless journey is never an interesting one. Only the sense of achievement can help you move forward.

This is a very tactics to cope with the lack of motivation. You ask yourself the impacts of your online course and make an answer about what is going to happen if your do not achieve this degree. Set your aims and objectives and walk the  path according to them. This way, your online courses are not only going to become smoother. They are going to be a fun way of learning too.

The Final Word:

Facing these challenges during your online courses is common. If you feel like these challenges are keeping you behind from your batchmates, do not fret about it. All you need to have is a will to succeed and your feet will touch it one day for sure. As you must have heard, “Where, there is a will, there is a way.”

So, whenever you feel challenged by online courses, just say “I will do my online class and put more effort to get ahead.” Think about what you are going to lose if you drop out. The cost is big enough to worry about. Yet, those who toil hard to reach their dream place, are never stopped by little hassles.

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