Online learning is playing a greater role in higher learning institution in Singapore as many believed that it is not only convenient but also more effective than traditional classroom instructions. Advocates of online learning argued that it is both convenient and effective because the students can attend classes and courses whenever and wherever they want, which allows them to easily plan out a schedule that would work for them, to suit their own way of learning style.
However, proponents of traditional classroom instructions think otherwise. They explain that traditional classroom settings would allow students to be more involved, stay more interested, and understand more information. Students are able to ask questions and get immediate responses. They would also benefit in a classroom setting where other students can ask questions about something that they may have missed. In addition, a classroom instructions are more effective for students and teachers because the setting is typically ideal for concentrating and learning and materials are usually available to aid in the learning process. Last but not least, the teachers in the traditional classroom setting would be able to interactive more with the students and get to know them better to be able to conduct more effective and individualised lessons for them.
This paper concludes that online learning is not as convenient or effective as believed by many. Traditional classroom instructions would lead to more effectiveness and convenience than online learning. Local and international case studies are presented in this paper to support traditional classroom instructions.
A case study by Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in 2001 examines the effectiveness of online learning in the Virtual School of Business (VBUS), a Temasek Polytechnic’s online project. The students were asked about their perceptions regarding the effect of VBUS on enhancing learning, and, in particular, in improving test and examination grades for all subjects as well as the specific subject Computer Fundamentals (CF). 39.7% (all subjects) and 37.5% (CF) subject of respondents felt the improvement was “somewhat” while 29.5% (all subjects) and 31.1% (CF) indicated improvement was “not much” (Peh & Foo, 2001). Up to as many as 11.4% and 14.2% of respondents thought that VBUS did not help at all (Table 1). As shown from the findings of the study, students do not view online learning as an effective tool as compared to traditional classroom instructions.
Other reasons that allow online learning to play a greater role in education is that the students were less likely to be distracted by their friends in an online class, as they were not caught up in school dramas such as physical abuse and boy-girl relationship. With less disturbance, the students would be more focused and concentrated to be able to learn more effectively. However, there are many other distractions such as TV, family demands, and unexpected guests at home....