Today, more than ever, students are exploring online education as their first choice for learning the knowledge of Ayurveda. In this article, we’ll explore the pros and cons of online education in Ayurveda.
What is Online Ayurvedic Education?
Online education in Ayurveda can mean different things to different institutions. There are many online formats that may include:
- Online Asynchronous Education: This refers to programs in which the student has no direct interaction with an instructor. This includes learning from videos, completing reading assignments, completing projects, and taking examinations. Reading assignments may be from either textbooks or online sources.
- Online Synchronous Education: This refers to programs in which the student is live with an instructor using live video technology. This includes attending online live video classes, and/or meeting one-on-one with an instructor.
The Advantage of Online Ayurvedic Education
- Cost: The cost of education includes tuition, educational support materials, travel, and housing. Online Ayurvedic students save money by avoiding the costs of relocation. In addition, many students are able to live with their parents while studying reducing the cost of housing to zero.
- Financial Stability: Online education, by avoiding relocation, allows students who are working part-time or full-time jobs to keep their current jobs. It can be expensive to leave a position and then seek work in a new location. This helps to maintain a steady income while studying ayurvedic medicine.
- Independence: Online asynchronous education allows students the greatest flexibility in their education. Students can choose the times that are best for them to study. This makes it easier to fit education around a busy work or family schedule.
The Disadvantages of Online Ayurvedic Education
- Student Support: Online Asynchronous education often makes it difficult for students to get their educational questions answered. Some programs rely upon student forums, and social media groups, allowing students to ask each other questions and respond. Some forums are monitored by faculty who may also respond to questions.
- Distractions: Students who study online, especially in an asynchronous format, are more easily distracted by the obligations of life. Life often gets in the way of a student’s study time. For some students, this makes it more difficult to keep up with their schoolwork. Focus is important to succeed in any educational endeavor. Students studying online in an asynchronous format often work harder to maintain their focus.
- Challenges with Hands-On Training: Some educational skills require hands-on training to master. Ayurvedic diagnostic skills such as pulse, abdominal, and tongue diagnosis benefit from in-person training. While much can be learned through videos, in-person group training allow for a multitude of direct experiences that enhance a student’s skills.
Hybrid Models of Education:
Hybrid models of education require online students (synchronous or asynchronous) to attend in-person, hands-on workshops. This offers the student most of the advantages of online education while assuring a higher level of educational competency. However, this requires traveling to a physical location which increases the cost of the educational experience.