One of the primary drawbacks of e-learning is that students don't have a structured class environment, which may cause those without self-discipline to fall behind and to miss work deadlines. It is also more difficult to connect with instructors in an electronic learning environment.
The lack of a physical classroom and limited contact with an instructor impact a student's level of accountability. Without teacher and peer reminders about projects and deadlines, students must rely on effective scheduling and time management to get work done.
E-learning is also technology-reliant. Therefore, a student with an unreliable computer or slow Internet connection may have problems. Technology issues could impede opportunities to complete work or to engage in online class discussions. A student may also experience trouble when trying to complete online quizzes and exams.
A feeling of isolation and a lack of engagement with classmates are additional problems. Even though some students may prefer the work autonomy, it is hard to feel connected to a class and the learning experience without the traditional classroom. It is difficult for instructors to create an interactive component to an online class that perfectly mirrors the real-time interaction of a class. Some online students even experience motivational challenges because of the lack of social interaction with class peers.