In case you are considering obtaining a degree, studying a new course or learning a second language, you might have found yourself torn in between online learning and traditional classroom learning. The online education vs classroom education has been there for some time, and will always be there. But which is better? And should schools replace teachers with online education?
Both online education and traditional education have their advantages and disadvantages. Today online education has become very popular: the online education market is expected to reach $123 billion by 2023. The future of online education looks even brighter as institutions of learning will continue to adopt online learning. However, despite the rising popularity of online education, classroom education is still popular and important.
Let's look at the two methods
Several people learn languages or professional-level courses to increase their chances of being hired or promoted. For instance, to get a better paying job or get promoted to a higher level, learning a second language can be helpful. However, balancing between work and attending traditional classes is difficult. Most employees are too exhausted after work and would not want to attend traditional classes. Taking an online course, therefore, seems the better option for such people as it is convenient, saves time and money.
Probably the best thing about online learning is that you can learn from the comfort of your home or office. Assume you want to learn German language for the sake of your professional development. You don't have to attend regular classes. Instead, start taking German classes with a tutor who lives in your time zone, but is also available for online lessons. As a consequence, you don't spend your time commuting and take lessons from home instead.
Online education is flexible. You can choose a schedule that suits you best. You can also choose to take your lessons from an environment that works best for your needs. You can take your online lessons at the cafe across the street, when travelling, or your bedroom, among other convenient places. Isn't that awesome?
Online education is cheaper compared to classroom education. Studying online means you only pay the tuition fee, maybe book supplies and registration fees. There are no transportation or accommodation costs involved.
For most people, interacting live with a trainer is the best way to learn. It is interactive and allows for two-way communication.
It may be argued that a traditional classroom setting offers a platform for a direct exchange of ideas. However, this can be substituted with online forums where people interact. For instance, if you are learning German as a second language, there are online communities like Duolingo's forum where you can discuss various topics with people learning it as a second language too.
What can you lose studying online? Probably the only disadvantage of studying online is that you will be missing networking opportunities. Sometimes networking in a school is crucial in getting recruited after completing a course.
Classroom education is very important for children, teenagers and young adults who are yet to join the workforce. Attending classes regularly helps them interact with their agemates, be disciplined, follow a regular programme, be physically fit and mentally alert.
The interaction in a classroom setting helps educators and learners to know each other well. This way, a teacher will know the strengths and weaknesses of a student and be able to help them accordingly.
The continuous interaction between teachers and learners in a traditional classroom setting helps learners get rid of their fear regarding exams. This rarely happens with online guidance.
Courses that require techniques and use of tools are best studied in a classroom setting. In well-equipped classrooms (or schools for that matter), students have access to devices and educators are there to facilitate active learning. Educators are also able to evaluate students' skills easily.
Well, classroom education may be a bad idea sometimes. First, the schedule is fixed, and you can't change that. In some cases, attending classes is mandatory and therefore not suitable for people who are working.
If you don't live near a school, it might be challenging to attend evening or weekend classes, especially if you work full-time.
So, should schools replace teachers with online lessons? Yes and no. Yes, because some lessons can be conveniently done online. Language courses and other professional development courses can conveniently be studied online. However, a classroom setting is very critical for the development of children and young adults. Schools should, therefore, offer a mix of both.
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