Let’s face it, education as we knew has changed to a great extent these past couple of years. While it is true that online education is no new phenomenon, the significance of it rose exponentially during the pandemic. People have resorted to online means of education to continue their education and further their ambitions. For instance, many people have been trying to work on their communication skills and improve their fluency in English by using apps like enguru. The lack of offline classes has not hindered their growth.
It is true that offline classes come with their own set of advantages. But let’s take a deeper look at the benefits and drawbacks of both these modes of education.
Online education can be defined as the means of educational instructions and lessons delivered through the internet to students on their computers. It is a web-based training. Many educational institutions offer online certification or diploma courses. But how accessible and helpful is it for the students, and does it help in meeting the objectives of an individual?
Some of the benefits of online education are:
- Flexibility – Students can take classes from anywhere at their leisure time and do not have to attend classes only at a specific time. They have the flexibility to take classes from anywhere – home, school, work or even a café while this flexibility is not possible with offline classes, as they have to often visit a specific place of education or a centre to take classes. Students can benefit from online classes by choosing their convenient time slot since providers of online classes of education usually have multiple slots to choose from.
- Cost-effective – The amount of money a student spends on online education is relatively lower than that of in-person classes. A face-to-face class requires a higher budget for the class to be set up in comparison to online classes which usually costs less for setting up classes over the internet. Students would be able to choose from a range of online classes according to their budget and this makes it more cost-effective for them as the same level of education is being delivered to them at a reasonable cost.
- Class recording – Another benefit of online education is that the students can watch recorded classes if they miss out on the sessions and learn the topics covered in the classes. The students can gain access to the recordings and the resources made available for them to go back to them at a later time for reference. The recordings also play a vital role in maintaining the standard of teaching as they can be observed by other qualified teachers. It also helps in keeping the classes safe for both the students and the teachers.
- Online visual tools and resources – With online classes, students have the benefit of equipping themselves with different online tools to help them learn efficiently. Teachers make use of many visual tools like videos, presentations, websites for word games, puzzles, polls and quizzes to help students learn much more efficiently from the convenience of their homes. The lesson resources are made available to students in the form of PDFs or PPTs so that they can refer to them in the future.
- Interaction and quick resolution – Students have the opportunity to take classes in small group sizes or even avail one-on-one classes with teachers. Students get the flexibility to choose a teacher of their preference on apps like enguru. They can have their doubts clarified by asking questions to the teachers using the raise hand option on video conferencing apps like Zoom. They can also send their questions in the chat box which the teachers look at and offer quick resolutions. The students also get an opportunity to work and interact with other students independently with the teacher monitoring and giving them feedback.
There is no doubt that offline education comes with its own set of advantages. Students can make use of these traditional methods of learning to make consistent progress in their education and work on improving their social skills by meeting new people and learning from them.
Let’s take a look at a few benefits of offline education:
- Face-to-face interaction – In a classroom setting, students can easily interact with teachers and other students. They are well connected to each other and can have their concepts clarified better either through peer learning or from the teachers. It leads to an easier way of interaction as they can initiate it on their own whereas in online classes teachers often control the settings to enable their mic and pair the students up. Difficult concepts to understand could be explained better in person and can help in students’ understanding of the subject.
- Developing interpersonal skills – Physical presence in a classroom can be a game changer when it comes to developing interpersonal skills. It is easier for students and teachers to read the body language of others which plays a very important part in non-verbal communication. Students can lose their inhibitions and talk to other students and work on establishing a connection or building a rapport. This makes them more confident which ultimately helps them in becoming more fluent when it comes to learning a language.
- Disciplined and competitive – While online classes are more convenient and user friendly, offline classes offer a disciplined structure in classrooms. It is easier for teachers to monitor students’ learning and their behaviour to encourage them to focus better. There will be no hassle of network issues or technical incompetency. It also provides a healthy competitive environment for students where they can learn from each other and also be motivated internally to do better.
With the advent of online classes, it doesn’t mean that offline classes are being side-lined or considered to be a form of education that has become redundant, rather both these complement each other. Where the needs of a student are not being met by one mode of education, they can seek to fulfill it by using another.