5 Fears Online Learners Face and How to Overcome Them

by May San Pedro
who is distance education for

Way before the pandemic, some schools are increasingly adopting online learning courses. However, the unexpected outbreak of the deadly disease called COVID-19 declared as a pandemic by the World Health Organization, has forced the global shutdown of several activities, including educational sectors. The academic institutions which were earlier unenthusiastic to change their traditional educational approach have no options but to rely totally on the online teaching-learning. Although the educational system is still struggling to deal with this challenging situation, the agency never stops finding alternatives. However, it doesn’t stop the growth of fears online learners face.

Online learning includes training over the use of the internet and other technologies. However, many learners indeed fear virtual and distance courses. So, if you are one of them having the same issues, continue reading this post. Let’s discuss such fears that online learners face and explore options to overcome them. Let’s get started.

Fears Online Learners Face

  1. Fear of attempting something new

    Someone who’s never taken an online course might be intimidated by trying something new. We could also worry about feeling embarrassed about having ventured into an unknown and confusing subject. These fears are more prevalent for beginners.  The fear is real, especially for the administrators or the person in an advanced position who might not be comfortable looking in front of their subordinates like a first-year student.

    The most daunting part of online learning is the lack of experience with these technologies. This may also be discouraging for the online tutors and students because of the course’s overwhelming nature.

  2. Fear of Technology

    Technology is becoming less of a problem as society becomes more digital. However, many people still fear the use of technology. The main problem is not with the technology but instead with its use.

    In general, if you are a beginner and have never posted to social media platforms, participated in online chats, left comments on online videos, or written and commented on online articles before, it might be hard for you to interact in the online discussion.

  3. Fear of Practice

    The perfect way to learn something new is to practice regularly. We practice through the things we do or by experimenting with things. It is a way to recall the content or skills we learn. Practice, as it says, makes a man better. That is true in educational platforms. To master your skills, you need to practice regularly.

    However, many online courses miss this part and focus only on the theoretical lessons and external contents. As a result, learners couldn’t focus on the valuable contents, and the learning process didn’t reach its full potential. Lack of practice discourages the learner and makes them uncertain about the lessons they’ve learned online.

  4. Fear of Time Management

    Online learners are most likely afraid of this. As with conventional methods of learning, distance learning takes a certain fraction of the time. You should also be in your classroom and regularly take part in your sessions. Continually setting the clock helps you to better schedule your other work.

    Many of these online courses have flexible schedules that enable learners to work at their own pace. This aspect sounds more appealing to many people, but some are concerned that they will not have enough time to join the online class during regular working hours. However, by managing your time correctly, you can comfortably manage your work and study schedule.

  5. Fear of losing personal interaction

    With the benefit of online learning, there are clear limits as well. It can be challenging to learn from online courses due to the lack of human touch. Students may be frustrated by a lack of personal contact, a teacher’s physical absence, and the failure to speak to peers. The online world may often be too small for the participants to handle, no matter how comfortable it may be. Students need a physical space where they can resolve their queries and practice with simple tools.

    Nevertheless, meeting with teachers or fellow students is a great resource to build self-confidence in a learner. When Covid-19 changed the world’s educational landscape, several video conferencing apps emerge to synchronously attend online lectures. Hence, interaction is still made possible virtually.

Do you struggle on your virtual classes? Comment down below, and let’s talk about how to overcome the fears online learners face.

Students can conquer the common fears people have while taking courses. Here are some tips you could try to handle them:

How to Overcome the Fears Online Learners Face

  • Before learning a new skill, you must set goals and track progress. This experience will give you a sense of achievement. It will also make you ready to try new skills.
  • Technological fear is pretty easy to deal with. Before beginning any online course, learn how to use technology. You should take professional support and learn to help others get up to speed.
  • You can take part in any course for a fixed time. You just need to plan a few hours a day and attend classes daily, even though it’s self-paced. You must be more mindful of your online courses.
  • You have to ensure frequent online practice. The internet allows everyone to access resources for different purposes. There are educational and multimedia products that can create realistic scenarios to learn in a secure environment.
  • Participates in webinars and group work forums where you can discuss and resolve your queries. When you need to get in touch with your teachers or classmates, you can use different social media sites. The digital world brings people together all over the world. So, try to explore your options and reach out. Immediate feedback is now possible because of real-time technologies through text messages and phone calls, e-mails, Messenger, WhatsApp, etc.


Fear of trying something different or using technology is the root of challenges to online learning. The best way to overcome these concerns, though, is to try to address them in this ambiguous situation. The phase of school migration to online education is becoming increasingly acceptable. It is going to be here to stay. The new normal from traditional instruction delivery to online learning will lead to situations where students and faculty will have to get used to the applications, technologies, and virtual knowledge and teaching tools. Although online platforms have replaced in-person classes during this pandemic, these challenges and experiences create reality. Online learning will remain, and education will become more hybrid in the upcoming future.

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