i Traditional Education vs. Online Education | College Writing: Debate(s) In Higher Education
28. October 2016 · Comments Off · Categories: Blog Post 2

Brittany Vosen

In the article, “The Campus Tsunami”, the author, David Brooks, brings attention to the fact that online learning is coming. Even though online learning is the new, tech-savvy way of learning, I believe learning should take place in a classroom. Online education may offer more classes and subjects, but it does not offer face to face discussion with teachers/professors and other students. Face to face discussion makes classroom learning ideal because it allows students to ask their teacher questions and get ideas from other students. Classroom learning offers techniques that allow for optimal learning which is why learning should take place in a classroom and not online.

Since I am studying to be a teacher, education is very important to me in regards to learning in a classroom. During my educational psychology class, I learned some of the best ways to enhance students’ learning. In the book “Essentials of Educational Psychology: Big Ideas to Guide Effective Teaching”, the author emphasizes the importance of how students can enhance their learning by working collaboratively. Working with others could include helping/teaching another student or just listening to what other students have to say. According to the author, working with others can enhance students’ knowledge by showing new viewpoints and opinions.

Working in a classroom also offers face to face discussion, which can benefit everyone, no matter what their plans are for the future. Talking directly to a person enhances public speaking skills and communication skills, which is beneficial for everyone. Talking to someone via email or group chat, however, does not offer the same benefits. When talking online, people can not use a tone of voice or use eye contact which can affect the direction of the conversation. For example, during high school, I took a reverse classroom algebra class. During this class, I would do the lessons outside of class online and do the homework during the actual class time in school. After I completed every online lesson, I would always email my teacher with multiple questions and she would reply with answers that I could not comprehend. When talking online, people can not use a tone of voice or use eye contact which can affect the direction of the conversation. This is what happened to me, I did not understand what my teacher was trying to say when helping me with my questions.

There are some beneficial factors to online learning, for example, taking a course online will allow students to work at a pace that is most comfortable for them to learn. According to a student at SNC in the IDIS course, they like taking online courses because it can give them the advantage of working ahead or taking their time to fully understand a subject. This same student also said that online learning can also offer more flexible hours for them.

Even though online school may give students the advantage of doing school work from the comfort of their own home, it can also offer distractions from their phones, tv, and even family life. In a classroom setting, there are more strict rules about electronic devices. In my high school, students who would break the rules about electronic devices resulted in the teacher taking the device away or the student facing punishment, such as getting a detention. In college, a student who is caught breaking the rules could be asked to leave the classroom or face embarrassment by getting called out by the professor. Learning in a classroom also offers a break from the distractions of life at home. Some students may come from a rough family situation, so being able to learn in an environment that is away from home can be more beneficial.

Online learning does have its benefits, but those benefits fall short when compared to learning in a classroom.  When it comes to online learning, it consists of mostly being time convenient for the student.  Learning in the classroom is more useful because it is targeted towards students learning the material better and gaining new ideas and thoughts with face to face contact with other students and teachers. Learning and understanding the material is more valuable and more important than being comfortable with how long you can spend on an assignment. Overall, classroom learning ranks higher with benefits than online learning ever will.       



Ormrod, J. (2015). Essentials of Educational Psychology: Big Ideas to Guide Effective Teaching

(4th ed.). Boston, Mass: Pearson.


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