John Fry, in his article "Pandemic Brings Online Potential Into Sharp Focus for Colleges, universities," talks of how coronavirus outbreak has forced higher learning institutions into engaging in online classes with the closure of all learning institutions. Even though physical learning gives a luxurious experience, John argues that online classes have various positive sides, such as flexibility and affordability, that seems to be more beneficial to the students and professors during this social distancing period. Similarly, another article by Jo-Muslyn Banks, "Studies Reveal Online Learning is Detrimental to Learning," tells of how the new digital world allows learners to get education from the comfort of their homes under flexible schedules. Even though the article praises the need for online education, it does not go without touching on its major con; that is, the fact that students are not getting the social interaction that from a psychological perspective is vital for human development. Moreover, Banks provides evidence from various studies showing how online learning could be detrimental to a learner's GPA. However, online learning could be limiting the underprivileged lacking internet connectivity and computers, as well as those who learn better from one-on-one integration. The current global pandemic has proved that, after all, online learning has positive impacts on the instructors, scholars, and institutions since it is more flexible and affordable.
Among the significant benefits of online education is a flexible schedule, offering easily accessible services. That is specifically essential for individuals who, in most cases, cannot undertake traditional education, including part-time workers, mothers, or scholars who want to pursue various courses at a go. With the current situation, this happens to fall with every learner across the globe as they are forced to stay indoors. Flexible schedules become advantageous for individuals as well as the instructors since one can get rid of the time put in preparing lesson plans and researching course materials. For instance, at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, Professor Warnock held workshops to guide tutors on how they could quickly adapt to online teaching by offering course materials on the learning platforms (John par.5). For the tutors, this learning mode reduces the workload since the majority of the learning resources are available to the students online. Hence, instructors do not have to search for materials for their students. It is also an advantage since instructors are now able to update their notes easily and faster, thus providing up to date information to the students. With this advantage, online learners have unlimited access to learning resources hence improving the efficient and effective learning capacity (John par.7). For classroom learning, students are usually forced to take notes during lectures, which might, at times, be inaccurate when compared to the online materials. Therefore, with the advent of online studies, the use of the internet to study exposes learners to vast information, making them gain more understanding of the concept compared to traditional learning.
The other benefit is affordability or rather cost-effective. Online scholars are capable of studying from home, thus saving them the accommodation and travel expenses, unlike in classroom learning where students are forced to cater to accommodation, transport, and at times meals. The problem with traditional schooling is that one needs to pay thousands of dollars per semester to enroll their child in an esteemed institution. For instance, the high fees, shortage of courses, and busy classrooms make it hard for a learner to get the opportunity of pursuing their interests (John par.8). That is why more learners globally are opting for online degree courses through institutions that offer online lessons. Online classes now happen to be the biggest revolution in modern education; it is making a significant transformation in the sector, giving everyone a chance to learn something without incurring high education costs (John par.8). However, despite its benefits, online learning faces much criticism. For instance, these classes might not be available to the less privileged who cannot get access to a computer and internet connection, and as much as colleges have been forced to adapt to this mode during this period, not every student could be attending the classes (Banks par.8). Besides, some people perceive online scholars as not being smart for a traditional school; they do not get real degrees and grades and are lazy. For instance, a study found that students subjected to online lectures were at risk of failing with the possibility of scoring a grade C while those in traditional class settings got at least a B- (Banks par.7). Such stereotypes discourage the majority of learners from learning online. Hence, they end up sticking to the traditional systems, incurring high costs. The fact that online courses are less costly, unlike traditional school settings, is more than enough persuasion for one to enroll in them. The majority of online lessons are entirely free. Although such free programs do not often have certificates of completion, they could still be essential for individuals who desire to be taught by esteemed instructors.
In today's society, learning can take place in a traditional setting or through online education platforms. Online learning, although not majorly practiced, has come to be the new norm, particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic. Online degree courses are cheaper and more flexible compared to the traditional school setting. These are the two primary benefits of online education, which influences learners to enroll in online learning institutions. The good thing about this mode of education is that one can learn in a relaxed manner within their own planned time; it is worth the effort.
John, Fry. "Pandemic brings online potential into sharp focus for colleges, universities." Waco Tribune-Herald, Apr 16, 2020.
Jo-Musulyn, Banks. "Studies Reveal Online Learning Is Detrimental To Learning." The Hornet Newspaper, Apr 16, 2020.
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