The Rise of Online Learning Platforms: Implications for College Students

Since the pandemic situation has taken the world totally unexpected, college students and learners of all ages have been forced to implement online learning platforms on a daily basis. As a rule, it had numerous implications not only for students but for educators as well as these online learning platforms have been raw and in the making. It appeared that many tools that could be used had a steep learning curve along with various accessibility issues. Even those college students that have been tech-savvy faced daily difficulties as there were technical lags and issues that had not been around before. Something like uploading an assignment or finding what must be done next has taken the time away from the lectures and required constant sorting, which only made most students confused and exhausted. While the learning platforms have introduced things like flexibility and an opportunity to study anywhere, they came with certain challenges that had to be addressed. Without it, the whole idea of virtual education and remote studies would not work per se!

Table of Contents

The Rise of Online Learning Platforms: Implications for College Students

Flexibility and Different Time Management Methods.

Without a doubt, online learning has helped students with varied schedules to receive more time as there is no need to study within a strict schedule. While most colleges would still ask students to attend to certain timetables, it still made it easier to manage one’s time differently. Of course, it has introduced an even great procrastination problem. Still, many students have got an opportunity to study and travel, attend to family members, spend time with friends, and do sports professionally (think about college athletes!). While flexibility came with a grain of salt, online studies have already made a significant change!


This aspect is both good and bad because many students from low-income families have faced problems with the hardware that they had at home. Students that had better Internet connections and faster computers did not have much trouble during online video conferences and working with groups or online projects. Depending on online learning platforms, many schools had to up their resources, which has made it difficult for some students to have the same setup at home. If we talk about third-world countries or remote village areas, this problem becomes even more apparent.

Seeking Academic Help.

Turning to academic help online is not always easy since you cannot talk to a teacher physically and show what highlighted part is not clear. The same is true for those sessions when a student talks to a college professor and discusses things by receiving comfort and support. Now, when a student does homework late at night due to online learning platforms, it becomes impossible to ask for help. A possible solution would be, where a group of experts is available 24/7. Since it’s not an average college, most students will feel more comfortable seeking immediate assistance.

Privacy and Individuality Matter.

Online learning platforms have brought another issue related to access to school and sensitive data from home and basically anywhere. Since most assignments and personal data are stored on various virtual LMS systems, it comes with privacy concerns. Another set of challenges is related to individual learning and the use of ChatGPT and other artificial intelligence tools. All of it makes it hard to tell what students did and how exactly the results have been achieved. It is especially challenging during group assignments.

Progressive Grading.

Speaking of the positive sides of online learning, many teachers and colleges have turned to progressive grading, where the fear of exams and evaluation becomes obsolete. In other words, students can track their online progress and do more work online by getting access to new modules once they pass a certain amount of academic credits. It helps to decrease stress and take the learning process to another level. While it’s still relatively new, it already shows that it is the future of education.

Social Interactions Problem.

Another issue worth mentioning is the challenge of social interactions that would take place in a physical environment. Since college students already spend too much time online and on social media, their basic communication skills and body language are gradually decreasing. You can get more info regarding how to change the situation and learn why one must work harder to achieve success and spend more time outside. One may turn to school debates and participate in extracurricular activities to find the right balance.

Even More Stress?

When talking to educators, healthcare specialists, parents, and students, one will not be able to see the same opinion regarding online learning platforms. The reason for that is the set of changes and things to learn. It comes with even more stress and time management issues as students are not always able to see how to make things faster. All the technical glitches and new rules, updates, and messages from college professors have to fall into place, yet it is not always possible. Thankfully, when everyone shows genuine care and patience, one can face the situation and provide each other with the best learning environment.

Lack of Emotional Attachment.

Another serious implication for college students related to the rise of online learning platforms is related to the emotional attachment or bonding that takes place in a virtual environment. While it has been mostly apparent with the middle school students and their lack of focus, most college students could not feel that they are a part of the learning process. If we take a typical video conference with stamp-post pictures and one host online, it will become easy to imagine a student who is not really taking care of what is being said as there is no proper control and body language that helps to maintain an emotional aspect. This way, students often feel confused and do not want to ask questions while things still work. Since students will have different typing speeds and varied degrees of confidence to participate in an online conversation, the learning process will not be the same. Thankfully, there are many interactive learning methods to consider that can liven things up, yet it will always come down to the teacher and the ability to keep the remote audience interested and inspired!


Mary Herd is an educational analyst who provides consulting assistance and mental health services for students and educators. She loves exploring innovative methods and technology to determine what the future holds. Follow Mary to take your education to another level and learn how to approach academic challenges.