Can E-learning replace live classroom education? What do you think? E-learning is a concept that has existed for decades but it has become a phenomenon due to COVID-19. With the fast-paced Internet connection and technological advancement, the demand for traditional classrooms is diminishing, while E-learning is becoming increasingly important. Keep on reading to find out if the growing popularity of online learning can replicate the quality of in-person education.
E-learning, also known as online education, is playing a key role in the educational sphere. According to a World Bank survey, approximately 700 million students continued to study online after the pandemic closed down schools. Following the opening of schools, students are still turning to the convenient and easy-to-access nature of online learning.
The full potential of technology has been explored through online education. This technology-based education is disseminating knowledge in every part of society, across all borders. Though the advantages of E-learning outweigh its drawbacks, it still has a long way to go in replicating the interactive nature of traditional learning.
What is the purpose of E-learning?
E-learning is a revolutionized version of conventional teaching methods. It is changing the decades-old techniques of delivery and receiving education. Collaborative learning has become more prevalent through online education.
E-learning promotes different types of learning methods such as, synchronous E-learning where the learning happens in the virtual classroom, webinars, video conferences in real-time and asynchronous E-learning which is a self-paced learning system where learners study at their preferable time through ebooks, discussion forums, recorded videos, blogs, etc.
The purpose behind E-learning is to spread education among those who cannot afford to attend a traditional educational institution and to empower everyone with knowledge. The versatile learning methods and the flexibility of online education are more effective and engaging for the vast majority of the students.
Through E-learning, education has become more inclusive and accessible regardless of geographic location. After the outbreak of COVID-19, E-learning has established a strong position in the educational sector.
What E-learning offers to Students?
E-learning focuses on offering simplified, convenient, and easy-to-access learning methods to the students. The following are some of the benefits of E-learning:
- E-learning provides different learning methods such as audio-visual content that fulfil everyone’s requirements.
- Students can get access to the learning materials anytime and anywhere regardless of their location.
- E-learning provides quick access to information and reduces learning time to 25% to 60% compared to traditional learning.
- All the students around the globe receive the same study materials and training from professionals.
- E-learning promotes self-discipline and independent learning.
- E-learning saves on transportation costs. It is a more cost-effective learning system than traditional education.
- E-learning offers up-to-date and relevant learning materials synchronising with the current trends.
- Students can learn at their own convenience and pace through E-learning.
- Every students get the opportunity to do global networking.
- Students get hands-on various courses of their interest at the same time through online learning.
Difference between E-learning and Traditional Learning
In traditional classrooms, students have an interpersonal interaction with teachers and classmates where multiple interactions take place at the same time. This interpersonal interaction not only consists of verbal conversation but also body language. E-learning emphasizes more on content-based interaction.
According to education experts, the lack of interpersonal interaction in online education creates a sense of social absence which can negatively affect the performance of students. However, the E-learning industry is trying to compensate for the lack of this interaction by making study materials as engaging and appealing as possible.
There are several key features in online education that are missing in traditional education. Online learning has contributed to widespread education around the world mainly due to its accessibility across geographical borders. Students from remote areas can get access to high-quality education through E-learning.
The asynchronous model of online classes creates a convenient learning environment for students. Young people with professional jobs choose online education where they can pursue their degree at their own pace while working.
E-learning has created a hybrid learning system. Many traditional schools are utilizing online learning by offering different courses to students that are not included in their curriculum. A hybrid learning system combines the advantages of online and traditional learning.
Psychological effects of learning from home VS traditional classrooms
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, students and teachers have been on an emotional roller coaster to adapt to the new online learning methods. E-learning comes with some social constraints which directly affect the mental health of those students who are accustomed to the on-campus learning environment. Many students have difficulty concentrating on their studies at home as they are constantly interrupted by household chores or other responsibilities. The traditional classroom provides a space for the students where they can focus and learn.
In contrast, there are also students who prefer E-learning because they suffer from social anxiety in traditional classrooms. Students with special needs can easily have the access to the same learning services, resources, and support as other students through online education.
Many students feel more comfortable and confident participating in various academic activities over the Internet rather than on campus. Some prefer the convenient atmosphere provided by online learning and some want to experience the face-to-face interaction of a traditional classroom.
Traditional education has existed in our society for thousands of years. The key features of traditional classrooms such as interpersonal interaction, group learning, creating bonds, and a sense of social presence can not be replicated by online learning.
Traditional education plays an important role in the mental development of a student. However, it can not be denied that the growth of technology has improved the education system in many ways. E-learning has changed the way quality education is delivered in the digital age and has made education more innovative and cost-effective.
More creative and inclusive learning methods have been developed due to the prevalence of online education. So, instead of replacing traditional classrooms with online learning, we should consider combining both the education systems to create a more effective, engaging, and inclusive learning experience.