With the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, many schools and parents have had to resort to online learning. However, stakeholders are putting every modality in place to ensure stability and return to normalcy in the educational system. Unfortunately, with the rise of the Omicron variant of the Covid-19, it’s evident that online learning has come to stay. More focus should be put into ensuring a more effective and better learning experience.
Fortunately, e-learning and education technology has experienced massive growth since Covid-19. We expect more improvement in gamification, learning analytics, and immersive learning. We also anticipate increasing e-learning platforms to meet specific and individual learners’ needs. All in all, the future of online education looks good.
However, one primary source of concern for parents is the choice between individual learning and collaborative/group learning. With both methods having competing benefits and demerits, it’s understandable why sticking with one can be a hassle. We’ll help you make the best selection for you and your child.
Individual learning means that your children will study on their own. With this type of online education, kids will move at their own pace. They’ll also study their learning materials and achieve their learning goals independently. This method focuses on meeting the unique educational needs of every child.
These are the merits and disadvantages of individual learning:
Pros of Individual Learning
One of the most glaring benefits of individual learning is that your kids can learn on their own time and level. There’s no pressure to reach group academic goals before fully grasping the essence of what they’re learning. This way, your kids can truly enjoy the process of learning rather than merely focusing on moving along with others. With individual learning, kids have personal goals that suit their specific learning abilities and styles.
Another advantage of individual learning is that it helps children develop self-confidence, high self-esteem, and self-motivation. Children feel happy and satisfied with their ability to learn on their own. This piques their interest in learning more and makes them confident in their ability to make progress.
By choosing individualized learning, you help your kids understand their strengths and weaknesses. As such, they can tailor their learning experience into improving on their strengths and overcoming shortfalls. It also helps them to discover their interests early in life. Lastly, individual learning encourages them to learn time management, self-discipline, and other essential organizational skills.
Cons of Individual Learning
Individual learning isn’t a perfect model for children as it limits communication with other learners and social cohesiveness. When kids don’t develop proper communication skills, it can become a massive problem in adulthood. Some children will learn better by interacting with others than by learning independently. Again, independent learning limits the child’s ability to learn teamwork.
Since individual learning allows kids to learn at their pace, it can be time-consuming, especially for slow learners. It also takes extra effort to develop teaching plans and materials to suit every child’s needs.
Again, individual learners need individual evaluation strategies. This can be challenging to develop as accessing and analyzing a child’s unique needs, and progress requires specialized skills. There’s also the possibility of inadequate materials, especially when your kids are learning to read.
Group learning (or collaborative learning) is a different method from individual learning. Here, children learn in teams or small groups instead of learning alone. With group learning, kids have collective goals that they strive to achieve together.
Group learning has its pros and cons:
Merits of Group Learning
Group learning helps kids to learn from their peers. This is advantageous because many children understand concepts better when they know from their friends compared to teachers and parents. Collaborative learning also helps them to retain knowledge better.
With group learning, kids learn teamwork. They also learn communication by interacting with their peers all the time. This learning method helps them express their opinions, listen to others, and provide feedback.
They learn what ideas or opinions to adopt by developing their critical thinking skills. Furthermore, your children will learn the importance of constructive criticism and how to accept them without any misgivings. Collaborative learning ensures that they develop problem-solving skills. That’s because every child in the group must contribute to puzzling out the problem before them.
What’s more, group learning improves cultural awareness? The more they interact, the more they learn to acknowledge and accept the cultural identities of other kids. Collaborative e-learning is generally effective if you apply the principles correctly.
Demerits of Group Learning
The first disadvantage of collaborative learning is that it doesn’t help kids learn at their own pace. This means that the faster learners will absorb, understand, and retain information to the detriment of others.
For this learning method to work, the fast learners have to slow their pace to carry others along. Slow learners must learn to increase their speed whether it suits them or not. Some kids will feel lost as learning progresses. Sometimes, they may develop low self-esteem by comparing themselves to others who learn faster.
Group learning means that someone may have to be in charge of the team. This is a disadvantage because the leader may start dictating everyone else’s actions. That also creates a power imbalance as not every child will express themselves wholly in such scenarios.
Another problem with collaborative learning is that introverts will feel uncomfortable. Some children may also not contribute to problem-solving in the group, leaving only the hard-working ones to do the work.
The truth is that individual and collaborative learning are effective methods that also have their demerits. In choosing your strategy, you must assess your kid’s preferences, needs, personalities, strengths, and weaknesses. It’s only when you do that that you can determine the method that works best for your child.
Luckily for you, Explico will help you bring out the best in whatever method you choose. We operate a system that provides personalized attention to your kids and assessment-based learning. We make eLearning fun and provide the best experience for your children.