Online courses, traditionally called computer-based classes, have been available for a while. However, they have become more and more popular these days, probably as a result of pandemics and global lockdown. During the Corona Virus spread, all schools and educational centres were closed, and even having a private class was not available due to several quarantine periods. It was exactly at this point that online classes started to boom. Schools and universities began holding classes online, and even several tutors decided to run their online courses. Different platforms were used and in some countries, new websites were developed. While everyone was suspecting the efficiency of online classes, in reality, a lot of presuppositions were proved to be wrong. Surprisingly, many online courses are still available after the pandemic and have become more popular than before. In this article, we will consider the pros and cons of online versus onsite classes to help you choose a better or more appropriate path based on your conditions.
Advantages and disadvantages of onsite classes
Onsite classes are normally held in a classroom where the teacher and students have to be present throughout the whole semester. This type of class, also referred to as traditional class can have its own positive points among which higher concentration and better supervision can be mentioned. There is no doubt that a classroom environment is better designed for studying than your bedroom desk. The equipment is all set and related posters, pictures, and books are all around. These items even unconsciously can draw back your attention to your lessons and the subject you are studying. Watching other people listening to the teacher, taking notes, looking at their books, and focusing on their lesson constantly reminds you to keep studying and being focused.
On the other hand, teachers can better observe students during the whole semester and more specifically for assessment. Part of a teacher’s job is making sure if students are following him/her, and doing their homework, whether they are making any mistakes and have to be corrected. Test results are also way more reliable when they are taken in person due to the teachers’ supervision. Tests not only help students to measure their knowledge and reinforce their lessons but also help teachers to closely study students’ progress and make any required alternations.
The main drawback of onsite classes is probably the lack of time and location flexibility. As mentioned above, students have to be present during the semester and are not allowed to be absent for more than a few sessions. Moreover, classes start at a specific time and everyone is expected to arrive in time and might not let you in if you are late. This can cause a lot of problems, especially for adults who are busy with their parenting responsibilities and have to be at work every day. A lot of adults might never enrol in their favourite course only because of their time and place restrictions.
Advantages and disadvantages of online classes
Online classes can be a live lecture, some video recordings, or a combination of both held on various platforms. These platforms offer various services, for example, you might be able to make a video call, share documents, use a virtual board, play recordings and videos, etc. One of the most important advantages of online classes is flexibility. People from all around the world can easily participate in any online classes. It means that it does not matter which country or city you are coming from, or if you are at work or home, you can participate in any online course. When it comes to video recordings there are no time restrictions either since you can watch the videos whenever you want and you do not have to be present at a specific time. This cannot be better for people with really busy schedules. Joining an online course also does not require any special equipment; only a smartphone and Internet connection which are available for the majority of people.
However, drawbacks of the online classes should not be ignored. Lack of supervision during lessons can sometimes cause problems. Teachers do not have the opportunity to track students and realize their weaknesses. This is also true about the online test. No matter how hard teachers try to get the most reliable results some students tend to cheat when there are no exam invigilators. Another disadvantage of online classes is the poor rapport between the teachers and students. In-person and fact-to-face interactions can create a stronger bond between teachers and their students. Having a good relationship with students is important for any instructor during any educational course. Online classes, however, reduce the possibility of a truly intimate relationship not only between teacher and students but also among classmates. This can also lead to having less motivation and feeling bored during classes. The last point is that it seems difficult that students can easily get distracted by family members during online classes at home. Younger siblings or little kids who are not familiar with class regulations can cause the most problems.
As discussed above, both online and onsite classes have their own positive and negative sides. Indeed, being present in a traditional classroom for a specific number of sessions at a specific time is not easy, however, you can keep being focused and get more reliable results. On the other hand, while online classes can be the only choice for adults with hectic lifestyles, they might also struggle with concentration, and motivation and tend to cheat during tests. No one can tell you which class type is the most suitable one for you and it is your responsibility to choose your preferred educational method considering your schedule, lifestyle, and plans. Participating in an online class with less amount of focus might be a better choice for you when you can never be present in an onsite classroom after all, or participating in a traditional course is a better choice for you if you can easily get distracted at home. Remember that it does not matter if your courses are online or onsite, a right path, that has been chosen based on your needs, will always lead to success.
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