With the advent of computers and most things going digital, education is not left out. Getting a degree has been made so easy by the introduction of E-learning. From the comfort of your house, you can now attend classes, submit assignments, write exams, and also be awarded a degree certificate at the end of your study, all without attending a physical school.
All things being equal, E-learning is seen as the next way in which education will be taken but is it better than the traditional way of attending classes, where you get to meet your teachers physically and have interactions with your fellow students? Is online learning the new way of the education system? Is online learning better than the traditional classroom we have been used to? In this article, we would try to clearly state the advantages of both the online classroom and traditional classroom offers as well as their disadvantages, hence you would be able to decide which works best for you.
Online education or E-learning as it is otherwise known as the avenue created where you can attend classes and be awarded a certificate at the end of your study just like in a physical learning institution. Most higher institution of learning has made it easy for their students as they now offer online courses which can be taken from anywhere, the course materials are made available online for the students to download and also course outlines are made available for students to follow up. Taking online courses comes with a lot of advantages and as such makes learning easier for students.
Not only are institutions making use of this online classroom but also large companies make use of e-learning as a training method for its employees. Even graduates who wish to study and work find online courses easy to use as it saves time and allows them to work and study concurrently. So what are the benefits of online learning and how can students really make use of the opportunity offered in e-learning. Below are outlined some of the advantages of online learning.
- Flexibility: online learning makes learning flexible that is, you can combine work, family time and also your study. The teachers of online courses make their weekly manuals ready and available online for students to study and follow up thereby, creating study time that will be convenient for them. Other study materials are also made available allowing students to access them and study in their preferred time.
- Variety of courses: online learning creates room or avenue for a variety of courses to choose from. Unlike in a typical traditional classroom where the courses are limited to the capacity of the faculty, in online learning, the lecturers can post study materials and lectures from wherever they are to students who get them and study at their own pace. Online learning creates room for course variety; there are no limitations to what can be studied in an online classroom.
- Different learning options: in an online classroom, the teachers make the study materials and lectures available in different forms. The teacher can make use of recorded videos, audio files, and PowerPoint presentations,s and so on. There is no limit to how the student can access study materials which are made available for easy reference when needed.
- Comfortable learning environment: that is the joy of e-learning; you don’t have to be in a particular spot to attend classes. You can class in your room, in a cafe or any other place you feel is suitable. There is absolutely no laid out the format in which you are to attend classes, comfort is the main point here.
- Saves time and cost: online studying helps you to save costs on traveling to a physical classroom or cost of living on campus and other living expenses. You don’t have to buy textbooks as most of the study materials made available are online which can be downloaded for study. Online studying also saves time which you can input into your other needs. For instance, if you are working and schooling, all you have to do in an online class is to finish your class and go to work, you don’t have to travel from your home to school and then to work. You can even take your classes at work during break times. How convenient!
The traditional classroom is a physical institution such as the colleges and universities where students go to study and attend physical classes. It is called a traditional classroom because the students and teachers are physically present in a space used for study and this place has rules and regulations which are run by. Even as the world continues to move digitally, it is necessary not to overlook the importance of the traditional classroom. Over the years, traditional classrooms have been seen as the best method of study and some people still find it better than e-learning. This is so because the traditional way of learning is believed to imbibe discipline in a student and orientate the student in a structured way for the future. Can we accept these to be good for the students or the new educational system is the way forward? Some of the advantages of the traditional classroom and how it helps students stay more alert and well-schooled are outlined below.
- Discipline and motivation: in a traditional classroom, there is a wells structured way of doing things. The classes are arranged in a structural pattern and there is also the advantage of getting to see the lecture face to face. The traditional classroom helps in student motivation as the students interact with each other and the experience of the on-campus setting is also a big deal to the general learning of the students.
- Networking: networking is possible for students who are each other physically. On-campus, you meet students with fellow interests and you can study together and do assignments too with their help. Online classroom makes it that you are on your own with no interaction with your fellow students. You have a greater chance of networking with fellow students and other lecturers not necessarily of your own faculty. Doing all of these may even lead you to your dream job because you would mix with a lot of people with different mindsets.
- Course work is structured: unlike in the online classroom where you are left to determine your course work, in a traditional classroom all that is been sorted out because each semester or academic year already has a laid-out pattern of study. Course outlines are made available for students and lecturers to follow.
- Almost all majors are available: this is definitely a limitation for online learning, not all majors are available for study particularly the on-hands training field. In a traditional classroom, almost all majors are made available especially, the ones which need training or specialization, for example, medicine, engineering, and so on.
- Memory development: traditional classroom enables students to learn and develop their memory. This is one of the advantages of physical classroom learning because, students are given a period of time to study and during tests, quizzes, or examinations, the students would have to rely on what has been studied or memorized. So in this way, the student memory remains active and sharp to learning.
Online Courses Vs. Traditional Classroom, Which is Better?
Online learning has grown over the years and as such seems to be the new system of education in the years to come. Most people opt for online learning because it is flexible and cheaper to study online than applying to study at a traditional University. According to research, most working-class people prefer the online educational system because it helps them strike a balance between work, family, and studies.
The traditional education system cannot totally be ignored because it enables students to have on-campus experience and also learn practical skills that would be useful for their future careers. Although, some term online to be flexible and easy to attend classes, some traditional institutions have evening classes and part-time studies which they organize to help students who work and study or those who can’t cope with the normal class setting.
According to research conducted in some workplaces and companies, about 60% of employers still prefer the traditional classroom and consider its graduates for employments more than a graduate of online education. Some of their reasons centered on the physical training and skills which are taught in these traditional classrooms. They also believe graduates of traditional classrooms and institutions are more disciplined and self-motivated when compared to their e-learning counterparts.
Although, the future is still unclear the question still remains, in the nearest future would there still be campus open to students for study, or are we going digitally and everyone would have to attend school from their comfort zone? As the world continues to evolve, the educational system is also evolving; online education is no longer a novelty but becoming a household term for the nearest future.
In conclusion, both online courses and traditional classroom have their own challenges and advantages. Choosing which method of learning is based on the individual who wishes to take a course or degree. To be able to study online, you need to be self-disciplined because you set your own rules and no one will checkmate you unlike in the traditional classroom setting where there are formats to study. The online educational system is best for obtaining some course certificates and traditional classroom is best for anyone who wishes to get on hands training and a degree certificate.