Disadvantages of Online Learning

Did you know that “90% of corporations now use e-learning compared to just 4% in 1995?” Yes, in the last decades, several companies have embraced this powerful tool. However, many others believe that online training poses multiple roadblocks. Corporates believe that eLearning can lead to a less personal, unengaging, and too flexible training schedule. Therefore, today, we shall help you pinpoint the answer to this question — what are the disadvantages of online learning? We will discuss the eight most commonly perceived downsides. What’s more? We will also be explaining their respective solutions!

What Are the Disadvantages of Online Learning?

Read More: 5 Objections You Will Face When Proposing an LMS at Your Workplace

1. Too Self-paced: There Are No Set Deadlines

disadvantages of online classes for students

One of the significant disadvantages of online learning is that it is self-paced. What does this mean? You can ask your employees to take classes at their convenience. For instance, if they want to revisit a course, they can. Again, if they’re going to rewatch a video, they can. If a learner wishes to take a break from the material, s/he has the liberty to pause and come back to it when s/he is feeling refreshed.

However, because of this inherent freedom, several L&D teams believe that eLearning can lead to zero knowledge absorption. Trainees may not have the motivation to carry on. They might complete a course just for the sake of it and see the activity as a tick-box exercise rather than an essential part of the curriculum.

In a self-paced environment, an e-learning module or an LMS website can remain unattended for eons. Usually, employees prefer to assimilate new skills and knowledge through active training sessions accompanied by their peers. This counts among the major disadvantages of online learning.

The Solution

Now, here is another of the disadvantages of online learning. In face-to-face sessions, the schedules are so rigid that a trainer may move too fast. In certain instances, learners may not even have the time to grasp the knowledge delivered. However, in online corporate learning, employees have the freedom to decide — when to move on and when to go back to something they didn’t quite understand.

If you wish to induce more discipline, you can couple your eLearning sessions with result-oriented assessments, available on a training management system like PlayAblo. Please keep track of employee training and achievements via a solution that has an analytical dashboard. Introduce deadlines and incorporate rewards for learners who complete a module and showcase their knowledge through quizzes and questionnaires.

Read More: eLearning Assessments | Best Practices to Get Them Right!

2. No Personal Touch

Disadvantages of Online Learning

You can make an online LMS interactive these days using multiple elements such as video conferences, webinars, and face-to-face video chats. However, it is a common myth that one of the disadvantages of online learning is — online sessions still are not the same as conversing with a real person. In short, eLearning may not serve as a substitute for interacting with and learning from other humans – yet another of the disadvantages of online learning.

The Solution

There are several approaches to solving the problem mentioned above. You can opt for crowdsourcing communication – where learners review each others’ blogs and post comments. It leads to useful feedback sharing and the build-up of personified communication. Additionally, you can use voicemail, a straightforward, asynchronous technology – which allows trainers to manage their own time while delivering a unique, personal touch to online course communication.

Semi-personalized notes are another excellent method for communicating course events and maintaining contact with students. Finally, distributed instruction to match distributed learning is a built-in model promoting high-demand courses’ scaling.

3. Rigidity

what are the disadvantages of online learning

eLearning is one of the best methodologies to learn specific skills and transfer targeted knowledge. But assembling an effective e-learning program is sometimes challenging when the skillset becomes more complex. Some of these competencies can be learned only with detailed research, deep thinking, and engaging in certain activities.

After all, the best learning is a result of learners discovering solutions on their own. It happens by asking questions and obtaining clarification. However, eLearning can make such tasks difficult, making this one of the leading disadvantages of online learning.

The Solution

Now, speaking of rigidity (perceived as one of the major disadvantages of online learning), eLearning is, in fact, extremely flexible. You can always incorporate the activities mentioned earlier in a full-fledged, agile LMS online. Additionally, you can engage in online sessions anywhere and anytime.

PlayAblo’s micro-learning LMS splits courses into digestible sessions, while mobile learning makes courses available on any device. Features like gamification render complex topics easy and enjoyable. What does this mean? You can modify eLearning to fit it into your business’s schedule instead of having to fit it into an external trainer’s timetable.

Ad: PlayAblo’s Enterprise-Grade Micro-Learning platform is for the modern corporate learner. Micro-learning, along with assessments and gamification features, ensures learning outcome measurement along with sustained engagement.
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4. Absence of Instructors

advantages and disadvantages of online classes

ELearning is indeed structured. When one develops an online training program, the development is done based on what the developer thinks is the right curriculum. However, with time, learning materials can become outdated. They can also have errors. So it progresses to another of the disadvantages of online learning. In offline classes, trainers converse with learners. They discuss the requirements and their respective solutions. Instructors take student feedback and offer lessons based on questions and gap areas.

The Solution

The best way out of these challenges of training managers is to invest in an LMS application such as PlayAblo, which is embedded with tools like live classes and webinars. If your end goal is to transform your online learning platform into a complete education environment, live video sessions, and interactive virtual classrooms are essential. You will need a platform that can easily integrate software, allowing trainers to conduct virtual sessions. You can also include feedback forms to collect student feedback and then incorporate them in the next session.

Read More: Integrating LIVE Classes in your LMS

5. Slow Evolution

Let us now come to the fifth downside among our list of disadvantages of online learning. Once an e-learning course is developed, it can consume a long time if one needs to include changes later. A learning management platform can instantly become obsolete if a business model undergoes a change or the market conditions transform. L&D teams are skeptical of the time and energy spent to get the course running. On the other hand, in traditional training, conducted in the training room, you can easily change and update the system with live trainers. Live training is fluid and usually evolves as per evolving business needs.

The Solution

To promote a continuous corporate learning culture in your company, you must ensure that your training modules can scale and grow with time. As your business expands, your learning needs will evolve. Only then you can increase your revenue. In such a case, you can opt for a cloud-based solution. A SaaS-based LMS comes with high scalability since you already have the infrastructure in place. The addition of new users does not serve as an obstacle in this training model.

Read More: SaaS-based LMS or On-Premise LMS. What Makes Sense?

6. Technical Issues

what are the disadvantages of online classes

One of the disadvantages of online classes for students in the corporate world is technical issues. In fact, according to a survey, technical issues were reported as the second most common obstacle to online learning, with 39% of respondents citing this as a significant challenge.

The Solution

To ensure that technical issues don’t prevent your employees from accessing and completing online learning courses, there are a few steps you can take. First, ensure that your LMS for corporate training is user-friendly and easy to navigate, with clear instructions for accessing and using the course materials. You should also provide technical support to help employees troubleshoot any issues that may arise.

In addition, you may want to consider offering training or resources to help employees improve their technical skills, such as basic computer skills or troubleshooting common technical issues. By addressing technical issues and offering support and resources, you can help ensure that your employees are able to access and benefit from online learning opportunities.

7. Limited Networking Opportunities

Suppose your firm is used to in-person training. In that case, you may find that one of the disadvantages of online classes for students is that it doesn’t provide the same opportunities to connect with other learners and industry professionals. While some online courses may offer discussion forums or virtual networking events, it can be difficult to replicate the same level of engagement and interaction that comes with face-to-face training.

Statistics show that networking is an integral part of professional development. In a survey conducted by LinkedIn, 85% of professionals agreed that networking is crucial to career success. Furthermore, 80% of job opportunities are said to be found through networking.

The Solution

One potential solution to this disadvantage is to seek out online communities and professional groups related to your industry. LinkedIn and other social media platforms offer opportunities to connect with other professionals and engage in discussions related to your field.

You could also consider sending your employees to virtual conferences or webinars, which may offer more networking opportunities than standalone online courses. Finally, if workers are taking an online course through a specific organization or institution, be sure to reach out to their instructors or program coordinators to ask about potential networking opportunities or resources.

8. Lack of Accountability

When it comes to the disadvantages of online classes for students, it can be easy to get distracted and fall behind without the structure and accountability of in-person training. In fact, research has found that online learners have higher drop-out rates than those in traditional classroom settings.

The Solution

To address this last downside among the disadvantages of online learning, it’s important to establish clear expectations and deadlines for learners. This can include setting specific goals and timelines for completing the course and providing regular check-ins and feedback.

Additionally, incorporating interactive elements like quizzes and discussions can help to keep learners engaged and accountable. It’s also essential to ensure that learners have access to support resources like tutoring or coaching so that they can get help when needed and stay on track.


So, now you have a comprehensive answer to this question– what are the disadvantages of online classes? Right? Yes, there are several advantages and disadvantages of online classes in eLearning. However, HR professionals must understand that the disadvantages of online learning are inherent to these training strategies. They must consider these disadvantages of online learning carefully when developing training plans to determine the right solution for your business. And with the help of the correct countermeasures, you can make eLearning an enriching experience.

Ad: PlayAblo’s Enterprise-Grade Micro-Learning platform is for the modern corporate learner. Micro-Learning, along with assessments and gamification features, ensures learning outcome measurement along with sustained engagement.
Find out more and request a custom demo!

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