With the digital revolution age, almost all classes taught using traditional learning methods are now offered online. Both classroom learning and eCourses have their advantages.
It’s clear that online learning is gaining massive popularity and will only continue to grow. However, most people have consciously stayed away from eLearning. This has been mostly due to misconception and lack of understanding when it comes to both methods.
eLearning has quickly grown from teaching on niche subjects to the most preferred way of learning. With technology growing each day, most people desire to learn at their own pace and at their own time. This is the best method for professionals or hustlers. It allows them to learn while still working and engaging with other aspects of their life at ease.
You would be fooled to think that people have totally abandoned the traditional methods. Classrooms and lecture halls still fill up each day. So what makes one choose one over the other?
There are always two sides to each argument. In today’s post, we will draw a major comparison between Ecourses and classroom learning. This will come in handy as you make a decision on the type of learning you would like to adopt.
Where You Learn
This is the biggest difference between the two methods. The traditional learning has a physical classroom for learning.
This is not the case for eLearning, which has a virtual classroom as learning takes place online. You can get your courses from any corner of the world. You still get to learn regardless of where you are, whether it’s in your bedroom or an office space.
Online students have the ability to review the information at any given moment, unlike classroom learners. The traditional aspect allows a teacher to dictate notes to students, which are prone to errors since the lessons are delivered through the word of mouth.
If you want to be a part of a group of colleagues and instructors, you are better off going for classroom learning. It allows for social interaction between all the parties involved since they are all in the same room. Classroom learning is hands-on since students get to ask questions and give presentations in a controlled environment.
This kind of interaction is not entirely possible in an online setting. Any social interaction with eLearning occurs through forums, emails, chats and discussion boards. An instructor should be able to monitor these interactions and jump in to answer questions from the group when required. For this to work, they should also give students clear instructions on what should be discussed.
With a typical traditional method of learning, an instructor physically presents learning materials to the students. In most cases nowadays, these are complemented with visual aids, usually, PowerPoint slides to enhance learning.
However, in eLearning, instructional materials include written and visual notes. An instructor will post the relevant materials online and hope that the students take a look.
Given that the delivery method is different for both, the learning aids are also written differently. For instance, most online students will skim through the pages. This is why the headlines and important texts are highlighted. Instructors also employ the use of bulleted lists among other visual devices to draw attention to the important parts.eCourses have shorter paragraphs since online viewers have a shorter concentration span.
This is quite different from reading materials used in traditional learning. These include long texts and paragraphs. Students are required to read and make their short notes, which they can easily skim when need be.
Instructor Focused Vs Learner Focused
eLearning is designed to focus on the learner. There are no physical instructors to answer questions directly unlike traditional modes of learning.
eCourses which are correctly formatted have limited chances of human error as opposed to an instructor-led course. Reason being, instructors are tasked with delivering different types of information several times each day. There is always a higher chance of one forgetting or confusing certain information during one of the classroom lessons.
Moreover, delivery can be affected and information distorted based on an instructors mood. As a classroom learner, you have a harder task since you have to pay attention as the information is presented. Otherwise, you risk not getting the right information as you don’t have the luxury to review notes like an online student.
Have you fallen asleep during a classroom lesson? You must have doodles in your book and not the right notes. This should make you understand just how imperative is to be able to review notes.
Level of Personalization
The mode of presentation in a classroom setting makes it hard for students to pay attention or retain much information. Instructors tend to present a lot of varied information within a short period. Most students are overwhelmed and will not retain half of what is taught during each lesson.
With online learning, there are no time constraints like with traditional learning. Taking an eLearning course allows you to decide how much to read at any given time. You work at your pace, which enhances how much you retain.
eCourses are also designed with smaller segments. These are much easier to digest, especially for those already in the working class. Learners have the ability to skim on what they already know and move on to new or harder topics. We can say that eLearning gives students a level of autonomy, which is hard to achieve with traditional learning.
eCourse lessons take about 45% to 75% less time than a classroom lesson. Keep in mind that one minute of class time does not necessarily equal to one minute of an online course. An online lesson may span over a longer period because learners read in chunks. This is usually small amounts of content over several days. However, a classroom student is required to cover a specific amount of text in one lesson.
For instance, an online student can segment the reading material into three, one hour long sessions. This is so much better than a classroom student who will be required to attend one lesson, which is about three hours long.
Modern learners should be able to learn something new in between other parts of their life. It’s the reason why eLearning is most popular with professionals or people with other things going on in their lives. It allows them to learn as they take care of the other equally important aspects of their everyday life.
E-Learning vs Classroom Learning -
Major Pros and Cons
• No time constraints – you can read at any time
• No traveling
• Convenient if you have a full-time job
• Discussion boards and emails may be easily misunderstood
• No active participation of instructor to answer questions directly
• Requires lots of reading so as not to miss important information
• No real interaction with peers or instructor
• Active participation of instructor
• Real social interaction with colleagues
• Easier to network
• Requires actual traveling to the classroom
• Time constraints; specific time set for lessons
• Everyone has to work at the same speed which is not practical
There you have it! A comparison of the two major modes of learning, eLearning, and the traditional classroom learning. Both methods have major differences in terms of delivery, learning time and level of autonomy given to the learners.
However, just because you have used one method doesn’t mean that it’s the best. Evaluate each method and go for the one that truly complements where you are in life, based on what’s important to you.