Online Education VS Traditional Education
Thanks to the new villain on the block, the guy who plays the deadly virus – COVID-19, online education has been trending every minute. Not just educational institutes but also big and small companies are offering online programs to their employees. Despite the soaring popularity of online education, vast groups of people still consciously stay away from such methods. Ever thought about why?
1) Habits: Old consumer habits die hard
2) Lack of familiarity with digitalization and online tools. Also, the misconceptions and fears people carry when it comes to technology.
3) Accessibility: Socioeconomic differences may make online learning a challenge for all startups. (Not anymore though- thanks to Jio we have quite a flat user base)
4) The irreplaceable personal touch: as humans aren’t we addicted to it? In our minds, somewhere we live with the cliched belief, that personal touch = authentic.
Hence, despite online education giving conventional teaching a run for its money, classroom pedagogy is fighting its way back up and trying to adopt newer means to retain learners’ interest. And I don’t think it has a very high chance of losing this!
With more than 15 years of astute experience, and after interacting with students to understand their study styles and methods of learning, I feel online Education impacts a student’s life in 5 ways:
- Flexi Approach
Busy schedule!! I wish i had time more than 24 hours to a day! These statements fit one and all in this era, irrespective of age, profession, gender, or creed. Specially a student struck in this situation, weighs his options with respect to the amount of time he can dedicate to school assignments on a daily basis. Online learning would be a tailor made solution to such a scenario, which can help a student work in and around his other commitments with the ease of flexibility. This is an even better option for those committed to extracurricular activities vis a vis a strict and rigid classroom schedule.
- Discipline & Self-motivation
When it comes to discipline and motivation, traditional education does enjoy an advantage in the eyes of many. The structured schedule of attending classes and having routine face-to-face interactions with instructors can help keep students on task. They are more likely to be reminded of upcoming assignments, which can help especially those who tend to procrastinate on large, time-consuming assignments. On the other hand, flexibility of online learning comes with a bit of a trade-off. Students need to keep themselves highly motivated as they may struggle to keep up to the mark or meet deadlines when learning from the comfort of their homes.
- Learn at your Own Pace
In classrooms, students have complete control over their lessons. Meaning, they can now learn as per their own pace and learning capacity. Some might be quick learners, while some might take time to understand a certain topic. Even after the best efforts of the trainers it is impossible for a teacher to pay individual attention to each student. In a classroom environment. As we know. the teachers explain concepts and answer doubts, but there’s only so much that they can do. There could be students whose doubts remain unanswered. Some students might feel that the teacher’s pace of teaching is too fast or too slow for them. Online education addresses this issue by offering additional information and explanations via eBooks and other forms of online resources. Online learning allows them to take control of their own learning process. Students do not have to wait for the teacher to start/finish a chapter, they can do it themselves. This helps them undertake courses as per their learning capacity and convenience. Online education helps students in becoming active learners, rather than passive learners while taking full responsibility for their own studies.
- Monetary Impact
Online education is way more affordable for students than classroom education. Printed textbooks, a paperback book is costlier because it involves a lot of process in its making. From cutting down trees to the production of paper, to printing, packaging, and shipping. And constraint of bandwidth in teaching an Individual or a group through a traditional medium is far more expensive than an online medium. Right from rentals, infrastructure to seating arrangements and more. On other hand online education can be delivered through less than 100 square feet area with multiple users at one point of time.
- Performance Evaluators
Analytics and tools used online (especially after AI and ML) can give an in-depth report about every student’s performance. It enables you to measure the engagement level of the entire class. The online course delivery helps to gauge consumption patterns, such as the number of chapters read, progress rate, tests attempted etc. This information helps the trainer to understand the learning patterns of students. The traditional education system unfortunately has no means to identify the interest levels of students.
Online and offline education: Pros and Cons
Where online Education helps a student to be flexible and decide his or her own pace of learning traditional classes helps them interact with other individuals of their own age, be better disciplined, follow a regular schedule, and improve their physical fitness and mental alertness.
An online education system might be economically viable for students Classroom learning helps students and teachers know each other in a better manner where they can directly share their views and clarify their own queries. Also, interactions with good teachers help motivate students to achieve higher marks. In my opinion, blended learning might help a student win this battle of choosing online over offline or vice-versa.
The blended education models
We know for sure that both online and traditional education have their advantages and shortcomings. So, finding a way to get the best of both worlds is the greatest idea at hand. The implementation of this is dependent on the subject being studied and the kind of student in question.
For instance – A student may require online assistance just once a week (for lectures, projects or other activities), rest they follow their own learning pace and timelines. This allows students to reap the positives of face to-face social learning while enjoying flexibility in time tabling at the same time.
Ultimate decision lies with the student: In the case of online versus traditional education, there is no right or wrong answer. Much of it comes down to personal preference and knowing how you learn best. It’s important to do some self-evaluation before diving into a full-fledged course and also to explore which options fit you the best.
After all, can we ever refute that we are the country of Gurukuls along with being the native of Sunder Pichai and Satya Nadella!!
Leaving you thinking…
Signing of… The ABC way!
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