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Is eLearning a substitute to the traditional classroom-based learning?

Instructional Design Learning theories

eLearning has been around for quite some time now, and it has now become an essential part for individual to learn with the advent of technology. Most educationists too are in favor of developing eLearning modules as it helps the learners to learn anytime and from anywhere in the world. Through eLearning, you can learn while being on a full-time job because all you need is a computer and an Internet connection. eLearning is becoming increasing popular whether in corporate training or in school and higher education. There are some universities in overseas even who are promoting eLearning to educate the learners without going over there physically.

Being an Learning consultant, I would favor eLearning more and would like to promote it because of the advantages it has on the learners and business for sure. However, it seems to be a misconception in the minds of most people that eLearning is here to substitute the traditional classroom-based learning.

In his video, Tim Slade has in fact mentioned that eLearning is just one small component of a larger ecosystem of learning. So, let us see why I feel that traditional classroom-based learning is here to stay or why eLearning will not substitute classroom-based learning? Here are some of the reasons to state my point on the fact that traditional classroom-based learning still hasn’t lost its charisma:

Helps in interpersonal skill development

One of most important reasons of why classroom learning should still be the preferred mode of learning is that it helps interpersonal skill of the learner. When in classroom, the students are required to speak their minds and they may be required to give presentations and speeches and this enhances their presentation skills and communication skills. It also helps to gain confidence among the students as they interact with the peers and professors.

Enhances memory and learning development

Today, there are various Massive Open Online course or MOOCs available that allow students to learn anything they want to learn. But, do you know why most students enroll for online courses? Well, of course, one reason is because they do not have to go anywhere and can learn while sitting at home. Apart from this, most students prefer online learning because they will not have to study or memorize the material in the way that traditional learning does. The students know that they can take the test or attempt any check your knowledge question without worrying about the fact the teacher will catch them cheating.

Infuses self-discipline and motivation

While online learning or eLearning provide ways that keep you motivated enough to learn, but when it comes to discipline, classroom learning does have an advantage over eLearning. Do you remember the last time you had attended a college or a university? Did you attend them regularly and do you know? This is because of the structured schedule that is set by the teacher or the facilitator. This helps the students to keep things on task by having routine face-to-face interactions with the instructor. This can even provide opportunities to be reminded of upcoming assignments that in turn helps the students if they tend to procrastinate on large and time-come-consuming assignments.

So, does this mean that eLearning is bad or eLearning should not be the preferred mode of learning for today’s learners?

Absolutely, not!

Both eLearning and traditional classroom-based learning are important. As a matter of fact, we can make learning in such a manner that eLearning can blend together with the traditional classroom-based approach. If you ask me which learning solution is better, then I would not have any answer as there is no right or wrong answer. Much of it comes down to personal preference and knowing how you can make the learners best. It becomes highly important as a learning consultant to weigh the pros and cons of each of them and implement a solution that is best suited for all types of learners.

So, what do you think? Do you feel that eLearning have replaced or will replace classroom-based learning? Or do you also feel that both of them are equally important components?


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