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The contemporary world has witnessed robust technological innovations, which have significantly transformed most of the socio-economic and political operations. For example, information technology has revolutionized the education sector, and students can today learn comfortably at home without necessarily having to attend school.
With the advent of online classes, many stakeholders in education have conducted serious studies to determine its reliability and validity. For example, some studies have revealed that many learners are willing to attend the normal class sessions since they are skeptical about the quality of online classes.
On the other hand, students that have successfully accomplished their online programs argue that it provides the best learning experience. It is against this background that this paper seeks to compare traditional classes with online ones.
Classroom verses Online Tutorials
Many students attend normal classes because they not only enable them to learn the curriculum, but they also give them a chance to share their learning experiences with their classmates and teachers. For example, a properly conducted classroom discussions and debates can motivate students to learn social skills such as teamwork, and they develop good oral skills during such sessions.
On the other hand, online group activities are carried out through discussion boards, which in some cases are not very interactive. Nonetheless, online class interactions may enable students to relate with their colleagues from very diverse social cultural backgrounds compared to classrooms that attract majority of students from a given locality.
A traditional class provides a holistic approach to learning because it enables students to develop leadership and teamwork. For example, a class representative or a student leader can nature his or her leadership skills. In addition, traditional classes also offer co-curriculum studies, which enable students to identify and develop their talents.
Such activities have enabled students to become great sports personalities and musicians. Online classes do not have co-curriculum activities and students have to make personal arrangements to access such services. In the absence of such services, students can resort to online social networks and some of them may engage in addictive games like online gambling which may affect their level concentration in studies.
Traditional classes have restrictive learning schedules that are offered within specific timeframes. Students and instructors are compelled to adhere to the preset learning program. Some tutors are very strict to time management and usually lock out late students.
To some extent, this enables students to realize the importance of time management and working under restrictive plans. Thus, students that attend traditional classes are more likely to develop good time management skills than those taking online lessons.
In the case of online lessons, learners have the freedom to learn at their own time, and they have flexible deadlines to accomplish their assignments. This enables students to cope with both their vocational activities and family responsibilities.
Online studies are also convenient for students with serious physical disabilities who may find it rather difficult to cope with normal school routines. Nonetheless, upholding self-discipline is very difficult in the online mode of learning compared to traditional classes due to the absence of strict deadlines.
The modes of communication in these two models of learning are quite different. For example, in a traditional learning setting, a student can pose a question and he or she can immediately get answers from the tutor. In the online learning model, questions are channeled to the instructor through the discussion board, and he or she may take long before responding.
Moreover, some questions are debatable and may not be answered properly through online communication. Sometimes, individual communication will assist the learner better comprehend the response to his questions compared to conversation boards where responses are often short.
Many individuals regard online classes cost effective since students learn at home. However, a characteristic home environment has several distractions, which can interfere with online classes. Children can interfere with online class sessions when they are playing in the house.
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“Even if a student lives alone, distractions may come in the form of phone calls, trips to the kitchen and a compelling desire to check one’s email just one more time”. With traditional classes, there is usually a serene environment for learning.
Traditional classes are better than online sessions especially when learners are taking courses that are instruction intensive. For example, some computer courses can be learnt better through physical contact with instructors especially when complicated concepts are to be leant. In such circumstances, “an online course that is mostly text-based may make it more difficult for a student to learn the material”.
The above discussion demonstrates that both traditional tutorials and online lessons have challenges and advantages. Therefore, when a student is choosing a mode of learning, he or she should consider the affordability of a given mode of learning and the amount of time needed to accomplish it.
Lastly, a student willing to enroll for an online program should first scrutinize the credibility of a given online institution to avoid falling prey of fraudsters who offer bogus online tutorials.
Globokar, Julie. Introduction to Online Learning: A Guide for Students. New York: SAGE, 2010. Print.
Kearsley, Greg and Michael Moore. Distance education: a systems view. New York: Wadsworth, 2006. Print.
Lynch, Maggie. Learning Online: A Guide to Success in the Virtual Classroom. Oxford: Taylor & Francis, 2004. Print.