Nowadays, many people, including children up to three, own smartphones or tablets. It used to startle me what these children do with these devices. One day I asked one of my young nephews about his smartphone. My nephew boldly told me that his phone helps him in playing games and in doing the assignment. I was startled at how fast online learning gained ground. This brought me to the thought of whether online learning should be given equal opportunity as physical learning. Almost all of you seated here have learned a thing or two from online sources. Whether it is academic, news, or just searching for people through social media. Over the recent years, especially after the pandemic, we cannot dispute the grounds online research has gained.
A good number of schools may have already taken up the idea of online education. However, there is still debate going on in other schools to fully get into an online education program. Most of you sitting here have different opinions about the question at hand. Therefore, it is important to establish the advantages and disadvantages of online learning and traditional learning. Most governments in well-developed countries support the idea of the line education, claiming it will help to a greater extent reduce the boredom and fixed routine of traditional learning (Gillett-Swan 27). On the other hand, governments of less developed countries are finding online learning hard to adapt to because of the few resources available within the country. However, the teachers within part of the developed country also are concerned about the impact online learning may have on their students in terms of interaction (O’Doherty et al.). As a student, I know this is an issue of major concern.
One major event that gave online learning the fame and grounds in our schools is the pandemic. The pandemic limited movement, and all of us were forced to stay indoors. After most learning institutions realized the pandemic would not end soon, they opened up the chance for online reading. Online learning enabled academic activities learning activities to continue during the pandemic through applications such as zoom and google meet. I finished my degree, which was interrupted by the pandemic through online learning. This saved me the time I waited for the pandemic to end before resuming lessons. Online study has provided several advantages, including freedom, reduced cost, and flexibility.
The flexibility offered by online learning makes it most preferred by students and teachers. According to a survey by Dhawan of the journal of Education Technology, on the preferred method of learning between online and the traditional method, 80% of the students and 60% of the facilitators preferred online learning based on its flexibility. It allows one to choose a time that is most convenient for them. Physical learning dictates what time one is supposed to be in class, making it hard to plan for your activities without classes getting in between. Moreover, online classes can be performed at night and are not limited to the day, making it easier for those committed during the day, such as the working class. If given a chance to choose, would you choose classes that limit your activities or one you can control?
Furthermore, online learning is cheaper compared to traditional learning. The cost of traditional is averagely expensive. Currently, we are doing most of our courses online, and it saves me the expenses on transport and accommodation. When learning through the traditional method, learners are forced to pay accommodation money and transport, which increases the cost of education. According to Ayu (49), online education should be more encouraged to spend less on education. This is more advantageous to the less fortunate group, and it would help reduce the burdens on the student loan. The study also established that physical learning, though a minor factor, has contributed to a large burden on student loans. Online learning has enabled cheaper learning and should help reduce the burden on student loans.
On the other hand, physical learning allows personal contact between students and teachers and allows for practical sessions, which is impossible in eLearning. Physical contact between the students and their facilitators grants them to ask questions and receive satisfactory answers. Moreover, it provides for networking amongst the students themselves. Students do not interact with each other in online training and cannot allow networking (Dumford et al 457). Another problem with learning is that it does not allow for practical sessions. I believe that practice is still the best way of understanding because information done practically is not easily forgotten.
Finally, I would let you judge whether online learning should be given equal time as physical learning or it should completely take over in many of your learning institutions. Online learning provides you with freedom, flexibility, and at a lesser cost. However, it does not provide physical interaction among students and teachers and lacks practical sessions, which are very necessary for learning. Learning should be enjoyable and not strenuous, yet it should also be interactive.
Ayu, Mutiara. “Online Learning: Leading E-Learning at Higher Education.” The Journal of English Literacy Education: The Teaching and Learning of English as a Foreign Language, vol. 7, no. 1, 29 June 2020, pp. 47–54, 10.
Dhawan, Shivangi. “Online Learning: A Panacea in the Time of COVID-19 Crisis.” Journal of Educational Technology Systems, Web.
Dumford, Amber D., and Angie L. Miller. “Online learning in higher education: Exploring advantages and disadvantages for engagement.” Journal of Computing in Higher Education, vol. 30, no. 3, 2018, pp. 452–465, Web.
Hoi, Steven C.H., et al. “Online Learning: A comprehensive survey.” Neurocomputing, vol. 459, 2021, pp. 249–289, Web.
Gillett-Swan, Jenna. “The Challenges of Online Learning: Supporting and Engaging the Isolated Learner.” Journal of Learning Design, vol. 10, no. 1, 2017, pp. 20–30.
O’Doherty, Diane, et al. “Barriers and Solutions to Online Learning in Medical Education – an Integrative Review.” BMC Medical Education, vol. 18, no. 1, 2018.