Classroom Internetiquette – Physical or Virtual Learning?
This article has been contributed by a student currently undertaking AS Levels in Biology, Chemistry, Maths and Physics. As the writer describes: “A fervour for the Sciences has stimulated my passion to study Medicine at University level with the enticing prospect of graduating as a researcher and physician- A profession, despite in the midst of ethical obstacles, offers a duty of service for both present and future generations which is emotionally and intellectually enriching.”
COVID-19 has forced many of us to adopt virtual learning, but in the process has also revealed that (done in the right way) it can be an extremely effective way of learning and also allows students to access specialist knowledge that they don’t necessarily need to travel for?
Who would have predicted that online learning was to be the salvation for students in imparting knowledge digitally, from teachers/lecturers to students, as lockdowns were imposed worldwide forcing schools to close.
As countries emerge and slowly return to normality, we ask whether acquiring knowledge online is better than sitting in a classroom with a real-life professor? Do you receive a higher quality education within the monotonous four walls of a classroom, or behind a computer screen where all the information you need to learn is at your fingertips? One. Click. Away.
Previous generations grew up face-to-face learning in a traditional classroom.
And that was it.
Indeed, internet did not even EXIST back in the Stone Age our parents lived in!
However, over recent years, technology has seen some innovative advancements, promoting online learning. However, before jumping aboard this e-learning ship, we must question: Is online learning as enriching as classroom learning?
Firstly, online learning promotes a new, interactive form of learning. It does wonders to incorporate the merits of traditional face-to-face learning, which has stood the test of time and transports them into a virtual environment with advanced features to improve memory retention. With such a rapid development in technology, no longer is online learning a student sitting at home, reading through reams and reams of bland text, clicking through prompts. E-Learning has evolved into interactive methods of teaching, with platforms for live discussions, forums and a plethora of study resources and tips
Secondly, it is very convenient. Gone are the days students must wait for buses in the seemingly incessant traffic amidst the rush hour of the bustling city in classic British weather- yep, the drenching rain. Online learning has made the world so small that now, all it takes a click and your bounty of lecture notes, textbooks and questions is at your disposal.
With all that time not wasted away waiting endlessly for buses to arrive, you have more flexibility with your time. No longer are you confined to strict timings but with online learning, students are liberated from the suppressing shackles of deadlines and timetables. It also endorses self-management with students being relayed the responsibility to manage their time and prioritise any tasks they may have.
Another factor which cannot be ignored is the societal inequality gap that exists within our communities regarding accessibility to the internet and online learning. While it is true that COVID-19 has highlighted the lack of resources for students from lower-class households, I firmly believe that if enough funding is provided to tackle this plague of economic disparity, everyone will have the right to exercise proper education from the comfort of their own home.
Also, while it is true, students will lack the first-hand experience of physical teaching, it is important to note that contacting your lecturer or teacher is as easy as sending a quick email outlining any queries you may have. Platforms such as Zoom have made it easy to gain real-time teaching from your professor with advanced features such as screen sharing allowing for efficient teaching strategies to be implemented.
With such platforms and an abundance of other resources available in the vast realms of the internet, immerse yourself with new knowledge on the subjects YOU would like to study.
Currently, with no end to COVID-19 in sight, online learning is here to stay and rightly so. Packed lecture halls and corridors are breeding grounds for viral transmission. This leaves us with the question: Was coronavirus the spark needed to blaze the trail for virtual education as the way forward?
I guess you could put it this way: the ‘infection’ to the education system by COVID-19 may actually have been a positive one, opening up a new perspective and realm to learning.
With online learning imprinted in the education system of the future and future teacher-student conversations to be done digitally, I think it’s high time that we all practice a little bit of “internetiquette!” Don’t you think?
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What would be your answer if I asked you this? Would you like to gain access to a personal expert tutor with 1:1 tutorials, whilst building research skills for writing a dissertation or thesis on the field you would like to study? Surely you would say YES!
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