Online learning is slowly gaining traction by the education industry as a valid way of learning and gaining education. It is easy and cheap, but is it any better than learning in a classroom? We take a look at the pros and cons of both.
There are advantages and disadvantages to online learning. The main advantage to it is that it allows for learning in distant locations, which means that students aren’t limited to their location. It is easy to access and it provides a convenient way to obtain course materials such as tasks, homework and test scores as well as submit coursework. Most online learning is accessible with a standard internet connection and average home computer requirements, so you don’t have to buy or borrow any extra equipment.
Another advantage to learning online is that it gives everyone the opportunity to contribute – not just those who are the loudest or most confident. In a traditional class, contributing thoughts or ideas in front of a range of people can be much more intimidating than online.
Online learning means that you don’t miss out on the lesson if you can’t be present at the live lesson. It can be recorded, which means that students can catch up on it later, or go back over the lesson to refresh their memories.
One of the cons of online learning, however, is that technology can cause a barrier to learning environments. It is argued that online learning isolates students from one another as well as the tutor, which reduces how effective the learning platform is.
The biggest advantage to classroom learning is that you have the other students and tutors to interact with in person. Not only do you get the spur-of-moment-thinking but you also get to nurture real relationships, both in a professional and a personal sense. However, it should be argued that online learning can do this too, but simply digitally.
The learning environment of a classroom is also more engaging, and will encourage shared excitement and spontaneous learning.
Finally, in a classroom you can also learn practical skills, such as care work, or something like massage, with someone to supervise and correct you. In an online environment, practical, physical skills are much harder to cultivate.
The cons to classroom learning includes cost and allowing passive learning. Cost includes the cost of the physical building and the travel to get there, in turn this means that there is a cost associated with the course itself. In a classroom, too, it is easy to let bolder, more vocal students dominate the environment, leaving shy or introverted students to their own devices.