Teacher, student leaders present and colleague students I greet you all? The concept of education is not as simple as many may view it. Education involves the art of knowledge acquisition which may be attained through observation, experimentation, reading or any other methodology provided new and relevant information is acquired. Many may spend their entire time arguing on which type of education is the best, could it be online or classroom setup? I know even right here, your minds are made up and you have a choice, but I tell you today, that learning is student-centered. It is this fact that makes online and classroom learning of equal weight. Education has a purpose of enlightening and placing individuals at the same footage regardless of their socio-economic status, and this is achieved in both! At what point then could we strike a balance and prefer online to classroom or classroom to online learning? If you still doubt me, then consider the following views;
First, both online and classroom learning requires students to exert a given amount of work to meet his or her educational objectives (Nguyen, 2015). Hard work is of greater importance in both as it is rooted in the willingness and desire of the student to take a step further by doing research or inquiring about the learned concepts that were never understood well. It is a choice that unless is individually and intrinsically motivated to be achieved, they may not consider it. In a classroom set-up, even in the presence of a teacher, students hard work is imperative and therefore it cannot be assumed that it is better because of the face to face approach between teachers and students. Notably, a similar case applies to online studies as the student has the choice to do research online as all the materials are available, but it is dependent once again in the students attitude and hard work ability.
Secondly, in both learning environments, the art of giving and acquiring feedback is critical. Just as feedback is an important part of communication, it is crucial to learning as well. In the classroom set up, the teacher is readily available for questioning and clarifications making learning instant and encouraging. Even though that is the case, it does not make it any better as in online learning; there are chart sessions where both the students and the teacher can exchange charts and discussion until when one is satisfied. From this perspective, it is clear that the weight exhibited by both studies is equal. Furthermore, the feedback provided in both cases tend to be individual to make an impact and motivate the students to push forward with studying.
Thirdly, in both cases, learning assignments are a critical tool that makes the students to research, discuss and seek professional assistance from other teachers. I understand that many may consider this an advantage to the classroom set up learning but get me right, in the online platform, there are many teachers from all parts of the world whose books and teaching are saved online waiting for a dreamer, and goal oriented individual to access and acquire the knowledge. It, therefore, implies that, as much as professionals could be accessed in a school, they are as well available online and this makes both studies to be of similar potential. Learning experience acquired though assignments aid in providing a prerequisite knowledge to both students on how to handle questions and provide answers during examinations. None of the learning methodologies can survive without assignments hence no difference existing between them.
Fourthly, in both environments, the challenges and rewards are similar (Anna, 2013). For example, in a classroom set-up particularly in colleges, teachers tend to be flexible in the sense that they might re-schedule classes provided the students manages to discuss and come up with a specified date and time. In this case, flexibility is viewed as a reward. Similarly, the online platform is even much easier as the students and tutors might organize their learning session any time of the day even at night provided they all agree to it. Other challenges may involve the fact that, in both cases, it is the student to make an effort to acquire knowledge. The self-starting drive is imperative though requires an effort that in many cases tend not to be available. Another common challenge is the fact that, in both cases, one may not engage in all the activities at a time. Within a classroom set-up, the teachers are specialized in teaching a particular subject and therefore may not be in a position to capture all the interests of the student. Similarly, in the online platform, lessons are restricted as the student may not deviate and shift attention to other subjects as they have an objective of distracting learning. Other challenges and rewards though differentiated are incapable of justifying the superiority or inferiority of a particular learning methodology.
The fifth and equally important justification is the fact that, in both cases, time management is of greater significance and should be wisely utilized. The greatest resource in every students life is time and unless wisely spent learning might not occur accordingly. Whether online or in a classroom set-up, the tuition time is not enough and that is why students are provided with libraries and online resources to enable them make an effort and capture the untapped knowledge by their own. They are all faced with the challenge of working extra mile to gain knowledge and perform better. It is the usage of this resource that makes some students better compared to others. In both cases, time exists and therefore its usage matters a lot.
Last but not least, in both learning styles, formal assessments and questions are conducted based on the teachers instructions (Sallis, 2014). They have a chance to set and limit the time for completing the assessment. For those doing assessment online, the website automatically closes when the time elapses and therefore, students must manage their time and ensure that their speed of answering questions are within the required time frame. Notably, even though the online students may not have time to conduct experiments especially in biology and chemistry, adequate information is provided to compensate for the same. Also, some institutions operate online but organize periodic meeting sessions to discuss the challenges and perform experiments.
In conclusion, regardless of the learning style, the objective of the entire process is knowledge acquisition, access to confidence, dream realization and ability to tap unidentified knowledge through research (Sallis, 2014). Whether online or in the classroom, challenges and rewards are present and the entire educational objective acquisition is dependent on the student hence the need for good time management.
Nguyen, Tuan. "The effectiveness of online learning: Beyond no significant difference and future horizons." Merlot Journal of Online Learning and Teaching 11.2 (2015): 309-319.
Ni, Anna Ya. "Comparing the effectiveness of classroom and online learning: Teaching research methods." Journal of Public Affairs Education (2013): 199-215.
Sallis, Edward. Total quality management in education. Routledge, 2014.
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