In this age of science and technology, every industry and business sector is introducing robust technologies to improve their processes and catch up to the pace of the fast-growing world. In the same way, the education sector has introduced online learning. Online learning is done through the use of information and communication technology (ICT). It allows students to take online classes, without visiting campus. It’s a revolution in the learning process because we are being used to the traditional way of learning for centuries. Although the traditional way is the dominant mode of learning still, there lies a possibility that online learning can somewhat replace the traditional learning process soon. Let’s analyze to what extent online learning can replace traditional learning by evaluating the pros and cons of traditional classroom learning and comparing it with the benefits of online learning.
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Analysis of Online Learning & Traditional Learning
The traditional way of learning provides a platform for learning, which has been practiced for centuries. This classroom learning has produced great scientists, philosophers, writers, and leaders, etc. who have changed the shape of the world. In traditional learning, the classroom experience can never be replaced completely even with the use of AI. It provides a structured, face-to-face learning experience, which is not available in online learning. On the other hand, in online learning, an instructor can give his full attention to a student without interference from other students. While, in traditional learning, an instructor has to give his full attention to the entire class at the same time. He/she cannot provide a one-on-one session to a student.
In traditional learning, a student has access to teacher’s guidance, classmates’ support, and to the library. There are multiple resources available for a student, which can support him in his learning process. On the other hand, Online learning provides immense comfort to online students, to take classes from their rooms. Students don’t have to go to campus and take classes. They don’t have to worry about traveling, attending the class on time, and not to mention the costs associated with it. In online learning, students don’t have to follow a strict timetable and schedule. They can easily manage their time, and take classes whenever they are free.
This is one of the key differences between traditional learning and online learning. The workload of both teachers and students in traditional learning is more as compared to online learning. Students have to carry heavy bags to the campus, give exams, assignments, print out notes, record teachers’ lectures, and involved in paperwork. The teachers, on the other hand, will have to check all the assignments, mark all the papers, provide material to the students, and prepare and present a lecture in the class. Online learning allows teachers to check exam on just a click. Since everything is available online, both students’ and teachers’ burden is reduced exponentially.
Cost of Education
The cost of education is money spend on acquiring an educational degree. The costs associated with traditional learning is more than the cost associated with online learning. Besides the program cost in traditional learning, a student has to bear other costs as well. These costs are related to transport, psychological, physical, and time cost. While in online education, a student has to just pay the fee of the course, which is way less than the traditional course fee. There are even online courses out there, which are completely free. Students sit in their rooms and take lectures. So, this reduces their costs and they spend less money to acquire a college degree.
As we all know, traditional learning has been going on for centuries. This was the only mode of learning, until recently, with the advancement of information technology, we have seen the emergence of e-learning. Traditional learning provides degree programs for almost every field of education. While online learning offers limited degree programs and courses. But recently, bigger universities have introduced distance degrees like distance learning undergraduate degree programs, distance master degree programs, correspondence degree courses, and has provided online marketing education. However, one of the drawbacks of online learning is that it cannot introduce every field of education. There are a lot of courses and programs, which cannot be taught online. It simply will not work, because it requires experiments, practicals, and demonstrations, which is possible only in the presence of an instructor.
Time is also one of the deciding factors between both the modes of learning. According to the studies, online learning reduces the time taken at traditional learning by 20-60%. The traditional learning course takes a year to be completed. A course usually takes a year, because the process is very slow. Whereas, in online learning, the course time is short, because the complete course is offered online, and it is up to the learner to study at his own pace of learning. On the other hand, online exams and assessments are time-consuming. A typical traditional exam takes 2-3 hours, while in online learning, an exam can sometimes take a complete day.
How will the Future Classroom Look Like
After analyzing both traditional learning and online learning, it can be said that although online learning has a bright future, it cannot completely replace traditional learning, no matter how technologically advanced we become. With each passing day, more students are going for e-learning because of its affordability, and self-interest. If a student wants to have a degree from a far-flung university, he can acquire it from anywhere he wants, and whenever he wants. E-learning provides up to date, quick, and interest-based content to people. In my opinion, by merging both the modes of learning, teachers’ workload can be reduced, and classrooms can shift to co-learning spaces. With this new education system, students can learn, engage, and arrive- all at their own pace in a collaborative environment. Because the goal of education is to, create the best environment for students to learn.
The above arguments adhere to the fact that although online learning has its advantages and e-learning has revolutionized the learning process due to the advantages of online learning. It still cannot immediately replace the traditional mode of learning. In a nutshell, it can be combined with traditional learning, to create a collaborative environment for students. So, a traditional college can also provide the benefits of online college and the students can get the advantages of online teaching of traditional teachers.