Over the years, education has continually evolved. Today, various technologies have been integrated into education. Currently, the use of the internet forms an essential part of learning. Online learning alternatively known as electronic learning is a concept that is now widely accepted. The debate on the best form of learning, online vs traditional, has remained a thorny issue in a number of quarters. In order to determine the superior form of learning, it is important to look at the pros and cons of both traditional and online learning. However, it is obligatory to acknowledge that traditional learning has proved to be the most effective form of learning.
One of the key pros of online learning is the level of flexibility it offers. Learners can easily access information and materials regardless of geographic location. According to Rosenberg, learning is no longer bound to classrooms. Online learning necessitates the storage of information in databases. Since a single online database can be used by different people globally, information is standard in nature. It is imperative to acknowledge that online learning is considerably cheaper than traditional learning. Apart from connectivity costs and a small fee charged by a particular online learning platform, a learner is not required to pay additional costs to cater for various forms of facilitation. Through online learning extreme forms of physical punishment, common in some institutions, are eliminated completely. The existence of hybrid classes in online learning helps learners to finish their courses faster.
Traditional classes offer a plethora of benefits. Firstly, the fact that learners are required to attend physical classrooms eliminates possible distractions that could arise when classes are undertaken in other environments. The learning environment forms a crucial part of any learning process (Kellaghan 32). The standard classroom environment ensures that the process of learning is optimal. Inside classrooms, learners are able to interact with each other ultimately leading to the creation of invaluable social networks. Through social networks, a person can easily contact the right people in the times of need. When learners are taught in classrooms, they develop proper communication skills as they interact with each other and with their instructors. Normally, these interactions in classrooms lead to the formation of groups and therefore the aspect of teamwork is born and nurtured. Teamwork is an essential trait in any given work environment.
Having instructors present in a classroom offers learners the chance to get direct and speedy feedback. In case learners want any clarifications with regards to the content presented by the instructor, they can easily raise their queries and obtain the respective clarifications instantly. This is different from online learning where emails could take long to reply. In addition, direct responses in online chat forums still remain widely elusive. In traditional learning, an instructor is able to easily identify a learners level of understanding of the content being presented. This is mainly through nonverbal cues such as facial expressions and gestures. Through traditional learning, teachers are usually able to observe and monitor the mood of the class and thus adjust their teaching methods accordingly in order to ensure that learning remains optimal. Special programs for students encountering difficulties in various subjects are easy to implement in the traditional classroom. This ultimately leads to better performances by learners.
Personal discipline is important for the growth and development of a learner. In traditional learning, learners are required to stick to the outlined curricula and timetables. This inevitably instills discipline in them. The fact that traditional learning offers learners both supervised and unsupervised tasks ensures that they develop a more holistic kind of work ethics. Online learning offers very little to no supervision. In traditional learning, leadership is encouraged through the existence of various leadership positions such as prefects and monitors. Leadership is an essential part of the learning process. The process of learning goes far beyond the content that an instructor avails to the learners (John, Bruce and Susan 5).
Unlike in online learning where it is difficult to integrate practical sessions, traditional learning easily and effectively accommodates practical sessions. Take for instance surgery; it is impossible to have an effective practical lesson online. In most subjects with a practical alignment, traditional learning is the only way. An attempt to undertake these subjects online would ultimately end in failure. Furthermore, traditional learning easily accommodates different extracurricular activities such as sports. These activities are of utmost importance for the growth and development of a learner. A further plus for traditional learning is that in the job market, most employers regard traditional learning as superior to online learning. Finding employment is therefore relatively easy for an individual who has undergone the traditional form of schooling.
The debate of traditional learning vs online learning is one that will continue in the foreseeable future. In as much as traditional learning remains the superior of the two, the benefits of online learning cannot be understated. An Ideal way of learning would be that which combines the two forms of learning in a way that optimizes the learning process.
John, Mille, Cassie Bruce and Drake Susan. Holistic Learning. Toronto: OISE Press, 1990. Print.
Kellaghan, Thomas. The Home environment and school learning. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1993.
Marc, Rosenberg. E-Learning. New York: McGraw Hill Professional, 2000.
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