What are the main differences between classroom and online learning?

diagram: What are the main differences between classroom and online learning?

What are the main differences between classroom and online learning?

The process of learning revolves around four key elements — knowledge, attitude, skills and habits. In the last couple of years, in addition to classroom learning, online learning has also emerged rapidly. In the last six months due to the pandemic, online learning has also emerged as one of the convenient solutions.

The primary objective of both online and classroom learning could be similar but there are a lot of differences in both the modes of learning. The following are certain key differences between classroom and online learning:

1. Two-way communication vs one-way communication

In a classroom learning setup, teachers can easily establish two-way communication with the students because both students and teachers are physically present inside the classroom.

However, it is slightly difficult to continuously maintain two-way communication in an online set up and it is often dependent on various factors such as internet bandwidth at both teacher and learner’s end, limitation due to the size of the viewing screen, etc.

2. Facilitation methods

Classroom learning has been in existence for eons and so, the learning facilitation methods have evolved and time tested on a variety of learners, in different environments, etc.

However, online learning is in its initial stage and there are no established and time-tested methods.

3. Cost vs effectiveness

Online learning is a cost-effective method as compared to classroom learning. However, when it comes to learning especially young children, effectiveness will always have a higher weightage compared to just cost when we look at the effectiveness and long-term impact of learner classroom learning scores higher points.

4. Customized learning

Customization in a classroom the environment can take place using simple methods such as behavioral observation by the teacher, eye contact, reaction of a child to a topic or activity or thought. All these things are practically possible in an online learning setup.

5. Difference in target learners and usage of learning

Online learning is a perfectly suitable option for working professionals who frequently travel or those who cannot set up a daily fixed time for learning.

Classroom learning is a more efficient method for target learners such as students, young children due to factors such as learning environment, peer learning, query resolution at their own pace which is essential for the development and growth of a child and youth.

6. Impact on overall development

Overall development and impact of learning is an outcome of key elements — knowledge, attitude, skills, and habits. If the objective is only to gain knowledge about a subject, it can be achieved every effectively through online learning.

However, if the objective is to inculcate learning and its related elements in the form of skills, attitude, and habits in daily life, leveraging classroom learning is a better option.

This is because it provides better human interaction value that is very essential for the overall development and growth or a blend of online and offline learning can help in achieving good development milestones, using only online learning will not help in achieving essential developmental milestones for children.

Online learning and usage of technology in learning has been definitely increasing. However, learning is a sum total of various factors and it has a major impact on overall growth and development of a human being.

Therefore, rather than just looking at parameters like usage and its adoption of online learning, when it comes to comparison of online and classroom learning, it is really important to have a look at other factors also which have a direct or indirect impact on the overall process of learning.

– Article by Ritesh Rawal, Founder, Dudes and Dolls – The Cosmic School, Adhyay School

Read: Online tutoring vs classroom teaching or offline teaching: Which one should you choose?

Read: No learning vs online learning: What will help students in the age of Covid-19?

Read: 7 ways classroom teaching is better than online education

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