Mankind taking greater strides in the advancement of technology opens multiple doors of opportunity for us in our everyday life. Today we can do pretty much everything online starting from grocery shopping to clothing. The best part technology plays in our lives is allowing us to share information with a wider audience anywhere in the world. This gift of spreading information online aids many students in poor undeveloped countries where due to lack of classroom or teacher numerous kids are deprived of basic education. This is called online learning where there is no teacher available in person but someone can get the education though. On the other hand, blended learning is known as a hybrid. It is called a hybrid because of the mixture of traditional learning and online learning.
Let’s see how helpful these learning methods can be by comparing their pros and cons one by one.
The upside of Pure-online learning
In this mode of learning a student does not need to attend a classroom physically. With the aid of digital smart devices, a teacher can interact with a student and deliver the lesson or can provide the audio-visual of the live classroom immediately after the class ends.
People working 9 to 5 or a mother taking care of her kids do not have the flexibility to complete their further higher education like postgraduate or a PhD. But online learning broke such kind of barriers and provided full flexibility in the life of such hard-working people. The online courses are designed by keeping in mind the flexibility of such working personnel. Online learning helps a student to learn anytime he wishes whether it can be in between his day job or family chores. At the same time doing his job and earning money.
Often in traditional classes, students fall under the pressure of the deadlines of assignment submission. But in online courses, students do not have to suffer that kind of pressure as they have a feeling of responsibility that they are alone in this and have to complete the assignment or they will be the ultimate loser. Due to the lack of interaction with the teacher and the other traditional learning students face to face, an online learning student does more research about a topic on the internet and gains more knowledge. Learning online pushes a student more to learn.
No geographical barrier
Having no geographical barrier is another mind-blowing feature of online learning. Anyone anywhere can have access to knowledge through online learning courses. A student sitting in India can learn about the same topic as an American student does through online learning. Such online learning made it possible for students to complete their higher education at a very low cost compared to attending a university abroad. In abroad living rates are rising exponentially, thus becoming unaffordable for students coming abroad to earn a foreign degree, especially students coming from developing countries.
Additionally, online learning gave an opportunity for basic education to children in poor countries and children having physical disabilities. Non-profit organizations are helping governments in poor countries to increase the quality of education by providing lessons via projectors and online lessons.
The downside of pure-online learning
It is not possible that anything in this universe can exist without a downside of an upside. By following this law even online learning has some downsides and they are,
Lack of motivation
It is not shocking to see that about a very small percentage of students can complete an online course. Some students need motivation from their fellow students by observing their actions in the class and also a regular push from their teachers to complete their assignments.
Difficult to take exams online
Another drawback of online learning is the difficulty of conducting the exams. When a teacher gives an essay or a project to write, a student can easily cheat by hiring writers from the writing services online. So it is up to the student to be completely honest if he is taking any kind of online courses.
Unable to give hand-to-hand instruction
For subjects like biology, chemistry and physics it is very necessary to show the lab activities face to face. A student will have a better practice of the laboratory skills when done in a lab with all the proper tools and techniques taught by a teacher. Doing an online course in such subjects will cause the students to suffer ultimately.
The upside of blended learning
In blended learning, the students spend a majority of their time on campus and a minor time doing research for the assignments online or submitting their homework online. They attend the regular classes, gives exams and submits projects on time. Though you might find some lagging student like the last benchers but you will see that majority of the students can do all the three activities above with ease. Why? Because each student feels the competitiveness in a blended learning method.
Hands-on learning opportunity
As discussed earlier that certain science subjects like biology and chemistry require lab training by a supervisor. Students who are involved in blended learning can benefit from it regarding the laboratory skills while online learning student can’t. if you are a science student then choosing the blended learning system will be the best for you.
The downside of blended learning
Specific geographic location
Due to the specific location, students living in another city or country cannot attend the class. Such kind of blended learning is very fruitful for the local students. This criterion limits the number of students from taking a special course in a reputed institution.
Difficult to schedule a special class
Suddenly there is a special class in a regular routine which most of the students won’t be able to attend. It becomes difficult in blended learning to arrange such classes as some students might be doing a part-time job after their regular routine class.
Learning is learning, no matter it is in what form. It is completely up to your decision, the decision you will take based on the circumstances you are in. The ultimate aim is to gain knowledge.