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What are the advantages and disadvantage of online learning?

During lockdown, everyone is required to stay at home, which means some students are now doing classes online. Keen to learn how the new teaching method is panning out, Vientiane Times asked some of those using the internet for this purpose about their reaction to online learning.

 

Mr Vilaphan Batthavy, a college student from Champassak province:  It’s fortunate that we can use the internet for online learning. I like this system because it means I can listen to the teacher alone and in a quiet environment and don’t have to put up with the noise of my classmates.  It means I can concentrate better when the teacher’s talking. But the problem is the quality of the internet. Because there’s insufficient bandwidth available, the signal quite often drops and sometimes I can’t hear the teacher speaking. And because I’m not actually present in the classroom, I don’t understand and absorb the material so well.  

 Mr Alan Kingthai, a student in Chanthabouly district, Vientiane: Of course, online learning is good because we can do it at home, which reduces the risk of picking up Covid-19 in a crowded classroom. It also saves me time. But the internet connection isn’t very good and is slow. I’m not sure whether that’s because of inadequacies on the part of the service provider or because more people are using it. The sectors responsible should improve the quality of networks to support online activities. This would make online learning much more efficient.
 
Ms Bualoy, a student in Xaysettha district, Vientiane: I think it’s good that we can continue our classes online so that lessons aren’t interrupted because of the lockdown. We can study at home every day while staying safe. But I prefer the classroom environment because it’s easier for me to understand the lectures rather than listening to the teacher online. Another problem is that the system isn’t accessible to people who don’t have a smartphone. I hope the authorities can put a stop to the virus outbreak as soon as possible so that we can get back to our normal routine.
 
Ms Xeo Khaenchan, a student at the National University of Laos: In my opinion, the advantage of online learning is that we can access classes wherever we are so long as we have a smartphone and an internet connection. It also means we don’t have to waste time travelling to and from classes and we don’t have to wear uniform. We can also record teaching videos on Zoom so that if we need to review lessons we can go back for a second look. And if we have homework we can submit it online so we don’t have to waste time and money getting our work printed as we did before. And of course by being isolated we are protected from Covid-19. However, there are problems such as the lack of scheduling, poor internet quality, and the noise that occurs when people forget to turn off their microphone. Online learning is different from being in the classroom and it’s not so easy to understand the lesson content. I’d like teachers to deliver lessons according to a fixed schedule and for all students to connect at the proper time so that other people aren’t kept waiting. And teachers should give more thorough lessons and homework than they do at present.
     
Mr Akaluck Liengxay, a student from Xayaboury province: My class isn’t studying online but our teachers give us homework. I try to learn as much as possible by using Google and asking my friends about things. It’s good that we have smartphones and the internet so that we can tune in to lessons anywhere and don’t have to be in the classroom. But it does mean that we have to really focus and pay attention to what the teacher is saying. 

 

 

 

By Lamphone Pasanthong
(Latest Update May 4, 2021)


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