The pandemic has forever changed the way we perceive a lot of things previously taken for granted. This has encompassed everything from shopping to airline travel to work and studies. Never before we had thought that living in the 21st century, we would not be able to go grocery shopping or be able to eat out whenever we want.
We also did not think that students, like office professionals, would be forced to study, and work, from home while the institution premises lay bare. This has created a unique set of opportunities and challenges for students and employees alike.
Below we will see how the challenges seem to outweigh any opportunity while studying from home.
Speed of learning
It is a well-known fact that every individual has a different and unique learning curve. While some courses appeal to certain students, others might get bored with the subject. In a classroom setting, instructors can keep an eye out for students who are distracted or dozing off. This is much difficult in online learning unless the educators require the students to keep their videos on at all times.
Even then, excuses can be made to turn off the video for short periods. This makes it very difficult to gauge how much of the concepts the students can grasp unless the instructors make their lectures highly interactive.
Lesser sports and exercise
By working from home, students are deprived of the chance to participate in physical exercise that would help keep them physically fit and mentally active. Sports is one major avenue through which students can get adequate sunlight and exercise necessary for their healthy growth.
Delivering knowledge vs facilitation of learning
In online learning, whether the lecturer conducts live classes or prerecords the lessons, it seems that they are merely able to deliver their knowledge. In a live classroom setting, lecturers can adjust their teachings’ pace, depending on how quickly students can grasp the concepts. In a live classroom arrangement, difficult topics are likelier to get more time compared to easier ones. In contrast, online educators are likely to give an equal amount of time to the topics irrespective of their difficulty.
Onus of effort
Online learning assumes that the students will understand the concepts they were unable to understand during the lecture. In comparison, live classroom discussions allow students to clear most of their questions during the study period. Online learning puts the majority of the onus of learning on the students compared to an actual classroom setting. In such an environment, hardworking students are likely to thrive while weaker students risk the danger of being left significantly behind others. If it weren’t for low cost essay writing services, these students would have a hard time managing their assignments and coping with the rest of the class.
Online learning also makes it difficult to gauge to level of understanding in students. Exams and quizzes are also unlikely to give a fair representation of their knowledge due to cheating’s relative ease. There seem to be only limited options to test students’ knowledge, such as live quizzes and verbal exams.
Lower peer interaction
The importance of a live classroom is not restricted to only studies. Many students make friends during their studies who then go on to become great friends later in life. Additionally, even casual peer interactions allow the students to feel refreshed enough to tackle the next subject. This is hardly possible during a pandemic where instructors are free to schedule back-to-back lectures with minimal breaks. This might lead to severe depression, especially in extrovert students.
Less effective group assignments
Group projects are as much important as individual assignments if not more so. Doing projects with randomly chosen fellow students, forces introverts to come out of their comfort zone, making them more confident later in life. Extroverts may also have to work with people they do not like, which should allow them greater flexibility in their people management skills. In times like this, group projects and especially group research projects are almost impossible to do, depriving them of valuable skillsets.
Lesser extracurricular activities
Participation in extracurricular activities can be invaluable in the future character development of the student. Schools, colleges, and universities are the most important formative years in the life of the students. Online learning also makes it difficult for students to organize, manage, and take part in extracurricular activities. This may hamper them later in their professional lives where they might be overlooked for leadership roles due to this lacking.
It seems that disadvantages can outweigh the advantages of online learning. Through the arguments above, it seems as if a strong case can be put forward for continuing education through live classroom teaching rather than through the current online arrangement. We can only hope the pandemic starts to show signs of its demise so that everyone can get back to their normal routine.