Updated: 3 days ago
Online vs. In-Person Class for Learning — What is Best?
Many may believe with the changes in the way students are being taught that there is one medium of teaching that is better than the other. As technology has developed, we’ve been able to connect with people all over the world through apps like WhatsApp, FaceTime, Zoom, WeChat, etc. Needless to say, education has also evolved to connect students and instructors in virtual classrooms.
It’s clear that things are not the way they used to be a year ago, and many have debated whether or not in-person learning is better than online learning. But how do the two compare? Is one really better than the other?
What is the difference?
Online learning is exactly what it sounds like: classrooms and subject materials are all covered virtually. In-person learning is the traditional way of learning, where students attend face-to-face classes at allotted times. Let’s dig into the pros and cons of each type of learning environment.
Pros of Online Classes
Throughout the course of the pandemic, there’s been an increase in students enrolling for online programs. According to InsideHigherEd, women and Black Americans prefer online learning. 60% of Black Americans have confidence in the quality of online education, and 48% (nearly half!) of women would choose to pursue an education online. With so many opting to pursue online degrees, what are the pros of online learning?
Virtual classrooms provide great accessibility for students. This opens the gate for many people who don’t have the means to attend in-person classes or for people who want to go back to school, but may also have other commitments. Online education is great for single parents, military personnel, or full-time employees. Online courses offer the opportunity for a larger group of people to receive formal education.
Online allows self-paced learning and schedule flexibility. For people who do not appreciate the structure of in-person classroom meetings, online learning is a great alternative. Students all work and learn at different paces, and online classes offer the ability for students to follow their own schedules. With flexible scheduling, students and instructors can mold the classroom to what works best for them.
Online learning can be cheaper than in-person learning. Traditional schooling tends to be more expensive than online schooling because there are in person experience costs.. This includes extracurriculars, dorming, dining halls, etc. These are all amenities that students are typically happy to pay for, but as the pandemic continues to persist, the want for that experience has significantly declined. Prospective students now will tend to enroll in online classes for the affordability of a formal education with increased convenience and decreased cost.
Cons of Online Classes
Despite the positive aspects of the virtual classroom setup, there are undeniably some things lacking that in-person classrooms have. It is important to note that regular online classes have a different set of downsides in comparison to online classes that had to shift rapidly due to the pandemic. Certain subjects had a more difficult time modifying to the online realm. Nonetheless, here are some of the drawbacks of online learning.
There’s been an increase in online fatigue. If you heard the phrase ‘Zoom fatigue’ floating around the internet, that’s because it’s very real. After a whole year of online meetings, Zoom meetings, and whatever it may be, it can start to feel dreary. Every live meeting is the same each time with little simulation, so it’s unavoidable that we all will get online fatigue.
There can be a lack of engagement in virtual classrooms. This is mainly because teacher/student