Conventional vs. online learning

Conventional vs. online learning | Pro Club Bd

MY The decision to write this article was prompted by a recent announcement
from government regarding the application of 5G and how this will affect both traditional (classroom) and online teaching and learning.

I have been an academic for two decades and have used both traditional and online teaching methods.

Deciding which form of parenting method best suits our needs can be a challenge. Over the course of several years, the educational system has undergone a series of shifts and transformations unthinkable in previous eras, particularly in times of
the pandemic. No one could have foreseen the progress this sector would make.

With the increasing number of organizations and educational institutions offering online courses and training, the demand for these options has skyrocketed in recent years. However, despite the widespread adoption of online learning, there is still a large proportion of the population who are not inclined towards this practice.

Meanwhile, traditional learning techniques are being revamped and reinvented to keep learners engaged and compete with the growing popularity of online learning.

There are always different perspectives from both sides of the divide. Training in a traditional classroom may be more beneficial for certain individuals, while others may learn more effectively by taking online courses.

I have been teaching both traditional and online formats for two decades. Over the years I have interacted with more than a thousand students. It was fun watching how they reacted to what I was teaching them and how much they learned.

Some were active, some were passive, while others were totally lost. I’ve always wondered how best to transfer the knowledge I’ve gained from different sources and how to most effectively convey that knowledge.

In order for my students to be fully involved in the learning process, it was necessary for me to have their full cooperation.

During the pandemic, we had no choice but to use the internet as a tool for disseminating information. In fact, this was the most viable alternative.

In my opinion, I didn’t enjoy the online classes as much because I couldn’t observe or physically feel the progress of my students. Lectures consisted mainly of one-way communication. It felt like I was conversing with my laptop rather than my class.

Students also placed less importance on the learning experience due to connectivity issues. Not to mention that certain activities that we could engage in while interacting face-to-face had to be left out when we were online.

What I eventually noticed was that students’ willingness to participate in conversations decreased as the class progressed and participation was consequently reduced.

Also, the students came from both urban and rural areas, which made it difficult for us to lead activities that involve groups. Despite the obstacles, we still managed to complete the course on time for the semester. Surprisingly, the majority of them had good grades.

Now that face-to-face classes have resumed, I am happy to be able to communicate directly with my students. However, I have found that students lack confidence in presentations, have poor communication skills, are unable to address difficulties related to subject areas and are unable to write simple structured responses, let alone essay-type questions to answer.

The recent cumulative audit is a good example of this. Students who do well in online assessments can do this
traditionally not possible
personal exams.

Nobody is to blame for this situation, neither the students nor the lecturers nor the method of information transfer.

Along with the development of technology, I firmly believe that education requires a continued emphasis on human interaction. Face-to-face classes are more suitable for younger children, teenagers and younger adolescents who have not yet entered the labor market. They are better able to communicate with their peers, are more disciplined, stick to a regular schedule, and improve their physical fitness and mental alertness when they attend classes regularly.

nalini Arumugam is Senior Lecturer/Coordinator of Agribusiness Program, Faculty of Bioresources and Food Industry, Universiti Sultan Zainal Abidin. Comments: letters@thesundaily.com

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