What are the Pros and Cons of Online Education for Students with Disabilities ?

By | January 30, 2019

Online education is a type of education instruction that is delivered to students by means of the internet. Within this, the students are provided with online lectures; based on the lectures studies. They are provided with several tests and assessments. After the completion of those tests, they pass that course and become eligible for different job openings on the basis of the course outcomes. The online courses and degrees have become popular amongst the individuals, who want to continue their work, and at the same have the urge to learn. Nonetheless, online courses have been prevalent amongst individuals with a disability. Though, they cannot go to school or their institute daily. But, by the introduction of the online courses, schools have come home in the computers, and the learning process is made easy and comfortable.

Online education has the power to provide a practical, workable option for people with different kinds of disabilities. By availing the online courses, the students bear a flexible time to study and accomplish all their courses without going to schools. They just need to pass their tests and assessments. Afterward, they are provided with the course certification or degree. But, before pursuing a course or degree, one needs to consider the pros and cons of online education.

PROS:

  • There are times when the student faces difficulty in going to the school and most of his time is wasted during the travel. Moreover, the one suffering from any disease or disability, due to physical weakness is unable to attend the campus classroom. The online education medium pertains to bring the classroom in the PC’s screen and customized study space is made available in the homes of the individuals.
  • People suffering from cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, aren’t able to control their hands and feet and can study by dictating texts or email using the voice-activated or speech recognition programs like Dragon Naturally Speaking. Further, there are eye-tracking technologies like Tobii, which uses the iris of the eye to give the command to the computer, and further, speak and confirm the commands from the user.
  • The biggest advantage is the freedom to study at any flexible time. In the classroom, the class timings are fixed and each day, one needs to manage to be free to study at that particular point of time. Whereas, in the online classroom, one just needs to complete all the tutorials and assessments within a fixed interval of time, regardless of the way the course is accomplished. By this, the enthusiast people are able to complete the course before the due time, and some are able to complete at the niche of time or ask for extensions. In all, learning is made easy and the students find fun in learning through online classes.
  • Students suffering from Asperger’s syndrome, and other autism spectrum disorders struggle being socially active amongst the individuals and avoid being the part of large classroom settings. They fear to go to school and study in large classrooms. By the introduction of the online classes, and social media, the pressure of interaction for the shy students is evaded, and they easily study with the help of online courses.
  • Students suffering from learning disabilities like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, known as ADHD; dyslexia finds it difficult to concentrate while studying. In such a case, by means of online lectures, they can review the lectures several times in order to understand the topics more clearly and effectively.

CONS:

  • Though there are several advantages of online learning, we will find that there are several hurdles faced while undergoing an online course.
  • Within the online classes, everything is taught online through video lectures and illustrations. But, it is found that the students aren’t able to clear their doubts instantly. They need to request a doubt class in which they are dealt with all their queries. But together the process of learning becomes quite cumbersome.
  • At times, most of the content remains un-accessible by the students, as there is no sort of guide. Some learning management systems challenge the students with print or physical disabilities.
  • While learning, it is found that all the e-texts aren’t keyboard friendly and may include proprietary text that’s not accessible by the students suffering from the visual, motor, or sensory limitation.
  • Not only this, the ones suffering from photosensitive epilepsy may face seizure due to flashing lights or images.
  • It is found that the students suffering from color blindness aren’t able to differentiate between the different colors taught to differentiate between different properties. As a result, they aren’t able to study well. Moreover, continuous videos and graphics induce learning issues in students suffering from visual problems.
  • It is found that in a video-based material, students won’t be able to understand every non-verbalized word and captions cannot explain the whole story. Assume that around 150 words are spoken every minute and the captions provided are 99% correct. This eventually means that three words are wrongly interpreted in two minutes and similarly 15 words in ten minutes, and this count goes on increasing and may even change the path on which the study is linked.
  • The visual aids like screen readers and audio transcribers may require a higher bandwidth, which is difficult for students to achieve at their homes. As a result, the translation process isn’t proper and continuous.
  • Moreover, there are cultural and linguistic challenges, within which, chat environments may vary and seem to be strident and may risk alienating the students of different cultures.

So, we will find that online education has both pros and cons. So, before opting the online education for a disabled person, one needs to be sure enough if all the cons of online education are overcome and the student is able to easily undergo the learning process or not. If all the factors are satisfied, we will find online education being the best and easiest way to gain knowledge.

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