Over the last ten years, a lot of courses have gone online, and a lot more students and indeed teachers have made the transition to online classes. Despite the higher enrollment of students in online classes, we still can't say for sure if online learning is effective in teaching students. In this article, we'll be doing a comparative analysis of traditional classroom teaching methods and online teaching. We'll also see whether online classes are a viable way of imparting knowledge.
Why Do Students Choose Online Classes?
Online classes didn't just appear on the horizon and started gaining traction by luck. Some important factors led to the rise in online classes and their enrollments over the last ten years.
The first of these factors has to be the availability of online learning platforms. Each year, new platforms are developed, and old platforms get an update that makes it easier for teachers to construct online classes. Since there are a lot more options and flexibility with the way online classes are structured, it's only natural that students will join a lot more classes online – and teachers will do the same.
Another reason for the rise of online classes is the flexibility and freedom it brings. Students these days find the physical classroom restrictive and rigid, and they find solace in the freedom that the online environment brings. The online class environment also makes it easier for teachers to close the distance gap and make it easier to offer classes to students all around the globe.
But do the scores of online students transform to better academic outcomes for these students?
Online Learning Vs Classroom Learning
The important thing to note about this question is that it's a young field of inquiry. While the pace of online classes may have picked up drastically in the last year, adoption across the world is still not at a critical level. Over the next few years, there will be a lot more studies done, and these studies will establish definitively whether online classes are better for students than physical classes— or if it goes the other way.
While we may want to focus on the differences between both methods of learning, it's important to note that they have a lot of similarities. For both kinds of learning, students still have to attend classes, understand the material, turn in projects, papers or assignments on time, and work well with others. Teachers, on the other hand, have to design curriculums, teach the material, answer questions, give out projects and ask questions. However, that's where the similarities end.
Unlike classroom learning, online learning is a lot more focused on the student and puts a premium on active learning. That's not so for classroom learning, which centers the teacher and encourages passive learning.
In classroom learning environments, the teachers often control the tempo of the class. The teacher speaks, while the students listen and comment when they are told to. The opposite is often true in online learning situations, as the student determines the dynamics of their own experience, and usually controls the tempo at which they learn.
Which Method Is the Best?
Right now, researchers don't have an answer for that. Of course, each method has its advantages and would likely be suited to a certain mind of the learner. But in terms of an overall best method of lecture, there is no clear winner. Some studies made the argument that the traditional classroom situation is better, as “online learners will quit more easily” and “online learning can lack feedback for both students and instructors.” And on the other side of the aisle, some researchers claim that the online teaching system is better or at the very least equal to traditional classroom learning.
Students Need Online Learning
While the argument may rage back and forth, the fact remains that online learning plugs a hole in the traditional learning infrastructure – and as such, it's needed. Online classes have made knowledge available to whole classes of people for whom it wasn't available before. For example, stay-at-home moms, business professionals, and even teachers who would have never had the time to attend physical classes can now take courses online and enrich their minds. That's the beauty of online learning, and that's why it'll be around for a long time. There are so many online platforms to choose from. DaDesktop is one of them, and it makes it easy for students to participate in class activities.