Online Learning is Convenient and More Effective than Traditional Classroom Instruction.

The following article is written by Muhammad Bilal, a student of Sir Syed Kazim Ali. Moreover, the article is written on the same pattern, taught by Sir to his students, scoring the highest marks in compulsory subjects for years. Sir Kazim has uploaded his students’ solved past paper questions so other thousands of aspirants can understand how to crack a topic or question, how to write relevantly, what coherence is, and how to include and connect ideas, opinions, and suggestions to score the maximum.

Over the last two decades, the integration of technology in the education domain has revolutionized the education sector worldwide. After the global pandemic (COVID-19) outbreak, online learning has gained popularity and is increasingly used as an alternative to traditional classrooms. Moreover, it has provided access to the latest education to the people living in remote and marginalized regions of the World. In addition, the online learning environment allows participants to exploit the technology for effective teaching and learning purposes. Furthermore, online learning has provided many comforts and conveniences due to the flexibility of virtual learning, education provision during the pandemic, easy access to digital libraries, and research articles, less time investment and low-cost effectiveness, and increased student retention rates. However, some hurdles exist in online learning, such as lack of access to digital technology, low digital literacy rate etc. Nevertheless, pragmatic measures such as providing internet facilities to underdeveloped regions and arranging workshops and seminars for proper training of teachers and students regarding online learning can help overcome the challenges and ensure the effectiveness of online learning.

This essay will start off by debunking the terms, online learning and traditional classroom learning.  Once this is done, the focus of the discussion will be shifted to elucidate with the help of case studies how online learning is more effective and convenient than the traditional classroom. The essay will be concluded by proposing the set of remedies required to tackle the hurdles in the way of online learning.

To begin with, traditional education refers to the basic conventional teaching-learning process that takes place physically in the classrooms. Moreover, teachers and students meet physically, often learning material is provided physically, and students get feedback directly. Furthermore, traditional education emphasizes direct learning and instruction. While on the other hand, in online learning the interaction between students and teacher take place in a virtual environment.  Moreover, students also have access to online digital libraries, recorded lectures, education forums, and education boards to get information. In addition after the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, online teaching and learning have been promoted all around the world.

Moving on, online learning enables students and teachers to adjust their own learning pace, allowing them to balance academic responsibilities and family obligations. As a result, it makes online learning convenient for those students, who are working; having some family commitments or living in remote areas. According to the report of the Atlantic University, 67% of students choose online learning because of the flexibility of virtual learning. In comparison, traditional classrooms restrict the students to attend lectures at specific times and at specific locations.

Moreover, the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the expansion of online learning across all levels of education. In addition, it forced the countries worldwide to take pragmatic measures to the provision of education via online learning programs, in case of emergency situations. According to the report of the National Center for Education Statistics, the number of undergraduate students’ pandemic in online courses jumped from 2.7 million to 7.0 million during COVID-19. In contrast, traditional modes of learning are unable to provide education in global emergency situations.

Furthermore, online learning allows students to access a wealth of formations and resources. Similarly, online learners can easily access digital libraries, and the world’s best universities’ online programs, which enables them to attach with other students and professors around the world. However, in comparison, such a collaborative environment is not possible in traditional classroom learning.

In addition, online learning is more effective than traditional classrooms due to less time investment and low cost-effectiveness. According to the Brandon Hall report online learning requires 40-60% less time than learning in a traditional class room. Moreover, students save a lot of the time that they waste during transportation and waiting for students and teachers. While on the other hand, in traditional classrooms students spend most of their time in unnecessary activities.

Similarly, online learning is more effective than traditional classroom due to enhance the exposure to learning. According to the IBM survey report, participants learn five times more in online learning rather than in the traditional classroom. Moreover, due to access to online education platforms, students can complete their tasks, and assignments quickly and easily. However, in traditional classroom learning, students have to rely on teachers in case of facing any difficulty in their tasks.

Next to this, online learning is more effective due to increased student retention rates. It makes it easier for students to take courses at home rather than travel to Campuses to attend classes.  According to the Research Institute of America report, online courses increased student retention rate from 25-60%. However, retention rates are lower in the case of traditional classroom courses.

In the light of above discussion, it is imperative to analyze some case studies that show many universities across the world are providing education via online modes of learning. An example worth mentioning in this regard is the virtual university of Pakistan. It provides education by using combinations of audio-video -lectures, reading materials, and arrangement of e-class rooms. Another example is the Allam Iqbal Open University, which provided online courses for students of any age to equip themselves with the latest education.

However, there are some hurdles in the way of online learning. First, is the lack of people’s access to digital technology.  People living in rural, backward areas or living in underdeveloped countries have no access to internet connectivity which is a stumbling block in their way to get online education.  According to a report by the International Telecommunication Union, more than 46% of the global population has no access to the Internet. Moreover, a low digital literacy rate is a bone of contention in getting online education. According to a UNESCO report, more than 40% of the global population lacks digital skills.

To analyze critically, online learning enhances the critical ability of students by providing access to a wealth of information via access to digital learning platforms, digital libraries and international workshops. Moreover, after the outbreak of COVID-19 institutions across the world are also imparting education through online learning programs.  Moreover providing access to the internet to underdeveloped regions of the world for getting an education can enhance productivity and lifts millions of people out of poverty.

To conclude, online learning is not only convenient but more effective than traditional classrooms. The flexibility and convenience of online learning make it an ideal option for students to exploit technology for a better quality of education.

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