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Traditional Classrooms Are More Effective Than Online Learning

2309 words - 9 pages

As every college student knows, the process of registering for class is daunting. State University students can especially relate at this time of year, the peak time for registering for spring classes. Finding classes that fit in between clubs, organizations, work schedules, family commitments, and other classes seems like an impossible task. Many students on college campuses across the nation are turning to online classes, a flexible alternative that allows students to juggle their busy schedules while keeping on track for graduation. On paper, the idea of substituting time consuming traditional classes for the more flexible alternative of online classes sounds decent. However, do students really get the same education out of these online classes as their traditional counterparts? How can a class formatted for online consumption possibly give students all the material they have to learn in a way that is meaningful and easy to understand? The unfortunate truth is that these online classes cannot replace traditional physical classrooms. The benefit of online classes’ flexibility is greatly outweighed by their high cost: the loss meaningful learning. Traditional classrooms are better sources of communication and knowledge that allow students to really absorb the material.
One of the most prominent positives of traditional classrooms over online learning environments have is that they are much better for promoting communication between the professor and the students. In an online class, professors only know that students need help if the student directly asks them for clarification on material. In traditional classes, the unspoken communication of body language and facial expressions of students can give professors clues that their students need clarification. For example, when students have confused or blank looks as a professor is lecturing, the professor can take notice of those cues and explain their concepts in a different way, or slow down the lecture to clarify difficult points. In contrast, as Sansone et al. (2012) point out “the online context…may provide additional challenges relevant to emotion and its regulation” (p. 142). In person, people pick up cues from others about whether they are listening and understanding what is being presented to them. In an online format, this kind of inference is not possible. The only way that professors know when and how to help students in an online course comes from the student directly bringing up their concerns. Despite best efforts, there will probably never be anything in online education that can completely replace a professor directly in front of students. That in person interaction between students and professors in the classroom allows personable relationships to form, which gives the student a feeling of personal connection to a class and the material taught within it. When students feel connected to a class, they will naturally be more interested, willing to learn, and willing to work hard...

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