For the past two decades, face-to-face learning has become not the only option in the education field. There has been an increased emphasis on the use of online learning by educators especially since the increase cases of Covid-19. Nonetheless, the effectiveness of both often becomes an issue of debate. Thus, let's dive deep and take a look from both perspectives. Face-to-face education, being the genuine form, seems to be the first choice of many students. However, online education is becoming more popular and is being used more often at universities. Online courses are convenient for some who have busy schedules which obstruct them from attending face-to-face courses (frankie’s, 2020).
Face-to-face learning, is more traditional and with the utilization of technology, may even be considered to be old-fashioned. However, for people thinking it has had its day, that may not be the case. Classroom learning offers benefits that other learning methods are not able to provide. One of them includes 'human interaction' or class socialization. A classroom environment offers students more opportunities to interact with educators and peers. With that, students get to strengthen their social skills and learn how to establish a dialogue that can lead to building personal relationships which is something impossible to do through online learning. The friendship they formed can lead to sharing experiences and emotional guidance among one another. On the education side, this gives the educators a chance to give individual attention to students who are in need. A good educator will watch for body signs when students are struggling to keep up with the class. Online learning failed to do so, even with the aid of webcams, educators will not be able to read these sorts of signs. Furthermore, when students attend a class physically, they are more focused on the subject at hand as the educator will keep the classroom distraction-free. Students' phones will not be ringing, they are not walking about or is the vacuum cleaner going off in the background. This makes them easier to be immersed in the subject ( frankie's, 2020).
After talking about face-to-face learning, let us move on to the online learning. In an online learning environment, educators use the online resources to conduct their class rather than gathering in an in-person classroom setting to teach. It is entirely Internet and computer-based, thus saving students money. Reports have shown that college students spend thousands on course materials and textbooks. Those who are unable to pay will negatively affect their academic process. On the contrary, online learning will not have that kind of problem. The cost will be low for the students since they are all provided online for free. That is only the tip of the iceberg. Online learning takes place at the comfort of one's home; ergo, students do not have to worry about paying for accommodation, food, and tuition fee. In addition, it cannot be denied that one will learn new technical skills through this type of learning. When working on a group project, one may need to share files, and this could become difficult via email. Therefore, students are required to utilize any project management tools available such as Skype and Dropbox. What's more, being familiar with this software can help students to bolster their resumé, getting them to hit the ground running in a future career. Besides that, students who are socially awkward and find it hard to raise their hands whenever they have a question will not have a problem when they are taking a class online. The anxiety when raising their hand only for the answer to come out wrong or a question that just seemingly does not make much sense as it did in your head is eliminated for you can have your time to think it through before writing your response and reading it over to ensure they are relaying the message you intended. Following this, students will be able to understand the topic being taught and not be left in doubt(frankie's,2020).
We all know that modern technology has infiltrated the education sector, but I still believe students will get the most out of it in the traditional way. In a classroom, students are required to speak their minds. They are often required to give presentations or speeches, and sometimes even put in groups of people with different viewpoints to work together. This helps them to develop important skills such as public speaking or problem-solving. We spend the most time in school so just imagine a world where 'school' is now a virtual place. Students will not have the said skills, and most importantly, loses the chance to build long-lasting friendships. Also, I believe a student's education will be greatly affected if all learning goes virtual. Face-to-face learning will solve that loophole in online learning, making sure students are well-prepared for their examinations.
In conclusion, there is no doubt that online learning has its effectiveness but those online learning zealots who are always arguing that classrooms should be replaced with virtual ones are overlooking the many benefits that face-to-face learning can bring. In my opinion, it is only true if the educators are good at what they do and students are willing to learn, for if they are not, then education will still be unsuccessful regardless of method.
- 2020 Charles B. Hodges, Stephanie Moore, Barbara B. Lockee, Torrey Trust, and M. Aaron Bond. The Difference Between Emergency Remote Teaching and Online Learning
- Arias, Swinton & Anderson – Volume 12, Issue 2 (2018). Online Vs. Face-to-Face: A Comparison of Student Outcomes with Random Assignment
- Ben Davis, 2021 . What is the comparison and contrast of classroom learning and online learning?
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