Have you ever seen an advertisement on television that promotes acquiring a degree online? The advertisements make it sound easy and convenient to get a two-year, or even a four-year degree, for little of nothing, in a short amount of time, and big-time businesses will be begging you to work for them. However, is acquiring a degree online better than sitting in a classroom with a real-life professor? Do you receive more of a quality education in a classroom, face-to-face, or behind a computer screen?
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Face-to-Face learning is better than online learning because of the interactions and examples of face to face learning will benefit the learner the most. One of the most beneficial means of physically being in a classroom is the response time that a person receives from an actual person, such as a professor, versus an online class instructor. During face to face learning, a person’s questions will get an immediate answer whereas online learning means waiting for a response. Studies show that immediate and efficient feedback response time is crucial to effective learning. In a classroom environment, you may also have the advantage of working in small groups where you can collaborate on difficult topics and receive immediate feedback from you peer groups as well.
Sometimes, discussing issues or problems with your instructor in person is a lot easier than typing it out or trying to explain it in face-time online.
Efficient and effective constructive feedback is imperative to proper learning environments, such as what a person would receive in an actual classroom. Attending classes in person also creates a disciplined, structured student.
In today’s society, it is crucial that students become more structured by attending scheduled classes. By abiding by a class schedule, this trains the student for “real world” situations, such as being on-time for a job interview or important business meetings. The online environment is usually more flexible as far as time constraints. A person does not have attend class at a specific time and can do household chores, take care of a baby, etc. Many people may see this as an advantage. (Lim, Doo Hun, Michael L. Morris). However, this is actually a disadvantage because it creates a carefree, lazy, and distractive environment. This type of climate cannot possibly properly prepare a person for a job, profession, or career. The online classroom is at an extreme disadvantage when trying to properly prepare a student for a structured, business-type atmosphere.
One of the best ways to make new friends and meet new people by socially interacting with them is in the classroom. Meeting new people is a great way to sharpen your social skills and where else better can a person do that but in the classroom. Socializing with others is a perfect way to make future job connections, acquire new friends, maybe meet your soulmate. Online learning depletes a person of these socializing opportunities. It even impairs them further. Socializing face-to-face is becoming a trait that is harder to find in employers today. With increased amounts of text messages, social media sites, and other less invasive ways of interacting with other people, employers are struggling to find employees that know how to interact face-to-face effectively. They are a dying breed as we speak. Collaborating with others offers several more benefits for a student to be successful in the real world instead of spending time behind a monitor at home.
A great way to learn how to interact with a superior is by being a student in an actual classroom environment. By interacting with your professor, this prepares a student how to effectively talk, respond, and “work for” a superior. Personalities sometimes do not mesh, they may even clash, but by learning how to deal with other personalities, this develops a more well-rounded individual socially speaking.
Trial and error in how you respond and/or get responses gets students ready for real world problems, such as how to properly talk to your boss, how to handle difficult situations with co-workers, maybe even how to settle differences with your spouse. (Smith, Nigel V). By learning how to answer to a superior, even though it may be a professor or professor’s assistant, interacting with different types of people as your superior trains a student to become a more successful individual later in life. The classroom also offers several opportunities for a student to learn kinesthetically, whereas the online classroom fails the student in this area.
Online learning obviously offers opportunities for visual learning, but it does not offer much else. The classroom offers so much more, such as hands-on trainings, visual and hearing enhanced learning, and other kinesthetic, or physical means, of acquiring information. By incorporating different learning styles, the success rate of learning highly increases. This creates a more successful learning environment for everyone. The online learning experience is very limited in capturing different learning styles and ultimately fails the student. The online classroom actually offers more opportunities to become distracted and stray away from better learning versus the physical classroom. Since the traditional way of learning has always been in a classroom, many people think that students become more distracted in this type of environment. (Bowen, William G., et al).
However, the opposite is true. By doing online learning from home, office, or in a public venue, students are increasingly more distracted by other people, family members, and cell phones.
Many classrooms limit students to being on their phones or laptops, therefore, decreasing the amount of distractions. Online learning actually increases the amount of distractions because most people access their online classrooms from home, their office or place of work, or in a public place such as a coffee shop. People with conditions such as ADHD or other learning disabilities are at even more of a disadvantage for a successful online learning experience.
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Finally, not everyone is equipped with fast-connecting internet, wifi, or has data plans that support the online learning environment. Many people live in rural areas where high-speed internet service or wifi is not available. Data plans and internet plans can be expensive, so people that are on a strict budget tend to stray away from costly internet and phone data plans. Sometimes internet connections can be interrupted by bad weather and can cause problems with your online learning experience. You may even lose your work if there is a power outage or your internet connection is interrupted. If you have a deadline, this could be a very bad situation.
Face-to-face learning in an actual classroom is proven to be the better alternative when it comes to being a student. Despite our ever increasing use of technology, online learning fails to prepare a well-rounded student that is prepared for the real world. By increasing social interactions, becoming more structured in your schedule, and learning how to interact with authority figures, students are far more successful in their careers by accessing the traditional classroom option. However, as more and more online learning opportunities increase, face-to-face learning may fade away forever.
Bowen, William G., et al. “Online learning in higher education: randomized trial compares hybrid learning to traditional course.” Education Next, vol. 13, no. 2, 2013, p. 58+. Opposing Viewpoints in Context, link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/A323351286/OVIC?u=j020902&xid=b03e0583. Accessed 7 Feb. 2017.
Lim, Doo Hun, Michael L. Morris, and Virginia W. Kupritz. “Online Vs. Blended Learning: Differences In Instructional Outcomes And Learner Satisfaction.” Journal Of Asynchronous Learning Networks 11.2 (2007): 27-42. ERIC. Web. 6 Feb. 2017.
Smith, Nigel V. “Face-To-Face Vs. Blended Learning: Effects On Secondary Students ‘Perceptions And Performance.” Procedia – Social And Behavioral Sciences 89.2nd Cyprus International Conference on Educational Research (CY-ICER 2013) (2013): 79-83. ScienceDirect. Web. 6 Feb. 2017.
Yang, Yan, et al. “College Student Effort Expenditure In Online Versus Face-To-Face Courses: The Role Of Gender, Team Learning Orientation, And Sense Of Classroom Community.” Journal Of Advanced Academics 22.4 (2011): 619-638. Academic Search Complete. Web. 6 Feb. 2017.
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