In this era, going to university or college is not a major issue in fact it has become something that is almost obvious. For a very long time, majority of the students were faced with the challenge of choosing the type of school that is best suitable for them and the most favorable mode of payment. Currently, with the constantly improving technology and new inventions, the challenge has shifted to the type of learning. This has resulted to very many questions that tend to answer the question which is the best comparing traditional and online learning. Not only do student’s face this challenge but also schools are wondering what the best direction to go is. It can be very hard to determine actually the best mode of learning as there are people who still believe in the traditional system of learning while others have overwhelmingly embraced online learning. Basically people who still hold on the traditional learning believe that students can get access to a wider variety of learning resources, it makes the work of teachers quite easy and at the same time it’s rewarding to the teachers, it is also most favored by the job market (Carnevale 1).
People that stand in favor of traditional learning justify the same with a number of claims. First they believe that traditional learning offers students numerous resources that they require during the learning process. It also allows for interpersonal relationships between students. Interaction between students is very important lack of meet may affect the academic life of an individual. The aspect of social integration is one that is very valuable in the life of any student during his/her period in school. One important resource that a student will have in traditional learning aspect is face to face education. This is something that is usually considered to the most satisfying for both the learner and the instructor. It is also very ideal for teachers as it does not add more work to them in preparing the same the material to cater for online learning and therefore saves a lot of time.
Secondly, majority of the teachers may not be well oriented in the area of technology which is a requirement for the case of online learning. This therefore creates a hurdle in the process of preparing learning materials for online learning and to come up with teaching practices that are more concrete. Apart from that the aspect of online learning is one that is quite impersonal and therefore its results may not be quite rewarding to the teachers. This is because most teachers derive their satisfaction from the interaction they have with their students. Apart from that students also look up to their teachers as their mentors because of the relationships they create. Online learning does not incorporate all this. it makes it hard for teachers to share their knowledge explicitly with the students and also teachers don’t get to experience the passion and excitements students usually have for a lecture. For instance, teachers find it rewarding when they see positive facial expressions from their students.
Thirdly, it’s evident that the job market usually prefers students that have gone through traditional learning in the traditional schools (Carnevale 1). Most of the employers tend to favor applicants that portray high levels of proper communication and good interpersonal relationships. This can be very rare in students that went through online learning. A number of studies show that in the event there are two equal candidates that have applied for the same job, an employer tends to favor one with a traditional degree as opposed to the one that has obtained an online degree from a virtual school (Carnevale 1). Majority of online degrees tend to have no value in the job market as most institutions have been found not to adhere to regulations or in most cases are not accredited.
On the other hand, we have people that prefer online learning to traditional learning. Such people have also come out with claims to support the same. First, it is believed that online learning has proven to be quite advantageous to traditional learning basing on its benefits to both the teacher and students. The first advantage is that there are no disturbances like those that are usually experienced in an ideal classroom like in the case where a student’s turn out to class after others have settled and the teacher has begun to teach (Allen 4-5). In the case of online learning, the student determines the most suitable place he/she would like to conduct his/her studies. Also teachers provide only the relevant information a student may need to perform a given task or assignment. This means that a student will only focus on the necessary details that the assignment needs as opposed to getting confused in the context of an ideal classroom where some open discussion tend to mislead others off the topic (Allen 4-5).
Secondly it is more continent and easy to obtain information directly from a teacher. In most cases students are usually equipped with the contact details of their instructors and therefore when they get stuck they can contact the teachers and arrange a meeting where the teacher will help the student with any question they have.
Thirdly, online learning is better compared to traditional learning because of the number of students it can accommodate. It is common to have overcrowded students in a classroom which is not a good thing as learning will not be effective. In the case of online learning, the number of students taking the same course does not matter because everything takes the classes at the comfort of the rooms or offices. They can also have good time with their instructors to discuss their problems; this therefore makes learning more conducive. It therefore saves schools the cost of expanding their classrooms (Agosto 99).
Fourthly, online learning is considered to be more effective compared to traditional learning. This is because of its challenging nature as students know that they have to work on their own. There is no dependence on others hence one is required to perform his/her research to complete assignments. A student only works with the discussions boards assigned to them and resources of their own. With the independent mode of study, the retention capacity of a student is massively enhanced. It has been noted that students that students who went through online learning demonstrated better performance than others who did the same course through the traditional mode of learning (Visser 177).
Lastly, the main reason that makes online learning the best is its convenience in terms of attending. It should be noted that there are many people who want to study but they cannot meet the demand of getting to class on a daily basis. This is the same as the people who cannot go to work on daily. In most cases no one plans to miss a class, but due to matters arising one has to. Many people tend to have families with small kids but cannot maintain a babysitter, others don’t own a car while other are students but have to work to support their education. Apart from that there are many people who are disabled but need to access education. This means that online learning makes work easier for all these categories of people. It makes it possible for them to avoid the fixed schedule made in traditional learning and they can choose the most appropriate time they want to conduct their classes.
It is clear that online learning is most suitable in many cases. This is because part from providing everything that one can get from traditional; it is even cheaper and convenient. But most importantly we must appreciate the fact that the two modes of studies are needed in equal measure. It can be argued that some students will work well with online learning in some subjects and others poorly and the same applied to traditional learning (Casement 17). Therefore putting together these two types of learning will bring the best out of a student. The best thing to do in this era of modern technology is to look at the preference of a student and the mode of learning that suites them best and subject them to the same other than forcing them on a learning method that they can perform to their potential.
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