7 Challenges of Online Learning

By Daniel Brunson

Updated Over a Week Ago

Minute Read

Online learning methods exist: in large groups of like-minded individuals, one-on-one with an instructor, or even autonomously.

Online learning holds a unique place among the stated ways to acquire knowledge. It has a lot of benefits and is an excellent alternative to traditional courses, but it also has several drawbacks that could make the whole concept less successful.

In this post, we’ll discuss potential issues for individuals who have selected this type of learning and offer suggestions for how to make it as interesting as possible.

7 Online Learning Challenges

During the online teaching period, students and teachers face significant problems that affect the quality of learning. Let’s look at each one in more detail.

Lack of personal communication

Now, you need help finding a teacher at any convenient time to explain an incomprehensible topic to you, set a test during after-school hours, or check your homework. All communication takes place at a strictly regulated time, and persuasion will not affect the deadlines.

Technical problems during distance learning

The education system cannot solve the problem of a teacher’s communication with hundreds of students over the network for a lecture in an instant. What if one doesn’t hear and the other doesn’t see? It is necessary to bring the work of technical means and programs to automatism, which many educational institutions still need to do.

In addition to equipping all teachers and students with the necessary technical means and software, finding and training special personnel who will help solve technical problems in the learning process is essential. A great solution would be to arrange a hotline to help all the students solve technical issues.

No opportunity to develop live communication skills

Finding friends and acquaintances by interests, establishing connections and valuable contacts, even the ability to write off or agree on a summary – all this is no longer in distance learning.

The same urgent problem causes difficulties for the teacher: the need for live contact to give an understanding of what modern youth live and breathe. However, using a personal phone for business calls and chatting in messengers with the pupils will help to develop in the same direction. 

Not all professions can be mastered remotely.

At first, we are faced with the fact that only some professional practices can be completed remotely. For example, medical, construction, industrial, etc. But now we face an even more difficult problem: it turns out that only some professions, in principle, can be mastered remotely.

How to do an autopsy or inspect a crime scene online? How do we treat animals and give injections to patients? How do you carry out drilling operations and conduct archaeological excavations?

Lack of self-motivation and self-discipline

Only some have enough willpower and motivation to learn. All this isn’t very easy because students often choose a profession unconsciously. They have yet to come face to face with the profession they have chosen for themselves. Hence, there needs to be a conscious desire to start it sooner, which only successful training will lead to.

For others, a good motivator is regular monitoring of the teacher and personal contact with the teaching staff.

Attending an Online Learning Course

Lack of comparison

Students cannot compare their achievements with the achievements of fellow students. It is not about grades but about working in the classroom. The skills of working at seminars, speaking at conferences, and more allow you to evaluate your skills and the skills of others and eventually strive for perfection. 

Detached evaluation of the material

With traditional teaching, it is possible that even dry and boring material can captivate if the teacher gives it a spark. The emotional coloring and the temperament of a teacher’s lively speech can “infect” students and make it easier to understand heavy material. 

5 Online Teaching Recommendations

Support technical and informational needs

Work with the IT staff to identify the most common problems students have accessing and utilizing online courses. Ensure students know how to access the publisher’s technical support if they are using a textbook that offers online assistance or courseware for distributing homework.

Be mindful of the variations among textbook editions, including online and international versions. Help students find missing “pieces of the puzzle” if their edition prevents them from having them, or be prepared to modify the task as necessary.

Simple is best

Keep in mind that when learning online, less is often more. Your students are equally as busy as you are. Keeping things simple during a global pandemic has several advantages, such as reducing fear, emphasizing quality over quantity, and giving more time for individualized interaction.

Recognize the value of flexibility

It takes work for students, instructors, and administrators to keep up with the rapid changes in information. You’re working with novel, uncharted factors, so be forgiving of yourself and adaptable when you can. You may need to change your grading guidelines or shorten a digital assignment that isn’t working for you. When you teach online, it’s crucial to be able to adapt to changing circumstances.

Review your policy regarding homework

We could discuss homework philosophies indefinitely. However, in all seriousness, you should review your homework policy now. You can reduce or do away with homework in favor of other things to accomplish, or you can change homework assignments to be project-based.

It would help if you were mindful of your students’ shifting requirements and available resources when you teach online. Create a list of homework tasks that could be useful for them in an online environment and a separate list of tasks that you might want to omit.

Designing an Online Learning Course

Sync up with other teachers

This one could seem challenging at a time when face-to-face contact is infrequent. However, teachers have found innovative ways to maintain interpersonal interaction and teamwork. To begin with, everyone now knows what Zoom means. Additionally, there are many possibilities to engage with educators like you online, thanks to tools like wikis, chat rooms, and courses. 

6 Ways to Make Online Learning More Engaging

Many people quickly lose focus during training, so they cannot master and memorize a large amount of information. But this can be avoided if you know the secrets that help to involve students in learning.


Practice is 80% of success. But it is also a way to involve staff in training. After all, any format that requires actions from the user increases engagement. The main thing is that the tests are passable and evaluate how well the employee has mastered the material. If you complicate the tests and bias the assessment, they will only reduce motivation.

Tasks for creativity

Non-standard questions or games keep you from getting bored on the course. They are suitable for maintaining group dynamics when students perform creative work, for example, communicating via Zoom or Facebook.

A collective solution to a problem or a team presentation of a project can give interesting results, especially if people from different countries with different backgrounds have gathered in a group.

Project work

It is easier to complete the training if you develop a ready-made project by the final module that can be used or specified in the portfolio.

Throughout all course modules, separate tasks are given, which gradually lead to a finished project, from setting goals to a plan for its implementation. Project work is easily applicable in design, programming, and entrepreneurship courses.


People are fascinated by the opportunity to get additional closed materials, advice, or certificates. For those looking for more serious awards, there are online courses where you can improve your qualifications, get a certificate of completion of a course that the university will credit, or contribute to career development.


Gamification will help to enhance the effect of interactive formats. This is when game formats are implemented in a non-game context. At the same time, gamification can be anything – from online games to competitions. And since all employees have different motivators, the best way to involve them in training is to offer a combo of all these mechanics.

Teaching on social media

Imagine how much easier it will be to involve employees in training if you transfer all the materials to social networks and messengers. The habit of flipping through the feed is already there; you just have to publish the content.


Why is online learning the future?

The world is evolving. Yes, online learning differs significantly from regular learning, which causes some issues. But you can overcome them if you quit rejecting the novel, alter your perspective on the online format, and pick up more technological knowledge. After all, e-learning opens the door to advantageous opportunities:

  • Learning how to use electronics for purposes other than enjoyment.
  • Becoming adaptable.
  • Taking control of your information.
  • Mastering new standards is the most crucial of them all.
Images by Freepik

Are You Using Online Learning to Build Your Skills?

If you have ideas about online learning that might be helpful to readers, share them in the comments section below. Thanks!

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Daniel Brunson
Daniel Brunson
Daniel is a copywriter and content marketer who is passionate about writing content that delights and inspires audiences, builds brand authority and credibility and brings it closer to its business goals.
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