Online class VS Traditional class

Topics: Distance education, E-learning, Education Pages: 8 (1829 words) Published: July 13, 2014
A Traditional Class vs. an Online Class
As technology progresses substantially, it has bearings on every area of our life, even on the way of learning. At present, we could either attend traditional classes in brick-and-mortar learning institutions, or virtual classes in online universities and colleges. Despite sharing some superficial similarities, the differences between a traditional class and an online class are remarkable. Both types of learning require instruction from teachers, and have comparable method of assessments. Though, they differ from one another in terms of scheduling, learning process, and communication.

The first distinction between a traditional class and an online class is scheduling. Traditional class requires a fixed place or environment for learning and teaching. This restricts the number of students that can study at the same time. Number of students would depend on the size of class and learning institution. Furthermore, traditional class is not flexible as it requires the students and teachers to attend a particular place at specific times. For example, students of traditional class have the responsibility to show up for class to meet attendance requirement (Quality Distance Education at your Fingertips, n.d.). Therefore it is not convenient for full-time workers since they would have difficulties in arranging free time to attend the class. On the other hand, online class allows unlimited number of students learn at the same time, which only requires connection to the network for accessing into the virtual class. It is also possible that students from different countries gather in one class. Students can allocate their time easily to pursue their studies in virtual classes. This is because online environment does offer distinct opportunities for flexible, student-centered learning. Logan, Elisabeth, Rebecca Augustyniak, and Alison Rees (2002), as cited by Driscoll et al. (2012), says that within online class, students are required to take responsibility for their own education and are forced to be proactive in the learning process. In short, flexibility of online classes allows students to attend classes at anytime and anywhere, whereas students of traditional classes need to comply with rigid time table for completing their studies.

Learning process is another aspect that differs online class from traditional class; nevertheless they are similar in term of way in accessing for information. For traditional class, students would need to go to brick-and-mortar learning institution for pursuing their studies. Traditional class would be more book-approached. Materials like lecture notes, tutorial notes, reference books, and text books are necessary for traditional classes. Library is the place which students could find more information about courses. Journals, reference books, dictionaries and dissertations are available in library which students can turn to. By contrast, the learning process of online class basically relies on the computer and Internet. All materials of studies are basically available in online classes and other external websites. Distance learners should be independent and highly-discipline in order to achieve outstanding online learning (Kokemuller, n.d.). Only perseverance can promise for the success of online learning. James and Gardner (1995), as cited by Diaz and Cartnal (1999), mentions that students that favour of reliance on independent learning skills would be more suited to an online class. Besides, online class can frequently schedule real-time discussion to do their assignment or project while traditional class discussion normally required participants to show up. Blackmore (1996), as cited by Diaz and Cartnal (1999), recommends that the thing teachers can do to aid the learning process is simply to be alert that there are diverse learning styles in the student population. However, students of both types of classes could reach to same platform to access for...

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Quality Distance Education at your Fingertips
Relan, A., Gillani, B.B. (1997). Web-Based Instruction and the Traditional Classroom: Similarities and Differences. Retrieved June 25, 2013, from
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Tucker, K. (n.d.). Similarities Between Taking Classes Online and on Campus. Retrieved June 25, 2013, from globalpost: campus-4755.html
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