distance learning

Is Online Learning as Effective as Face-to-Face Learning?

Many schools across the globe have switched to online learning due to the coronavirus pandemic. Many have mixed feelings towards the switch to online learning, but is it more or less effective than face-to-face learning? Online learning really only started to become more popular during the start of the 2000s due to major technological advancements in computers and smartphones. Unfortunately, it does not live up to the expectations as face-to-face learning has. But we might even see more technological improvements that make online learning a better experience.

One of the factors is distraction. With having more of an online experience you tend to have way more free time than face-to-face learning, leading to more procrastination among students. Face-to-face learning does not result in this problem due to actually being in front of an instructor and always being aware of what is happening in the classroom. The instructor might even have a place for your phone to be away from you during class time. With online learning, you could easily be distracted by your phone because of notifications, texts, phone calls, and so on. 

Another factor is taking tests. With face-to-face learning, instructors typically make sure nobody is cheating on exams, and it’s hard to get away with cheating in a classroom. With online learning, it is especially easy to cheat on exams and quizzes. Some instructors might make students use a screen sharing software where they can watch you take the quiz, but that won’t stop students from going on their smartphones and taking the exam while googling the answers. Teachers generally have a very hard time monitoring students when it comes to testing when implementing online learning.

Last factor is the student’s access to the internet and technology. Not every single student will have the fastest internet or latest technology. Some students unfortunately will have slow internet or devices and that sometimes results in trouble accessing academic material or work. There can also be a lot of errors that come up with technology resulting in losing academic work and having to start over again. This could be frustrating to some students who don’t have the latest and greatest technology.

There is definitely going to be new technology along the way that will make online learning a better experience. As of right now though, the cons outweigh the pros due to many factors in our online learning. It’s a very difficult change for some students but we can get through it together as long as we stay safe. 

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