The continual evolution of technology enables a growing number of students to rely on the Internet for education instead of the traditional classroom-style learning. While distance learning is an ideal solution for certain types of students, others are better off sticking with the old-fashioned academic format. For those debating whether classroom learning is a good fit or not, consider the various advantages and disadvantages before coming to a conclusion.
Pro: More Interaction
A classroom environment offers students the opportunity to have face-to-face interactions with their peers and instructors. This is an added social benefit as well as an educational aid. Because students see the same peers in class every session, they get a chance to form friendships. In the case of higher learning, pupils can find potential lifelong professional connections. On the educational side, students get a chance to participate in a lecture or class discussion physically. If something is not understood, interrupting to ask for clarification is always an option.
Disadvantage: No Flexibility
A campus-based learning experience means the class schedule is predetermined and not subject to change. Students must shape their personal schedules around school instead of the other way around. If plans unexpectedly change or an emergency comes up, the student cannot adjust the class schedule to turn in the work at a different time. If a scheduling conflict arises between work and school, students are forced to choose between their education and their income.
Pro: Traditional Experience
In some cases, the classroom environment is the only style of education the students know, and the change of pace online classes offer may prove difficult to adjust to. Students get the opportunity for hands-on, structured learning instead of being presented with the course books, written lectures and self-directed activities distance learning provides. Suddenly straying from the standard learning experience may add unexpected strain academically, making the class material more difficult in the process.
Disadvantage: Travel Considerations
With classroom learning, students must physically attend the courses to get credit for attendance. Those who must travel long distances to get to school must allot enough time to arrive punctually, particularly in instances where inclement weather is involved. A long commute may also mean a hefty gas bill over a long period of time which, when combined with the cost of education, may present an issue to financially challenged students.
- student #3 image by Adam Borkowski from Fotolia.com