The turn of the century is often followed by radical shifts in the inner-workings of Western Cultures; the dawn of the 20th century gave us machine guns, tanks, the great depression, and other technological advancements. The 21st century witnessed the advent of the internet and other communication based technologies, and as a result, there has been an increasing popularity in online classes. Online classes have started gaining popularity due to the development of these IT based technologies. The Internet has allowed for the creation of a rather effective studying environment, in which real people are still involved and online classes are effective as equal attention can be dedicated to each student, in addition to providing the benefits of being able to work from a distance and providing more flexible schedules. However, traditional classes still persevere thanks to the possibility of personal interaction with students and the tutor. With that in mind, traditional classes will never disappear because they involve real human contact. They allow tutors to evaluate students better in all aspects not to mention that students have a chance to interact with each other while doing various assignments, thus augmenting their study process with fresh ideas and perspectives.
Studying online will never compare to traditional studies, because the latter provides such a type of communication that is simply not available in the virtual world. One of the biggest benefits of traditional classes is the aspect of socialization between students and their peers. Traditional classes place students side by side, on an almost daily basis, thereby creating a multifaceted educational lay out; students learn the course material side by side, in addition to learning how to interact with their peers on a daily basis in a variety of ways. Traditional classes allow live interaction and immediate exchange of ideas. This environment improves the thought process. Moreover, they allow for a more natural and easier flowing conversation with a tutor. Students back these realities up, according to the research by Zhang, Zhao, and Zhao, saying that online classes never create life as real as that on campus (Pourgerami 235). While this approach can be more restrictive in regards to time, time has historically been on its side.
Traditional classes have stood the test of time - more than a millennium. This is largely because the technology to conduct distance based education hasn’t existed until recently. But time itself is a vital factor regarding the increasing popularity of online classes. The demands of day to day living are very fast-paced and often require constant time commitments. More often than not, there isn’t enough time in the day to accomplish all necessary tasks. Online classes can save lots of time and give the students all necessary elements for proper education that will easily rival that gained under usual circumstances. Well instructors can set deadlines for assignments in online classes, it is ultimately up to the student to choose how much time they devote during the day, and when they get to devote that time. This allows online classes to fit more comfortably within a student’s busy schedule. But in exchange for creating greater flexibility, there is a very substantial trade-off.
Studying is not about academics only. It is about the multi-faceted development as an individual too. As mentioned previously, traditional classes provide an important socialization aspect that requires students to maintain a cooperative attitude at all times; this is an important skill set to learn for operating in the world outside of academics, but in regards to personal and professional life. But it exceeds that. The relationship between a teacher and a student has always been a key component. Facing a reduced version of a teacher through an online course leaves the student more to himself without proper guidance. A student can get lost and misinterpret information and lessons behind a wall of text and digital correspondence. Whereas, having a person sitting in front of a student, walking them step by step through a concept, can yield much better results for many students. This, compounded with the important socializing aspect of traditional education makes it an overall much stronger and thorough method for teaching students.
While the advent of IT based technologies like the internet has brought new and exciting avenues for education to the table, most educational institutions overwhelmingly rely on the tried and true classroom approach. Traditional classes, despite their dated age, still manage to remain relevant and effective in the face of rapidly changing times. While online classes facilitate a system that can work more favorably for a student’s schedule, it isolates them and removes the vital aspect of social interaction from the educational process. Naturally, both options, online and traditional, should be easily available for everyone to tailor each individual's personal preferences so that the studying process would be both effective and pleasant. Just because one new method becomes available does not mean that we should discard one in favor of the other, but rather, look for an efficient and harmonious blend between the two methodologies, or else we might face yet another major stagnation in the institution of education.
Pourgerami, Cyndi. “Success in Academic Reading and Writing”. Pearson Custom
Library ESL 1069. University of Cincinnati. Print.