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This week we have been exploring the
barriers in online learning in our group. It has been useful to explore ones
own barriers at the same time. During the course I have so far felt anxiety when
posting comments, speaking in meetings and when trying to find time for the
course. These types of feelings that are usual for participants in online
courses, at least according to research.

Frustrations on online courses can have their
source in technology. For instance bandwidth and internet access
limitations or file sizes can arouse
problems. Other frustrations of technical kind can be caused by applications or
impersonal discussion forums. (Morrison, 2014) Lack
of technology skills arouse feelings in both participants and teachers (Becker,
Newton & Sawang. 2013)

The social aspect of online course can also
be a barrier. Students lack the feeling of social belonging and there is a lack
in communication between students. (Keengwe &Kidd. 2010) The social aspect
can also arouse fear. Students might be afraid for losing their privacy and leaving
an unwanted digital footprint or they might be afraid of making mistakes on
social forums.

The teacher can also put some obstacles in the
way of learning when designing the course. A course with poor usability or course design does not help the students. It is important
for the student to find the content they need and to be able to interact effectively.
Teachers should pay special attention to instructions for student assignments and
consistent use of terminology throughout the course. (Morrison, 2014).

All these and some more
barriers add to students dropping off or not finishing courses. That is why it
is important for teachers to be aware of these barriers and try to help
students overcome them. Keengwe and Kidd (2010) have
studied how to successfully transition from traditional pedagogy to active
online learning pedagogies. According to them teachers should learn how to
alter their teaching styles. When planning a course they should set time for communication
with students and it should be ongoing and meaningful. One important task for
the teacher is to create a strong learning community, a sense of belonging.
When planning it is important to set the stage, manage the process and to
understand the difference in pedagogics on online courses.


Becker, K., Newton, C. & Sawang, S.
(2013). A learner perspective on barriers to e-learning. Australian Journal of Adult
Learning Volume 53, Number 2, July 2013

Keengwe, J. & Kidd, T. (2010) Towards
Best Practices in Online Learning and Teaching in Higher Education. MERLOT
Journal of Online Learning and Teaching Vol. 6, No. 2.

D. (2014, July 13). Barriers to student participation in online learning
[Blog]. Retrieved March 13, 2019, from

Barriers in online learning and how to overcome them