7 Online Learning Challenges for Students and How to Solve Them

Biggest Online Learning Challenges and How to Solve Them

It’s estimated that 39% of graduate and undergraduate students will attend online courses by 2025. This change was undoubtedly accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic

Nevertheless, businesses and educational institutions have maintained their e-learning infrastructures even as the world transitions out of the health crisis.

Online students need to adapt to this growing trend in order to get the most out of their collective education.

That said, there are many different challenges you’ll face while completing a degree online.

Understanding how to address these issues before they occur can improve your chances of success.

7 Common Digital Learning Obstacles and How to Overcome Them

Learning is challenging for students in any setting. Yet, e-learning presents a unique set of obstacles that previous generations did not experience or have to solve.

As an online student, your best bet is to stay ahead of these common issues. You should learn about the potential obstacles you’ll face and their solutions early in your journey.

1. Adapting to the Way Online Classes Work

The learning experience is completely different when comparing online and conventional methods. Students in a conventional environment, for instance, are mostly expected to listen and take notes.

Digital students need to access online materials in different formats and adapt to other variations. This includes things like:

  • setting and following a study schedule;
  • developing self-teaching skills;
  • and following instructions during unsupervised tests.

This adjustment can be challenging for students who are used to traditional schooling. The key is to embrace your new reality with an open mind.

In this sense, two potential changes that you can make are polishing your time management skills and embracing the power of technology.

This will help you change certain learning habits and take advantage of the underlying benefits of e-learning. Like, having a more flexible schedule.

2. Having Limited Computer Knowledge

There is no doubt that technology is advancing at a fast pace. In the academic context, this can become a significant challenge for e-learners.

These students constantly have to adapt to innovative platforms, which are prone to change very quickly.

In some cases, it can even become a major problem for teachers that lack the proper training to use their new work tools. Fortunately, there are more resources to help improve your computer literacy available today than ever before.

You can take advantage of these programs and polish your computer skills before beginning your course. Even if you don’t own a computer, you may still have access to one for free at your local library.

3. Being Targeted By Hackers

It’s not uncommon for hackers to target students and attempt to extort money from them.

The main problem is that many students are unaware of this. Therefore, they are not prepared against attacks through unsafe internet connections, like public wifi networks.

Fortunately, students can create a safe environment that reduces the chances of getting hacked. Getting a virtual private network or VPN is a great option. This is especially true for students who listen to lectures or access educational materials through their iPhones.

If you’re asking yourself “what is a VPN on an iPhone?” then learning about this tool should be your starting point.

4. Unknowingly Downloading Malicious Software

Malicious software is defined as any app or program designed to cause issues on a device. These can range from disrupting the device to collecting and leaking all types of data.

Downloading malicious software can create a huge issue for digital students that rely on their devices for professional and academic reasons.

Online students should only download essential software and avoid programs that bloat their devices. Not only this, but you also have to verify that every program you install comes from a trustworthy developer.

This will help ensure that your devices remain safe even when browsing unknown pages.

5. Experiencing a Security Breach that Leads to Identity Theft

There are many forms of online fraud to aim to extract personal information. In most cases, the perpetrators aim to get enough data to perform identity theft.

These criminals use many methods to pluck out key details from unsuspecting users.Digital students have a few different solutions available, like credit monitoring tools and data leak detection software. The former can notify you if someone attempts to use your data to open a credit line.

Meanwhile, the latter notifies you whenever your credentials, like your email address and password, have been compromised in a known data breach.

6. Lacking Self-Motivation and Drive

When attending a lecture in a regular classroom environment, the teacher or professor is responsible for creating a productive environment. As an online student, you won’t have this luxury available.

This means that you need to stay motivated and driven in order to make the most out of your classes.

Even the most inspired students can experience a dip in motivation. Thus, it’s important to establish habits and a general routine that keeps you motivated.

This includes a healthy lifestyle, a positive outlook, and a self-reward system that keeps you motivated.

7. Technical Issues

Technical issues are a great example. Digital learning requires students to have access to one or more internet-capable devices.

This, however, also opens up the door for potential technical issues. For instance:

  • an intermittent internet connection;
  • physically-damaged charges and other accessories;
  • and malfunctioning device software.

In this case, opting for quality devices and purchasing gadget insurance can help mitigate these issues.

In case you’re completing a work training course, you may also inquire about contacting the IT department in case you run into any issues.


Studying online brings a unique set of challenges and obstacles. While completely different, this can make online classes as challenging as learning in a physical classroom.

If you take certain measures early on, you’ll minimize the chances of running into any of these issues.

This, in turn, can help you get the most out of your online courses and shape the rest of your future.

Every decision you make during your educational journey will influence the results. Digital learning is a practice that’s here to stay.

So, it’s essential to develop a strong drive and familiarize yourself with basic e-learning technology.

Moreover, you also have to create a safe environment and protect your information while learning online.