Online learning is no longer a novelty. The nature of online learning is quickly changing the education system to give college an entirely new structure and experience. Unlike in traditional learning where students go to class on physical locations in person, online classes are attended through a virtual platform over the internet from anywhere in the world (Milliron, 2010). Both of these forms of learning identify with benefits and disadvantages that determine the choice of a student. In the contemporary world, online learning is a great revolution in education and its benefits, by far, outweigh those of traditional learning.
To start with, online learning provides flexibility and convenience. This is because it allows students to pick the most favorable study time (Tadlock, 2011). In this case, a student can log on to their class at any time, listen to lectures on traffic and take practice tests in the middle of the night as the night as they deem fit.
Secondly, online learning potentially lowers costs. Students can save money by choosing online programs since they can study in the comfort of their workplaces or homes without having to incur extra expenses associated with going to school routinely. In addition, a significant percentage of students has cost as their priority (Allen, & Seaman, 2010). For this reason, they opt for the affordability advantage from online learning.
On the other hand, Tadlock (2011) argues that online learning cannot sufficiently replicate the human experience that is developed in traditional learning where face-to-face interaction is the norm. This denies students the opportunity to read their professors’ mannerisms, tone, gestures, volume, and body language, aspects that are key in interpreting and recalling information (Tone, & Perumean-Chaney, 2011). Also, although online learning is developed to at least model a traditional class, students in online learning cannot engage in conversations that are natural and spontaneous, which aim to enrich learning.
In summary, although online learning cannot adequately replace traditional learning, the benefits a student gets to enjoy outweigh the disadvantages. The benefits of flexibility, convenience, and potentially lower costs that online students get to enjoy are enough reasons to opt for online learning. Qualifications achieved from online classes count as much as those from traditional classes, a factor that makes online learning even more desirable.
- Allen, I. E., & Seaman, J. (2010). Learning on demand: Online education in the United States, 2009. Sloan Consortium. PO Box 1238, Newburyport, MA 01950.
- Milliron, M. D. (2010). Online education vs. traditional learning: Time to end the family feud. The Chronicle of Higher Education, 57(11), B30-B32.
- Tadlock, A. (2011). Online Learning vs. Traditional Learning. Deanna Williams, Instructor.
- Tone, M. T., & Perumean-Chaney, S. (2011). The benefits of online teaching for traditional classroom pedagogy: A case study for improving face-to-face instruction. Journal of Online Learning and Teaching, 7(3), 393.