Is Online Learning Better Than Face To Face Learning
Is Online Learning Better Than Face-To-Face Learning?
The education world has seen a lot of revolution because of the growth and the development of computers and technology in the twenty-first century. Different modes of learning come up every day to accommodate the increasing needs of scholars and educators around the world. Online learning has received a lot of attention because of its flexible nature and low costs that allow people from all works of life to have adequate access to education. Higher learning institutions and companies are at the forefront of embracing and campaigning for online learning in different spheres of education to meet the needs of people in the twenty-first century. Employers find online learning a bit convenient for the training of employees. The learning process allows employees to carry out their daily activities in the workplace while furthering their studies via online learning. Higher learning institutions, on the other hand, have included elements of online learning in most educational courses to capture a wider load of consumers or learners (Marc 77).
Technology is growing at a breathtaking speed, and every aspect of life has been modified in a way to embrace the new developments in technology. However, many arguments exist on the viability and the effectiveness of online learning in comparison to the traditional face-to-face learning. For a long time, the traditional classroom setup of learning has been viewed as the superior mode of learning (Marc 56). All other learning methods are considered inferior to the face-to-face learning mechanism, but the arguments about the superiority of traditional learning method are unfounded. Online learning is as good as the traditional learning method if not better. However, the learners and educators must embrace certain practices that are not found in the face-to-face learning to make the online learning process effective and viable. The current paper will discuss the advantages of online learning, the contributions of online learning in higher education, and the designs that educators should embrace to make online learning more inclusive and effective.
Advantages of Online Learning
Online learning is a flexible mode of learning that allows people to conduct their daily activities while pursuing their education. The program has been highly embraced in higher education learning where people do not require the one on one tutorial practices conducted in traditional learning methods. The online learning approach allows learners to plan their day well without the constraints of moving from one place to another. The learning process is conducted with the help of a computer, cell phone or a tablet. Therefore, one can take classes from anywhere, which helps to save time that would normally be wasted. For instance, a person can attend an online class on a plane or a bus. Singh, O’Donoghue, and Worton (3) argue that such practices embrace the new economic challenges around the world by allowing people to utilize the little time they have left after spending most of their time at work or business. Moreover, online learning sessions are divided into modules with a deadline on which to complete them. Therefore, learners with tight schedules can spend one or two hours a day to manage their learning process. The flexibility allows people to learn at their pace and convenience, thus raising the knowledge acquisition levels.
Online learning is cost-effective because there is less use of facilities and instructors time. Learners and educators interact via the internet. Further, the learning process helps to cut down the costs of moving from one place to another. In the conventional learning process where learning only occurs in the classroom, the inconvenience of moving from one place to another and the high costs of transport always comes up. In most cases, external courses necessary for employee skill development can only be found in places far away from the organization. Online learning serves to eliminate the challenges of travel, cost, and time while providing the workers with the necessary skills and knowledge (Keengwe and Kyei-Blankson 104).
Online learning is tailor made for an individual rather than a group. Instructors in a classroom setup prepare lesson plans that fit the entire group, which is not always effective. People have different learning capabilities and capacities. Therefore, online learning is an effective mode of learning because it is tailor made for a specific person. For instance, some people are can withstand long hours learning while others prefer multiple short sessions. Online learning allows one to choose the approach that suits their economic, intellectual, and time factors. The role of the instructor in online learning differs from that of an instructor in the traditional learning method. The different approaches used in inline learning by instructors motivate and encourage students to take personal responsibility for the learning process (Marc 76). Further, online learning allows people to skim some topics and concentrate on areas that need more focus. In other words, everyone is free to learn at own pace, a substantial factor that only online learning can offer.
Contributions of Online Learning in Higher Education
Confronting the cost issues facing the American public education at all levels is a central point of concern in all states. Online learning helps higher learning institutions to cut down on costs and unnecessary spending. The economic state of the world pushes nations and states to allocate more finances on health care and retirement expenses in response to fiscal constraints. As such, the education docket is left with few resources to cater for the growing needs of learners. The use of online learning in higher education allows higher education organizations to serve a wider range of customers at a lower cost (Singh et al. 6). Increased enrollment and high levels of income accrued from online courses help higher learning institutions to offer better services to their clients. Further, online learning has enriched the teaching and learning process in higher learning institutions. Online learning guarantees enormous learning and teaching resources that can help educators to meet the needs of the students effectively. Consequently, online learning has helped higher learning institutions to serve the increasing number of learners who desire flexibility in geography, schedule, and cost.
Designs That Make Online Learning Desirable
Online learning is undoubtedly different from the traditional modes of teaching in various ways. An instructor in online learning must ensure that learners understand the contents of the lessons and courses without human contact. One of the ways through which educators make online learning less isolated is by the use of audio and video learning materials. The use of audio and video learning materials helps the learners to experience an assumed relationship with the course instructor, which is necessary for the learning processes. Opponents of the online learning programs argue that the learning process makes it easy for learners to ignore or drop courses for lack of motivation (Keengwe and Kyei-Blankson 49). However, the new technological advancements have allowed instructors to include various motivational skills that encourage learners to pursue their careers with confidence. Further, the invention of blended online learning has combined the strengths of the face-to-face learning style with those of e-learning, thus making the online learning process superior to the traditional one.
Communication is a key component in the learning process. In a classroom setup, the communication is often one way, but in online learning, learners are allowed to participate and communicate with the instructors, thus making the learning process more interactive. Further, in online learning, the communication tools used are more permanent thus acting as a reminder for progressive learning. Online tests, exams, and assessments serve to both educate and evaluate the learner (Marc 83). Online assessments allow the learners to apply the learned knowledge and skills in the real world situation. Moreover, the short effective class sessions carried out in online learning allows learners to manage their busy schedules while furthering their studies.
Online learning has led to a great revolution in the education world. Employees and business people who lack enough time to attend normal classes can now use online learning to acquire the necessary knowledge while still managing their careers. A recent research indicates that seventy-five percent of the higher learning institutions in the U.S have online learning programs. Ninety-three percent of the universities carrying out online learning indicate high levels of satisfaction with the programs (Keengwe and Kyei-Blankson 44). Therefore, it is conclusive enough to state that online learning is a better alternative to the traditional face-to-face learning methods.
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Keengwe, Jared, and Lydia Kyei-Blankson. Virtual Mentoring for Teachers: Online Professional Development Practices. Hershey, PA: Information Science Reference, 2013. Print.
Marc J. Rosenberg. E-Learning: Strategies for Delivering Knowledge in the Digital Age. New York: McGraw-Hill Education, 2000. Print.
Singh, Gurmak, John O’Donoghue, and Harvey Worton. “A study into the effects of learning on higher education.” Journal of University Teaching & Learning Practice 2.1 (2005): 3-9. Print.