Q- Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Remote learning using technologies such as Zoom is just as effective as in-person classroom learning. Use specific reasons and examples to support your opinion. Do not use memorized examples.
Ans: Remote or online learning has witnessed an emergence over the past couple of years, owing to the global pandemic of COVID-19. The education system throughout the globe resorted to implementing such a format of learning for students during the time and still continues to do so in many places. However, when it comes to the sheer quality of learning and imparting knowledge, I do not agree that remote learning is more efficient than offline, in-person classroom learning. I will elucidate on this with the help of anecdotal experiences I’ve garnered as a student over the past years.
Sure, remote learning has an edge in terms of convenience and accessibility. It was undoubtedly a godsend during the global epidemic, but in terms of learning quality, I believe that in-class learning outperforms the earlier approach. During my graduation, I had to rely on studying online for my final semesters. When opposed to offline classes, the primary challenge I encountered throughout such classes was a lack of a humane approach to teaching. The interpersonal connections we create with our teachers, as well as the ambience in which we study in classrooms, have a significant impact on our overall learning and development. In the classroom, we not only learn about our curriculum but also about various aspects of life. I couldn’t clear up my doubts when taking online classes, something that wasn’t an issue with in-person lectures. Teachers were always available to help me during my course, whether it was with my doubts, giving me personalised care and attention, or even supporting me through my difficult times. This is the humanitarian aspect of learning that seems to be lacking in online classes.
According to me, online or remote learning feels discordant and mechanical, which might be detrimental to one’s overall progress, not only as a student but also as a human being. Another significant disadvantage of online classes that I experienced during my undergraduate years was the lack of access to materials that are only available in traditional universities. When you attend a college or an institute, you are not only given academic knowledge of courses but you are also exposed to their practical aspects. For example, during my online lectures, I was unable to grasp certain fundamentals of biochemistry because they could only be taught in labs, which I obviously did not have at home.
Aside from that, the main reason I believe online learning cannot be as effective as offline learning is a lack of possibilities to socialise with peers. In-class learning encourages children to create bonds with their peers, who are equally vital to their development. The adage “the type of social circle you choose shapes you as a person” applies equally to education and learning as well. Just like teachers, friends can also teach you a lot about life and support you during the worst of adversities. When you study online, however, your possibilities of engaging with friends and creating connections are reduced, which inhibits your general growth as a person and narrows your outlook on life. Apart from that, while I was taking online classes, I didn’t have any friends to lean on or teachers to confide in, which certainly hampered my mental health.
To summarise, I feel that, despite its benefits, online education will never be as effective as in-person sessions. Traditional learning will never be obsolete, regardless of how modernised education becomes. This is because traditional classes have a human touch to them whereas online classes do not.
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