The COVID-19 pandemic has been a shock to many educational institutions due to the need to implement the online learning process. In particular, quarantine restrictions have required teachers and students to interact remotely as part of their learning. Online classes have become a challenge for many students and educators as they have required mastering new skills and adapting to new communication conditions. However, over time, one can appreciate the potential advantages of this format over traditional classes. Modern educational institutions are gradually adapting to new conditions, and online education is becoming more comfortable for students and teachers, as well as improving the quality of education. In particular, in comparison with the traditional educational process, online classes offer resource savings, customization of the educational trajectory, development of self-discipline, and technical skills.
First of all, online classes require fewer resources from both students and teachers, and educational institutions. Traditional education implies the need for a common physical space within which the educational process is conducted. In the conditions of online learning, a group of students can meet each other being in their rooms, which significantly reduces the cost of acquiring or renting special spaces for institutions. For students, this aspect is also preferable, as it saves time on attending classes, as well as possible transport costs. They can use these resources more beneficially or enjoyably. Saving time is also relevant for teachers, as they can utilize it to prepare for classes or develop their skills. In the long term, these aspects potentially help in improving the overall quality of education, as well as the satisfaction of teachers and students. Thus, online classes involve saving the resources of stakeholders, which can later be distributed in other ways.
At the same time, online learning can hinder socialization and disrupt interactions between students and instructors. Adnan and Anwar note that “the lack of on-campus socialization has caused difficulties for students to do group projects in distance learning mode” (49). Moreover, a large proportion of students report that personal contact with the teacher and peers is essential for successful learning (Adnan and Anwar 49). Many emphasize that online classes are suitable as an additional tool, but traditional education is essential for the successful completion of the courses (Adnan and Anwar 49). However, this issue can be overcome if educational institutions develop and implement more comfortable and diverse tools for online interaction. Currently, this situation remains relevant, but in the future, this may change, as people became used to communicating on social media, for example.
The second strongest argument in favor of online classes versus traditional classes is the greater flexibility of the curricula, as well as the ability to customize courses and materials. Within traditional classrooms, it can be difficult for teachers and students to structure the educational process taking into account the goals and needs of all participants. As part of online classes, teachers can use more diverse materials and communication methods. Students, in turn, can choose the most suitable and comfortable educational resources. In this regard, the flexibility of the educational process is significantly increased due to access to a wider range of tools. The learning curriculum can also be customized, allowing students to choose exactly those courses and classes that they need and meet their requirements. Educators can more easily track student progress and adjust their educational efforts according to progress.
At the same time, there may be difficulties with online learning, such as a lack of practice, limited assessment tools, and insufficient feedback. Teachers and students note that the oral assessment is the most suitable for evaluating knowledge and skills, while testing and written assignments provide a limited perception (Aziz et al. 49). In fact, this problem exists with online classes, as they limit the possibility of face-to-face communication between students and teachers. However, in this regard, there are opportunities to use online education and integrate traditional approaches for assessment partially. Online classes are of greatest concern for professions that require extensive practical skills, such as health education. In this regard, it should also be noted that online classes can be utilized for those courses within which they can bring the greatest benefit. Educational institutions should not replace all programs with online classes but use them as useful tools to facilitate the educational process.
The third advantage of online classes over traditional teaching is the development of self-discipline skills in students. In particular, to organize the educational process, students themselves need to direct their activities in the conditions of lack of supervision in online classes (Baczek et al. 4). This aspect can be difficult for many students but at the same time acts as an additional motivation factor. Students may acquire an inner drive and desire to complete their studies which will become the driver for the discipline. On the other hand, some students, on the contrary, may lack motivation in the form of external control and support. However, this factor can also be seen as an advantage in helping to separate truly motivated students from lazy ones.
The fourth argument in favor of online classes is the development of technical skills and the handling of various digital equipment. To implement the online educational process, both students and teachers need to interact with various devices and software constantly. In the modern world, this factor is extremely important since many areas of activity require technical skills and expertise in the field of information technology from people (Baczek et al. 4). In this case, online classes can help students develop critical skills, including searching for information, presentations, and interacting with software. On the other hand, many students and teachers may experience difficulties in these aspects, as well as not having the necessary equipment. In this regard, educational institutions need to provide all the necessary information and technical support.
Online classes are becoming more common in modern education, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic. For many students and teachers, these events were a shock that required the development of new skills and adaptation to the realities of remote communication. However, at the beginning of the pandemic, many educational institutions had difficulty maintaining the quality of online education in comparison with traditional ones; but now the tools are well developed. It is worth noting that within the framework of education, traditional classes are necessary for the development of practical skills for gaining experience. However, online classes offer savings in resources, customization of the educational process, and development of self-discipline, and technical competencies. Thus, online classes currently can be successfully used for more comfortable and simple teaching of theoretical knowledge and skills. However, in the future, there may be tools for a complete transition to this type of educational process.
Adnan, Muhammad, and Kainat Anwar. “Online Learning Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic: Students’ Perspectives.” Journal of Pedagogical Sociology and Psychology, vol. 2, no. 1, 2020, pp. 45-51.
Aziz, Abdul, et al. “Comparison Between Online and Traditional Teaching-Learning Among Non-Clinical Medical Students.” BIRDEM Medical Journal, vol. 12, no. 1, 2021, pp. 45-50.
Baczek, Michal, et al. “Students’ Perception of Online Learning During the COVID-19 Pandemic.” Medicine, vol. 100, no. 7, 2021, pp. 1-6.