Education of Tomorrow

February 16, 2011


Filed under: Uncategorized — Education Group @ 10:08 am

One of the biggest questions when it comes to the idea of the classroom of the future is whether the traditional classroom setting will cease to exist or not. Especially at a college or university level, many courses are being offered fully online or partially online.

Traditional classes still have their benefits. They teach you responsibility by requiring you to be set to a regular date and time. This pre-planned meeting time for handing in assignments, meeting with groups or writing a test works really well for some people so they can stay organized. Furthermore, a traditional classroom makes it easier to access the professor. It can be difficult to reach a teacher through email if you are having a hard time or have questions. Having a scheduled class time means you know that the professor will be there in that time slot to help you in any way you need. As well, it is much easier to meet new friends through a normal classroom. It is extremely hard to really connect with others through an online setting, when you never get to meet them in person. This is not only useful for finding new friends, but it gives you real social interactions which can be highly lacking if all of your courses are online.

As with all things, there are cons to this set up; having that set schedule means that it lacks in flexibility. If you miss a class, it is easy to fall behind or lose marks due to a pop quiz. In addition it can be a chore to try to fit all of the required classes for your degree into your schedule. Another major downside to normal classes, on campus is the cost to students that drive or take public transportation to get there. Parking passes as well as the gas money can really break the bank if you have to drive a long way in every day for a class, especially if you just have one class that day. The same goes for public transit; that couple dollars per way really adds up over the course of a school year.

The one thing most people either completely love or completely hate about an online course is the amount of freedom it gives you. It does not tie you down to a set time to be in class and you do not have to leave the comfort of your house, which is usually appreciated in the winter once you get bad weather. This also allows you to learn at your own pace and helps you develop a better understanding of your work habits and what you need to do to stay on top of the task at hand. Online classes also open people up to expressing their opinions. It is easier to express your ideas, especially more controversial ones online than face to face. In comparison with traditional classes, online courses significantly reduce the amount of money you spend on your schooling. This involves not spending as much on gas money and parking. Chances are you could even make more money by having a part time job because of your more flexible hours.

However, online classes still have their down sides. The majority of them result from the lack of face to face contact with classmates and your professor. It is very likely that you will never actually meet any of them, unless you have to work on a group assignment that requires meeting up. In some cases, professors can be someone in your desired field that you can look up to for advice and their opinion. It is hard to build up that relationship when you do not get to meet them. Online courses also require a certain level of discipline which some students lack. Without this it is very easy to fall behind in your work.

In the future it looks as if the option for online courses will become more easily available for a wider selection of classes. However because everyone learns differently and there are still many benefits to a traditional classroom sense, it would be nearly impossible to fully erase them from our education system. Traditional courses may further their use of the internet to offer some classes online throughout the course or to post videos of the lectures online to help add a bit more flexibility but as for removing them entirely, it does not seem likely. Offering students the choice between online and on campus classes seems to be the best way to compromise. This site offers a more in depth look at how online classes and traditional classes and affect a students’ performance. It is a great read to add on to what has been noted above.

Jennings, Crystal. “Online Classes vs. Traditional Classes.” Ezine Articles. Web. 07 Feb. 2011. .
This article gives the reader some background information regarding the differences and similarities between online classes and traditional class settings.

Wenzel, Julie. “Pros and Cons of Online Courses vs. a Traditional Classroom.” Associated Content from Yahoo! – Web. 07 Feb. 2011. .
This article gives both the pros and cons of online classes verses the traditional class setting. It tries to stay unbiased however it concludes with the author’s personal opinion on her preference.

By: Rachel Q


1 Comment »

  1. Hi Rachel,
    It is really great information that you posted in your article. When I started college, I would think that online courses would be the great idea for all classes, but now I am understanding that any type of education could not survive without the actual classes and being on time for them. School in traditional form teaches students way more than a discipline taught there, but also communication and many other valuable skills. And those skills are being lost by younger generations, in fact they do not talk anymore and replace it by texting and emailing. All those typed communications are not only decreasing students ability to communicate, but also way more difficult and time consuming. Therefore in my opinion,”real-life” classes must stay the way we learn.

    Comment by Yuliana Zaborova — February 23, 2011 @ 10:34 pm | Reply

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