The pandemic has brought in an enormous shift in the world of the education system. The lockdowns around the world have led to the shutdown of schools, universities, and colleges everywhere. This led to making online study the new norm. Both online and offline education have their own set of advantages and disadvantages. And there is still a raging debate between online vs offline classes and their pros and cons.
Online education is not a new norm, but its importance came to light after the pandemic hit us. We at Podium School think that it has immensely helped us in keeping our education system afloat and our kids to continue with their learnings.
Differences between Online and Offline Classes
Approach to Education
In the case of online classes, teachers can educate their students via virtual classrooms. Students can easily access to the study materials from anywhere if they have access to an internet connection. Teachers have access to several tools for learning like videos, audios, virtual whiteboards, conference rooms, live chats, animations, etc.
On the other hand, offline classes give a practical learning environment to the students inside the walls of a physical classroom. It allows them to closely interact with both their teachers and classmates, have debates and discussions. They get to participate in activities like physical education and art which helps their physical and mental development.
The greatest aspect of online education is accessibility from anywhere around the world. Students can log in from anywhere. Be it on top of the mountain or under the sea, and gain access to the study material. Apps like Zoom and Teams have made it possible for students to attend their lectures from anywhere. They just require a working internet connection. Further, students don’t have to incur the transportation cost or the time it takes to reach your institution by bus or any other transport system.
However, offline classes require students to travel to the location of their schools, colleges, etc. Teaching takes place at a fixed location and there is no flexibility. Certain students must travel far to reach their institutions, which causes a great deal of inconvenience and wastage of time. When it comes to online vs offline classes. offline isn’t much better in terms of convenience.
Flexibility of Classes
Students are provided with a certain flexibility to follow courses in online classes. This allows students to set their own pace of learning. Which reduces an immense amount of pressure from their young shoulders. As lectures are recorded, a student has access to the videos and study material whenever they find it convenient. It also gives one more time to digest and complete their work or research at their own pace.
There is a certain amount of rigidity in the case of offline classes compared to online ones. Students are required to attend the lectures on time to not miss any relevant lessons. And there are no pre-recorded videos to go through if you miss any classes. Notes too are not easily available. Students need to follow a set schedule by their educational institutes to be in sync with their learnings and peers.
Students doing online classes face a big challenge in time management. Online classes provide the advantage of self-paced learning, students lack a proper schedule and tend to procrastinate. Online classes also lead to students surfing the net when they need to study or do their homework. This is one of the greatest cons of learning from the comfort of your home.
Whereas, in the case of offline classes, students need to stick to a strict schedule. Students also need to complete their work, tasks, and projects at a set time. Not to mention, the distraction faced is some to none within the walls of a physical classroom. Therefore, students learn to finish their designated work as per the schedule. They also learn the benefits of time management.
Online classes help students to get in contact with their teachers no matter the time or location. It also provides a two-way interaction that influences learning and understanding. With the various apps now it has become easier to project one’s screen and use a pointer for better understanding. Online classes can be both synchronous and asynchronous.
Teaching is synchronous in the case of offline classes as there is a face-to-face interaction involved. There is active communication between students and their teacher which leads to debates and active communication. It also allows students to clear if they have any doubts instantaneously and get quick feedback.
Online classes are a bit challenging as it causes technical issues. It also becomes quite difficult to have classes if there is an unavailability of equipment. As technical issues like slow internet connection or unavailability of proper infrastructure may interfere with seamless learning, online classes come with a glaring loophole. Unavailability of a high-quality internet connection also may lead to major issues. For example, attending a live lecture or downloading videos or online notes. Technical issues are a big hurdle in the case of online classes. And would win points for offline classes in a debate between online vs offline classes.
Offline classes are rarely threatened by technical issues. Even if such cases arise, we can always use a blackboard to explain the same. This happens only in the case of lessons which require a presentation or computers. Students and teachers do not require to be exceptionally tech-savvy as most learnings and teaching happen within the walls of a classroom.
Online education can be purely theoretical and experiments and conversations in classes are restricted to a minimum. It scarcely allows students to take part in practical aspects of learning. Which by far is the most important part of any education. Practical education is only possible in the case of online learning if what you’re learning is computers. Whereas, subjects like chemistry, biology, physics, sports, dance, etc. require students to be physically present. They require students to conduct experiments that amount to 50 percent of their learning of the subject.
Offline classes provide an environment combining both theoretical and practical aspects of any learning. This contributes to the overall development of both cognitive and skill growth of a student. Practical learning allows you to learn and quickly adapt to the daily challenges faced by people. It also provides a better understanding of the subject and lessons at hand.
What Should You Prefer Among These Options?
While we made stark comparisons between online and offline classes, the matter of preference for either is purely circumstantial. While online education has been a revolutionary change, one cannot deny the charm of offline human interaction which allowed to put a face to names as well as their presence. Online classes may rank high in terms of feasibility, but offline classes have a good record when it comes to providing one on one attention to students.
Therefore we conclude on a note that an ideal model of education is that which provides the best of both worlds to the teacher and student community. Since both mediums have their own pros and cons, it is better to use a hybrid model of education- so that when crisis strikes, the needs of kids, aspiring learners, and parents are dealt with effectively.
For more tips and informative bites on online classes, keep visiting the Podium Blog to be a part of the enriching discourse on education and teaching. Furthermore, we would love for you to be a part of our advent- do enroll for our online live classes from Chess to Kathak. For Podium School wishes to gift knowledge and skills in every aspect you wish to explore.