Online classes certainly helped a lot in bringing in new technologies in the education sector. It addressed the problems which posed an array of limitations on traditional classroom teaching but there are still some positive aspects of traditional classroom teaching which outweigh those problems hence traditional classroom teaching is still preferred over online classes wherever and whenever possible. We will have a comparative view here, over both online classes and traditional classroom learning, to understand where one excels over the other.
With the onset of COVID-19, the world witnessed a radical change in the education sector. Though the online classes before COVID were not unheard of, they became the new normal as the countries went into lockdown and traditional classroom learning stopped. Online classes, which were only seen as an aid to classroom learning till then, became the principal tool to provide education at the fingertips of every student without them having to step out.
The first and foremost advantage online classes have over traditional classroom learning is that they are often recorded and hence available at the disposal of students whenever and wherever they want. If they miss certain points during the class, they can easily access these recordings later to aid and refresh their knowledge. This is not the case with traditional classroom learning as in this format, once you miss a particular concept during lectures, there is no way you can access it later because everything happens in real-time and these classes are not recorded.
Online classes are subjected to the availability of good internet connectivity and devices like smartphones or laptops to the student. Without these, online classes cannot be accessed. While for traditional classroom learning, you don’t need any particular gadget. Thus it seems rather difficult for the lower sections of society to get their hands on online classes.
Traditional classroom learning requires the presence of the students at a particular place, at a particular time. An average student spends around 2-4 hours each day commuting to attend these classes. Online classes free up your traveling time as you do not have to go anywhere. They are present at your fingertips. You just need to turn on your device and connect to the internet. Thus it saves a lot of time which you would otherwise spend traveling back and forth for the classes.
Regularity and Discipline
This is a huge drawback on the part of online classes. Discipline and regularity are two crucial things for studying. In traditional classroom learning, a lot of focus is given on regular attendance, timely assignment submissions, real-time feedback, thus keeping the students regular in their studies. Online classes fail to do so as everything depends on the self-discipline of the students. The majority of students find it hard to achieve the level of regularity and discipline which otherwise comes naturally with traditional classroom learning.
Online classes are often cheaper than their traditional classroom counterparts. This is because the online classes require minimal infrastructure and setup in comparison to traditional Classrooms. Indirectly also, the online classes put a lot less financial burden by saving students from far areas the cost of food and lodging. Thus, online classes prove to be a lot more convenient than traditional classroom learning.
One on one mentoring-
The one area where traditional classroom learning seems way ahead of online classes is one on one mentoring and student-teacher relationships. Traditional classroom learning gives opportunity, to both students and teachers, to interact with each other in real-time. It helps both the parties to know each other and get familiar with each other’s teaching/learning styles in order to modify them accordingly. This is where the online classes lack. Although many platforms have started one-on-one mentoring of students on their platform, it has to improve a lot before it matches the level of traditional classroom learning.
Traditional classroom learning seems to have an edge over online classes in certain areas which require practical or application-based learning. Online classes are successful in providing lectures on scientific concepts but getting practical hands-on experience is almost impossible with online classes. Although there are initiatives like “virtual labs” they are hardly up to par with the real experience. Hence, traditional classroom learning proves to be unbeatable when it comes to practical/application-based learning of science.
Although we can say that online classes will get more advanced with the upcoming advancement of technologies and will be able to address the issues currently associated with it, nonetheless they are proving to be of great importance in the ongoing pandemic.
1. Which one is better, online classes or traditional classroom learning?
Ans. Both the formats have their own ups and downs. We cannot certainly say that one format is better than the other. It depends on the requirements of an individual which format will be well suited. For some, it may be online classes whereas some might find traditional classroom learning more helpful.
2. How do I decide which one is a better option, online classes or traditional classroom learning?
Ans. While deciding, you should focus on certain points like what’s your budget and if you are self-disciplined enough to carry on with the online classes and keep your studies regular. If the answer is yes, then opting for online classes can be the better option for you.
3. What is the best way to maintain a regular study routine with online classes?
Ans- Prepare a flexible time- table and maintain it. The major challenge for students taking online classes is to maintain their routine in a productive manner. A timetable will help you out with this task. The timetable should not be rigid otherwise you will find it difficult to follow. So keep it flexible.