BY GARY LEE
For centuries, teaching was always done face to face, and even though technology has been implemented in teaching, no one expected a change as tremendous as online learning to occur so suddenly. Now that students and teachers have gotten used to this online lifestyle, some have started to question whether online teaching is better than in-person learning.
In truth, most people believe that in-person learning is the most effective way of teaching; however, online learning has proven itself to be more advantageous in terms of a student’s welfare.
In terms of school education, there are two factors that may affect the mental state of the students: how and where they are taught. Depending on how these factors change, students will be more or less motivated to learn.
When it comes to comparing in-person learning and online learning, it is obvious to which one has the advantage regarding the components of a student’s mental health. Online learning not only takes away the stress of the time and environment of an in-person school, but it also solves the issue of availability for the students. Not having to go in person allows students the flexibility of time that they otherwise do not have at school. In addition, not requiring students to always be on campus gives some students a way to learn without always being stressed on their time management. With this new revolution, students no longer need to worry about having to wake earlier which has been proven to affect how students do in school.
In 2014, a survey was administered by American College Health Association-National College Health Assessment about sleep, of the many students sampled, only 45% of the students reported having well-rested days 3-5 times a week, and only 9% had no issue of sleepiness. As a result, with distance learning, students may be able to get more sleep, allowing them to have greater concentration during school hours.
However, as convenient as online learning is, there are some elements that make it far less superior than in-person learning.
With everything done over the electronics, one of the most impactful imperfections is the lack of proper communication between teachers and students. Communication is one of the most important factors of learning and, without it, a student can never truly be taught. Communication online will never be as good as in-person because online communication will replace the ease and atmosphere as in person.
Furthermore, another fault within online education is the very compromisable way of assessments and evaluation. In online learning, it is easier for students to cheat, since there are so many resources available. A true testing environment cannot be perfectly simulated at home, and online learning makes it more difficult to hold students accountable in regards to academic dishonesty.
Perhaps, in the future, online learning may have a stronger chance against in-person learning, but for now, in-person learning is far superior compared to online learning. Nevertheless, people of today can share their experience of the year where the technological fantasy of online learning became a reality.