Nowadays, virtual schools are gradually replacing traditional brick-and-mortar schools. While traditional schools offer face-to-face communication and constant interaction with teachers and peers, online schools provide students with flexible schedules, comfortable learning paces, and access to education from any part of the world. Although virtual schools are associated with different types of available resources, the depth of students’ engagement is similar at both schools.
Virtual schools engage students in active learning and online communication. Students have access to multiple resources and can study at their comfortable pace. They complete most of their tasks independently, but group projects or team-based tasks are also present in their educational process (Kingsbury, 2021, sec. 5). The tasks usually enable various skills and abilities, engaging students in creative work.
Brick-and-mortar schools are known for their face-to-face setting and practical approach to study. Students meet in classes and spend time on “contact” learning (Boulton et al., 2018, p. 133). They write essays, have class tests, and are engaged in practical work. Students also receive more sociable experiences and have the possibility to participate in various creative activities.
Both virtual and brick-and-mortar schools offer multiple diverse class activities to their students. However, online schools require more self-study learning while traditional schools are associated with constant interaction between students and teachers. In virtual schools, students perform better in posttests while in traditional schools they conduct practical tasks more efficiently.
In conclusion, the two analyzed types of schools have many differences and similarities. Virtual schools are more advanced since they involve students in the processes, which require them to use digital innovations. Traditional schools are better for those students who perceive the information better through face-to-face communication. Despite such differences, the level of students’ engagement often depends on individual experiences but not on the form of study.
Boulton, C. A., Kent, C., & Williams, H. T. P. (2018). Virtual learning environment engagement and learning outcomes at a ‘bricks-and-mortar’ university. Computers & Education, 126, 129-142. Web.
Kingsbury, I. (2021). Online learning: How do brick and mortar schools stack up to virtual schools? Education and Information Technologies. Advance online publication. Web.