When you think of school, you most likely think of nice, big traditional classroom with the teacher’s desk in the front and rows of desks in the back. You know, the setting most students are accustomed to being around during their years of education. But with school’s shut down seemingly for the rest of the semester across the country, the majority of students enrolled in both public and private institutions are being forced to switch over to a new type of learning for the first time in their lives: online classes.
For some, this adjustment has been nearly effortless, while others are still struggling to understand the new method. By now, most of us have experienced both face-to-face as well as online schooling. So, which type of learning do you prefer?
Online Learning Pros
Those that are enjoying the laptop more than the classroom for school are probably liking their transition for a few key reasons. Mainly, online schooling is much more flexible than the structured scheduling of public schools. This type of learning allows students to use their time however they want so long as they still meet deadlines on assignments and check in for attendance at scheduled times if necessary. Instead of having to work your schedule around school hours, you can work school hours around your daily life instead.
Online learning is also flexible in its access. You don’t have to live down the street from campus or even live in the same state. If you really wanted, you could take online courses for colleges in California if you lived in Delaware, Canada or even somewhere overseas. No matter where you are, this type of learning is available for any student to take advantage of.
Another benefit to online schooling is that it is much more affordable for college students. Taking online courses saves you big bucks on having to pay for tuition, room and board and meal plans living on a college campus. Instead, you can chill out at home and log into class right from the comfort of your own bedroom. How sweet does that sound?
Lastly, this type of learning gives students the opportunity to be more interactive with the student body than they would be in a classroom setting. We all know the 80% of students that sit there silent the whole class and look around whenever the teacher asks an open ended question, and that 20% (probably a bit over on the percentage) that carry class discussions day after day. Online classes usually always have a class discussion board and require students to submit replies to questions online and give student feedback, and being behind the screen makes it easier for some to be more vocal students.
Online Learning Cons
Of course, online learning has its definite downsides. For one, and probably most important, it becomes harder to reach your teacher directly for help on lessons. Online instructors aren’t as active as the ones you’re used to seeing in the classroom and have busy lives as well as personal lives outside of their job. The last thing they want to do is monitor their email every second of the day.
Another thing that brings down this type of learning is the need for computer access and internet. If you don’t have your own laptop, have solid access to any computer or have junk WiFi connection, it’s probably not a good idea to take the online schooling route for your education.
A third drawback for online classes is that while you do get to dictate how your time gets used a bit more, it can lead to poor time management, extreme procrastination and completely forgetting that you have an online class, which can obviously hurt your grades. If you’re going to take online classes, make it one of your top priorities to stay on top of.
Face-to-face learning is of course the much more traditional type of learning that we’re all far too familiar with, and its positives are very clear. We of course know about the socialization that is nonexistent with online classes. Getting to see our friends everyday at school is one thing that we love going to school for. We’re able to seek out tutoring in school and raise our hand to ask the teacher for help the moment we need it. Help isn’t readily available taking online classes.
And as much as we may or may not like it, having organization and structure promotes focus in the classroom. Having a schedule at school is meant to develop a routine you can succeed with and campus gives you a place to focus strictly on your schoolwork. It eliminates all the distractions you can find at home as long as you’re in the classroom.
We’re also probably pretty familiar with the negatives of face-to-face learning. One thing that doesn’t make this type of learning so great is that not not every student is there to focus on their education. Some students are there simply because they have to, and they can bring down the classroom by distracting them and slowing down a class full of eager students that actually want to absorb the information.
Another big issue for face-to-face learners, especially those that reach the college level, is the cost it takes to enroll into classes. Thousands of dollars are required to allow class enrollment, residency on campus and being able to eat school meals. Did I mention that textbooks can cost hundreds of dollars? Yea, online schooling is a whole lot cheaper and follows a similar curriculum its on-campus course.
Lastly, if you miss class for any reason excused or not, you’re missing out on that lesson. You might be able to pick up the notes from a friend in class or another student, but it’s not nearly the same as the teacher walking you through the lesson in person. Unlike online schooling where you can access your classes anywhere at any time, this type of learning requires you to be in the classroom to get all the information you need. If you miss class, you miss out.
Traditional, face-to-face classroom learning and online learning each have their advantages and disadvantages to offer every student. While it may be a big adjustment or a simple transition from the classroom to online courses, it can also be just as beneficial educationally.
Now that you’ve had a taste of both online and face-to-face schooling this year, which type of learning do you prefer?