Online Vs Face-to-Face: Which is Best?
Can online learning overtake conventional face-to-face learning? This seems to be the raging debate in the academic community. Online learning seems to be the perfect solution to counter the rising costs of higher education. The abysmal percentage of students managing to complete their course, however, serves a huge deterrent to online learning. So, which is good- online or face-to-face?
The student has complete control over learning- he gets to decide on the time and place to complete his work. While the tuition fee (in prestigious institutions) is more or less the same, online students get to save money on travel and accommodation costs. As for the argument about face-to-face interaction, does attendance make up for attentiveness? How many students actually present in a class bother to listen to the professor? Many of them are busy on social network, tapping their way to glory.
It is said that non verbal cues constitute around 60% of communication- this is an important aspect that online learning can never replace. Online learning is flexible, but rigorous as well. There are assignments, tests, discussions and regular exams to be completed every week requiring equal if not more time than conventional learning.
But why do we always have to choose between online and face-to-face learning? Why can’t we have both? For example, learning material can be converted into digital content giving students the freedom to watch or read the material at their own convenience, while face-to-face interaction can be used for discussion time, and to engage in learning exercises. But very few schools have adapted themselves to blended learning. And until this happens, overburdened students are going to turn up to us asking, ‘can you take my online class’ or can I pay someone to do my homework’!