The Covid-19 pandemic introduced us to a new concept: online learning. With the onset of the pandemic, various aspects of life were put on a halt while the education sector continued to thrive. It did so by shifting to online learning, where mediums like Zoom and Google Classroom facilitated teachers all across the globe in delivering classes. Today, with lockdowns being imposed on and off, the learning model continues to go back and forth.
The debate around remote education’s feasibility, sustainability, and practicality is still ongoing. While some can’t wait for online learning to disappear and classes to return to normal, others are looking forward to learning online permanently, replacing on-campus learning. We have listed the pros of both models to aid your decision-making.
The Advantages of online learning include the following:
A fixed schedule is a principal feature of on-campus learning. However, it often stands in the way of other crucial activities such as part-time jobs, household responsibilities, etc. In professions like medicine, remote programs such as an Online Program for Registered Nurse to BSN allow one to conveniently and passionately take on higher education and specialization while simultaneously working jobs, fulfilling personal responsibilities, and traveling.
A flexible schedule comes in handy for teachers as well. They can reschedule classes if they have pressing or clashing commitments.
Lecture recordings are another great advantage. If you miss a class for whatever reason, you can always watch a recorded lecture whenever and wherever you want.
No geographical restrictions
Many students aim to pursue higher education and specialization from foreign universities. The medium of virtual learning makes it very convenient to apply and study across the country and beyond. Hence, you can pursue your degree without having to move to an unfamiliar city or country and paying for accommodation.
On the contrary, you can study at ease from the confines of your home while simultaneously engaging with routine activities, part-time jobs, and other responsibilities. As a result, quality education becomes accessible without any obstacles.
Remote learning is an inexpensive experience as you get to save money in multiple areas. Expenses like transportation, food, and formal clothing significantly decline. Moreover, the fees are often lower than the conventional on-campus learning model, and as we mentioned earlier, you don’t have to pay for accommodation. Consequently, you won’t have to accumulate enormous debts by drawing loaded student loans to finance your education.
Online education has proved to be a significantly less overwhelming learning experience, especially for shy, introverted students. They get to shine in their comfort zones or instead get out of it by voluntarily participating in class without being intimidated, for instance, through the chat feature on Zoom. Students overall are more inclined to speak and contribute due to a more relaxed setting.
Apart from this, many instructors prefer to have the students’ cameras turned off. This measure allows students to maintain their confidence when called to participate.
Keeping up with technology
Adaption to modern technology has come out as a by-product of online learning. From Zoom to Google classroom to Microsoft Teams, students and professors both get up-to-date with technology and become a bit more tech-savvy. This development allows the students and teachers to upskill themselves and boost their shot at upcoming employment opportunities.
Meanwhile, the perks of traditional on-campus learning are as follows:
Having a proper routine
While education can be gained online, employment will still be carried out physically, with fixed schedules. On-campus learning prepares you for the real world, the future that awaits you where you would have to follow a particular timetable to get things done. Moreover, having a proper schedule and attending classes will allow you to meet multiple goals without stressing out. It will create room for healthy habits, better sleep, structured accomplishment, and little-to-no procrastination. These rituals will come in handy in managing things as a student and as part of the workforce.
Proper interaction with the faculty
Being present on campus allows students to have a proper, face-to-face consultation with their instructors. You are free to visit them during their office hours, discuss queries, listen and learn from their experiences, and receive first-hand guidance on relevant matters. Additionally, physical classes mean frequent interaction with them on-and-off classes that render one better able to establish a network. Furthermore, they will be able to better acquaint with you, and you can reach out to them later on for referrals for further education and jobs.
Change of environment
A change in setting is imperative to a shift in perspective and outlook. On-campus learning allows you to leave your room, your house that you occupy for most of your day. The large, open, aesthetically pleasing campus will refresh and recharge you and your mind by catering to your senses. Additionally, libraries, quiet zones, and other study areas on your campus will allow you to focus on your work without getting distracted. They have a distinct environment where your mind will not wander, and you will be able to complete your tasks on time.
Campus life and community
A salient feature of on-campus learning is campus life and culture. A campus allows you to indulge in community life, make meaningful connections, and network around. Additionally, participation in the campus culture, such as spending time together during the breaks, classroom shenanigans, playing sports, and so on, creates a lifetime’s worth of memories.
Moreover, a campus has more opportunities for practical learning through labs, seminars, and practicals, which is a must for degrees like nursing.
Physical assessments have very little room for cheating due to strict regulations and monitoring. Therefore, they are more transparent and a better indicator of how much knowledge you accumulated and how far ahead you are.
Meanwhile, transparency in online exams is hard to achieve. And cheating compromises your education big-time. Many students do so because they’re aware of the available resources online and because it aids them in filtering out some tasks. But, on the other hand, this measure jeopardizes their career and proficiency. For instance, if we look at medical students, turning to occasional cheating and becoming doctors on that behalf will be nothing less than a medical disaster waiting to strike.
Both systems have numerous benefits, so it can be hard to pick one over the other. While online schooling and learning are more convenient and flexible, on-campus learning offers the ingenious opportunity to discipline yourself, experience a different setting, and make meaningful connections. What educational institutions can do is offer courses both online and physically. This measure will allow the instructors and students, the two main stakeholders involved, to go for whichever model they see fit.
Many institutions have opted for the hybrid system where teachers deliver classes on campus while simultaneously being connected on Zoom. It is then up to the students to attend classes in whichever medium they see fit. That is a win-win situation.