Technological advancement has become a significant aspect of the fourth industrial revolution. Globalization is transforming major sectors, making life more interconnected, and increasing operational mobility in many industries, including education. Learning is a crucial part of a child’s life because it shapes their future living. The industry tries to accommodate the changing needs of technology, particularly in the COVID-19 era (Adnan and Anwar 45). The pandemic transformed the globe, revealing a set of new challenges. Online education has continually become necessary and readily available to many students. The technique involves virtual attendance of classes and the acquisition of course material. On the other hand, in-person instruction is the traditional learning method, where one goes for face-to-face sessions at allocated times. In-person or formal classroom instruction and online learning are similar and different in many ways.
A similarity between online and traditional instruction is that they require the student to invest significant effort in their learning. In both, receiving and giving feedback is essential, and assignments are an aspect of the learning process. The awards and challenges of both methods are the same, and students are responsible for their time management. Another similarity is that both in-person and online learners use the internet and textbooks. Learners in both online and classroom environments have access to the internet, ensuring equal utilization of research and website resources (Adnan and Anwar 46). Thirdly, both learning methods depend on a teacher’s guidance. An online student can see and hear the lecture delivered to a classroom of students based on the class type and the online program architecture. Lastly, formal quizzes and evaluations test students’ knowledge in both traditional and online classes. Educators can control the exam duration and set open and close-ended questions in both situations. However, although the assessment substance in both learning modes is the same, some evaluation forms may be limited.
The first difference between in-person and online learning is access to study resources. Students under the online program have unlimited access to research and lecture resources in the form of lecture notes, module contents, recorded sessions, and podcasts (Bali and Liu 012094). For postgraduate curricula, instructors can be reached easily through Skype calls, texts, and emails. On the contrary, classroom learning does not have 24-hour access to study resources. Students have to visit the school premises and consult tutors face-to-face during specified hours. Consequently, this limits traditional classroom students, particularly those with family responsibilities and jobs, making regular class attendance a challenge. In addition, conventional classroom students have to structure time outside normal learning hours for extra study, homework, and projects. On the other hand, online students obtain course materials and study independently, making the mode attractive to many people.
Secondly, an online learning environment does not have physical interaction, which is core in traditional classroom instruction. Classroom studying is characterized by physical interaction between the tutor and the students. Contrarily, internet learning transfers this human interaction to a virtual environment. Therefore, although human interaction is featured in both learning methods, it happens through video workshops and virtual discussion and lectures in online environments. Another variation between the two is that in online learning, students can straightaway apply the learned concepts in their existing jobs because they incorporate learning within their office plans (Bali and Liu 012094). However, in-person learners cannot practice while studying because they must pause their social commitments and jobs to complete their learning programs. Therefore, they will be able to practice the acquired knowledge after finishing their studies and joining the workforce. Additionally, several online learning techniques help learners comprehend concepts by bringing real-life challenges that they can relate with and resolve.
Lastly, although both in-person and online learning involve assessments to test students’ comprehension abilities, they evaluate students differently. Classroom educators often gauge learners’ capabilities through written and oral examinations and quizzes with an invigilator or examiner in a physical setting. However, with the COVID-19 pandemic, this technique had temporarily become redundant because of federal restrictions (Adnan and Anwar 46). On the contrary, online learning assessments are conducted through assignments, either group-based or individual. Thus, the method allows students to create study groups to learn from each other’s different perspectives and experiences and support one another. Open-book examinations can also be done online as an assessment method; however, this is rare.
To conclude, although both in-person and online instruction methods are similar in many ways, they vary significantly in how students interact with teachers and class accessibility. Learning institutions, especially universities and colleges, have made greater use of internet material in teaching, making online education more popular and effective. The technique is different from classroom learning because it is flexible. Online education allows students to study at their own pace, do assignments within their schedules, and still acquire the same knowledge as the latter technique. Both methods include assessments, discussions, assignments, and lectures in teaching. However, the means of executing these tools is what differentiates them. Technology is advancing fast, and students and educators cannot avoid incorporating online in the classroom. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic put the idea of learning at the core of education. Therefore, online and in-person studying can be incorporated into institutions to enhance the learning experience.
Adnan, Muhammad, and Kainat, Anwar. “Online Learning amid the COVID-19 Pandemic: Students’ Perspectives.” Online Submission, vol. 2, no. 1, 2020, pp. 45-51.
Bali, Sandrotua, and Minetta, Liu. “Students’ Perceptions Toward Online Learning and Face-to-Face Learning Courses.” Journal of Physics: Conference Series, vol. 1108, no. 1, 2018, p. 012094.