Technology in education has seen one of its biggest realizations in online learning. Students across the world are now beneficiaries of a system where attending lecture halls (and in some cases exam rooms) is discretionary. However, despite it being seemingly more expedient than the conventional in-class learning, it has come under severe admonishment from experts who reckon education is slowly losing value under this new form of learning.
Online learning appeals to many students mainly due to its cost-effectiveness and convenience. It eliminates barriers such as location, physical disabilities, verbal impediments and access to resources due to the vast availability of professionals and reference books on the Internet. Also, social standards, such as race, sexual orientation, sex, physical appearance, age, religion and country of origin are less likely to hinder a student from actively participating in a discussion or class online.
Nonetheless, classroom training is still considered immeasurably better than online programs from perspective of value and effectiveness. By attending physical classes, students get the opportunity to engage in face-to-face discussions with their lecturers and ask for real-time elucidation of incomprehensible points and concepts in a manner that may be quite difficult to maintain in an online class of more than one student.
Additionally, professors are able to tell whether their methods of teaching are effectual in a physical class, making it easy for them to make necessary adjustments.
In-person presentations and group work, which instil students with teamwork skills crucial to coping with life after school, are also only available through physical classes, which further adds weight to the argument.
In a study of more than 40,000 students at Washington state community colleges that looked at student performance in approximately 500,000 courses, students tended to have a better average performance in the in-classroom subjects than in the online ones. The researchers also discovered that students find motivation in studying in a classroom with other students around them than when they are alone at home behind computers trying to keep up with live or elapsed lectures.
To the credit of digital offerings, apropos value and effectiveness, video-based classes can be more pertinent for software skill-building courses, such as programming and other computer-related topics, as students will need to sporadically pause the lecture to apply the lesson that they have learned on their computer. Also, repetitive content, such as course introductions and outlines, are better relayed in recorded video to save on time, especially on the instructor’s side.
That, however, does not cancel out the far-reaching problems inherent in the minimal interaction found in online classes. A combination of both systems would be consummate, but if a student had an option to pick only one, then in-class learning is the recommended choice.