Online learning is a process where teachers conduct online classes using the internet and mobile phones or computers. Exams, evaluations and assessment and results are all done virtually utilising server-based automated software.
Learning is a process of obtaining new ideas, knowledge, and behavioural skills. Common among the human race, learning begins from birth and extends all through their lives. Learning accounts for the change in the behaviour of an individual. With broad spread digitization across all fields, the world is currently at the crossroad between online learning and classroom learning. Many stakeholders, educationists, and teaching advocates worldwide have favoured these learning methods, based on their experience and reviews.
Presently, we are in the fourth era of an industrial revolution – Technology. As technology has brought changes to many industries, life has shown more tie-in and hookup, thinning the lines between the experienced and the personal, with an increasing number of organizations and industries becoming functionally flexible with online services.
The current switch in demand has gradually transformed the educational sector to accommodate these changes that have surfaced with a particular set of challenges. With the new normal brought about by COVID-19, distant education and online learning became multiplied by necessity, questioning the difference between both concepts. Here, we have discussed six differences between online learning and classroom learning.
Online Learning Vs. Classroom Learning
- No One-on-one Interaction: This is always the significant difference that comes to mind when comparing both settings. Although there is an adjudge absence of human inter-relationship, however, this is technically untrue. It is more appropriate to say there is no physical inter-relationship. While classroom learning usually requires physical interactions between teachers and students, online education has this component embedded in its virtual platform. It implies that the latter has its human interaction feature occurring via virtual lectures and discussions, video conferencing workshops, etc.
- Round The Clock Access to Learning Materials: Online learning gives students access to various learning materials all round the clock. It allows students to get access to their course contents, assignments, lecture notes, and even recorded classes anytime and anywhere during their program. Postgraduate students can also reach out to course tutors for assistance through emails, messages, and video calls. For classroom learning, regardless of the level, the student has to go to the physical venue to meet face to face with tutors at a specific period of the day. This requirement can create a constraint to learning, especially for students working.
- Practice while studying: Online learning students in colleges can merge their studies with their work scheme and implement the new ideas learned in the course work by exercising these new concepts in their present work sphere. However, with classroom learning, it is a different ball game entirely. Since students cannot combine job or social commitment with their degree program, they can only implement the new concepts when done with studies and engage with a workforce. More so, online learning offers many online learning tools and applications that can help young learners. These tools will help them grasp new concepts better understand by providing future problems they can relate to and propose solutions. For instance, logic puzzles or math puzzles aren’t the unambiguous “find x” common with classroom learning.
- Consistency of Delivery: One other important part to consider in online learning vs. classroom learning is that in the conventional teaching method, the teachers deliver their lectures in their style and content. For classroom learning, content and consistency can be a source of worry. In online learning, the course design is simplified, and there is consistency in the delivery of the course content, which is almost impossible to achieve in the classroom learning system.
- Assessments: The conventional method of assessing students’ competencies in a classroom learning setting is usually by tests, exams, and sometimes presentations. As it is the norm, there is always an invigilator or examiner. Although, this method of assessment has been made unnecessary by the ravaging COVID-19. On the other hand, online learning assesses students through individual or group assignments. This method allows students to form study cliques to help each other learn, share knowledge, and enhance their reasoning and critical thinking. Not common although, online learning can also employ open-book exams as a medium of assessment.
- Agility: Notwithstanding the difference in time zones, student’s location, or the current status of the student, course materials can be retrieved from anywhere in the world. Online learning allows for much of the flexibility needed to study and obtain a degree at one’s speed. Its flexibility fits, let’s say, an actively engaged professional who wishes to learn in the late hours of the evening or a housewife refreshing her knowledge before when she will get back on the job market.
Final thoughts on Online Learning
As universities acknowledge the necessity of the modern workforce for education, training, and growth, online degree programs emerged with various specializations to meet the professionals’ desires from diverse disciplines, industries, and empirical backgrounds. Henceforth, it is not mandatory to go to a campus to earn a degree. There are quite a few Online Education Apps for exam preparation and practising mock tests.
The online learning system also instils some level of discipline among students. They have to be committed to meeting all the degree requirements to graduate on time, such as promptly finish all their assignments, projects, and the likes. With the available support for online students, there is every certainty they will complete their online degree program with much less enthusiasm and diligence. Here, we strive to help students select the appropriate program and successfully apply to join other students, all studying the same program globally.