Technology has impacted almost every aspect of our lives today. And education is no exception. The advancement of technology brought new ways to teach and learn for students called e-learning. But as the number of e-learning programs rises, so does the number of debates on whether it is more effective than traditional learning. In this article, we will evaluate the benefits that e-learning brings, and if e-learning for students is more effective.
What are the differences between traditional learning and e-learning for students?
The first thing that possibly comes to mind when you think of traditional learning and e-learning for students is the following images: a classroom and a computer. And this is indeed the biggest difference between these two learning methods. But, let’s dig deeper into their differences below.
Different Learning Styles
In the traditional or classroom method, students are required to be physically and mentally present. This usually requires them to have regular attendance, interact with other people in the class, and follow a regular schedule. E-learning, on the other hand, is more independent. A lot of e-learning programs are self-paced—meaning a learner can attend their courses depending on their availability and motivation.
Despite these, e-learning and the classroom method both require equal effort and determination to get the desired success.
Physical vs. Virtual
Traditional learning is usually held on a certain date and time, as well as location. Your students attend classes, join group discussions, and participate in the activities for that session. While some e-learning programs are only available for a certain date and time, they’re more flexible. For example, learners can access a course anytime and anywhere they want, and they don’t have to worry about being late going to the location or if they can’t make it on that date.
Before you can start implementing e-learning for your students, you have to make sure that you have the right equipment to facilitate and implement them. You also need to have at least the basic knowledge of how to navigate your e-learning system. The technology needed to make sure that your online learning is running may seem a little complicated, but most of them are user-friendly and can be learned as long as you take the time to familiarize yourself with them. This requires more involvement than traditional learning.
Nowadays, technological knowledge is also needed in traditional learning. For example, presentations have shifted from manila papers and printed materials to PowerPoint and video presentations. Students can also submit requirements electronically these days. Another thing is that it has become a necessary skill for learners and teachers alike to be able to surf—and document, collect and examine data from—the internet.
Cost is one of the key factors in both traditional and e-learning. Traditional learning is usually more expensive than e-learning. This is because you have to factor your costs for almost everything—such as the facilitator fee, the location rental, equipment rental, food and drinks (if applicable), and printing of materials. This happens for both basic and advanced education. On the other hand, e-learning has a lot of more affordable options. You can pick and choose only those that you can afford, and don’t have to pay for something beyond your ability.
Conclusion: Is e-learning for students more effective?
So, is e-learning more effective for students? The answer: it depends. You have to keep in mind that just like other learners, different students learn in different ways. Some are more engaged during traditional or classroom learning, while some produce better results when presented with e-learning. Evaluate carefully if e-learning is right for your organization and what types of learners are your students, and then implement the most effective learning method for them, may it be traditional, or e-learning.
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