20 Pros and Cons of E-Learning in Live Virtual Classrooms (+ 4 Free Tools!)

Your Guide to the Pros and Cons of E-Learning

  • The 12 Pros of E-Learning
  • The 8 Cons of E-Learning
  • 4 Free Tools for the Live Virtual Classroom

The 12 Pros of E-Learning

1. Flexibility

  • Live in remote areas.
  • Have to get public transport to school.
  • Should be closer to home for medical or other reasons.

2. Huge Boost to Independent Skills

3. Preparation for a Remote Future

4. Way More Interactive

  • Q&A — An orderly question-and-answer session where students can anonymously (or not) ask the teacher questions about the subject matter. These Q&A sessions can be saved to revisit later.
  • Live polls — Multiple choice questions asked in real-time that students vote on from home. This can be used to gather opinions or test understanding of a topic.
  • Brainstorming — Open-ended questions and word clouds allow your students to freely offer their ideas and discuss others’.
  • Quizzes — A super fun, points-based method to test understanding in a team or solo. In some software, each students’ quiz responses can be tied into an analytics report.

5. Using Online Documents is Vastly Superior

6. Super Green

7. Easy to Organise and Recap

  • Q&A — A written Q&A session means that all questions asked in a lesson are logged.
  • Recording sessions — Live video software allows you to record your lesson and share the whole thing, or selected parts of it, with your students.
  • Shared folders — All students can access Q&A logs, video recordings, documents, materials and so much more from shared online folders.

8. Lots of Supervision

9. Pandemic-Proof

10. Anonymous Participation

11. Downloadable Lesson Plans

Free Template Download: Learning Style Assessment

Free Template Download: Virtual School Book Club

  1. Click on the ‘free template download’ links above.
  2. Scroll through the preview of the template to see if it suits.
  3. Press the button to sign up to AhaSlides for free.
  4. Click ‘Copy to your Account’.
  5. Click ‘Go to Presentations’.
  6. Edit anything you like about the template and share it with your students via the unique room code. They can respond to the questions and discussions within by using their smartphones.

12. Organised Analytics

  1. Overall results (percentage of students who answered correctly).
  2. Most difficult questions (reveals the questions with the least correct answers).
  3. Performance of each student in the quiz.
  4. Performance report for each student compared to their previous performances.

The 8 Cons of E-Learning

1. Engagement is not Easy

  • The students are still getting used to an unfamiliar setting.
  • The students are feeling overexposed by having their face on screen for everyone to see.
  • The students are distracted by things at home.
  • The students don’t have the chance to work in groups.
  • The students are used to active lessons.
  • The teacher doesn’t know how to modify their regular approach to accommodate online learners.
  • The software students are using is too confusing or hasn’t been explained to them properly.

How to Fix it…

  • Use live interactive software (with live polls, quizzes, and all that good stuff we talked about above).
  • Use icebreaker activities in lessons to settle early tension. (We’ve got a whole bunch of ideas right here!)
  • Use breakout rooms on your video software to swap between solo and group work.

2. Not Everyone has the Tech

How to Fix it…

3. Tech Issues

How to Fix it…

  • Test! Seems obvious, right? Still, there are plenty of teachers who use new software without giving it a thorough look beforehand. Test every feature you plan to use twice or 3 times.
  • Backup! Even after testing, some brand new, rage-inducing problem can spring up out of nowhere. Find software that provides a similar service to your first choice and make it your second choice.

4. Harder to Control the Class

How to Fix it…

  • Set the rules clearly at the start of your course, or even the start of every lesson.
  • Maximise the student interaction in your class: both teacher-to-student and student-to-student.
  • Keep things varied — a stagnant, tedious lesson is a breeding ground for misbehaviour.

5. One-on-One Teaching can Suffer

How to Fix it…

6. Harder for Students to Socialise

How to Fix it…

7. Zoom Fatigue

How to Fix it…

  • Decorate your classroom — Spend lesson time with students to create themed decorations around the subject material of your class. Then, get your students to hang them up around their home classroom.
  • Themed costumes — Set as homework a task to create a themed costume based on what you’re teaching. Students can use any materials, but have to explain their costume when they arrive in class.
  • Play games — Educational games can keep focus sharp and minds off the fact that they’re in their 8th Zoom lesson of the day. We’ve got a banger list of virtual game ideas right here!

8. Lack of Movement

How to Fix it…

  • Multiple-choice movements — If you have a multiple choice question, provide each answer option with an accompanying movement. Students answer by performing the movement of their chosen answer.
  • Scavenger hunt — Give students a time limit to find all the household items on a list and then show them on camera. For older learners, the items can be more conceptual.
  • Any of the short brain breaks in this great article!

4 Free Tools for the Live Virtual Classroom

Tool #1 — Excalidraw

Tool #2 — Veyon

Tool #3 — Flipgrid

Tool #4: AhaSlides

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AhaSlides, the online interactive presentation tool created to turn you — the speaker — into the real star on stage. Website: ahaslides.com

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AhaSlides

AhaSlides

AhaSlides, the online interactive presentation tool created to turn you — the speaker — into the real star on stage. Website: ahaslides.com

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