The Covid-19 Pandemic has really given E-learning room to thrive, with about 84% of undergraduates in the US involved in some form of online learning in 2020. Online education comes with a lot of benefits in terms of accessibility, flexibility and affordability and there is no doubt that these have given it a considerable edge over the traditional form of learning.
However, with this significant increase in patronage of Online courses lately, one might want to question the sustainability of Traditional classrooms. In the coming years, will Online classes replace physical classrooms? Will the large furnished halls in colleges become useless?
Well, while the whole idea of learning online is cool and cost-effective, the feeling that comes with in-person education cannot be replicated nor undermined. Traditional education is not just about the classroom and courses, it is about the holistic experience of being in a community of learners. It is about the face-to-face interactions and how they help to build confidence, the friendships and relationships built and how they help to grow lasting connections, the opportunity to live in a different environment with people from diverse backgrounds and how it helps in understanding others, the opportunity to head groups and societies and how it instils leadership skills.
Nevertheless, just like in physical classrooms, structured online education comes with pre-arranged modules but in contrast, in Online learning, these modules are presented remotely by teachers sometimes through pre-recorded videos. Therefore, it becomes difficult for learners who are not able to comprehend and need further explanation from a tutor. The role of the teacher in this case is more instructional and limited. Hence, the need for an in-person tutorial.
Aside from these, several other factors make it impossible to throw Traditional education under the carpet such as procrastination, poor self-discipline, poor time management skills and a sense of independence and isolation which are common among online learners.
While it will be difficult for E-learning to replace traditional classrooms, it will become essential to have a healthy mix of the two so that learners do not only have access to training but also proper mentorship and collaboration.
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