‘Is online learning as good as face-to-face learning? Discuss.’ By Jibraeil Aatif Anwar

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These are two different terms, online learning and face-to-face learning. The former means learning done online via interactive technology, or through teachers someplace else in the world. Face-to-face learning, on the other hand, is learning done with a teacher, mostly in a classroom, where one gets to directly interact with the teacher and ask them questions. Both types of learning have done some people favors, but they have also caused great disadvantages to the rest of them. What we are preparing to find out about is what leads to these agreements and disagreements; mainly, whether or not online learning is as good as face-to-face learning.

To start off, all those in favor of online learning state that its private nature will allow them to ask their inquiries without shame, prevent their stresses from overwhelming them, and not put them under peer pressure or the possible risk of humiliation. This is the kind of advantage that would benefit all the ‘shrinking violets’ across the world, they say, because not only does it make them feel more safe and comfortable in their learning, but it also allows them to gain real-life confidence during things such as job interviews, or if they were to be a witness in a court of law; basically, they are a virtual ‘strict’ authority figure, to test them for the real ones yet to come. About fifty-seven percent of the world’s population is in agreement with this fact, and they also state that online learning is paving the way for greater successes and better test scores for the students, which I would admit is true, based not only on how online learning helped me, but also on how my friends have told me about their own experiences with online learning, which were also positive.

Which would, most definitely, bring to attention the minority, albeit marginally (forty-three percent), who disagree with this argument. Do they have reasons to support their arguments? In that case, one parent has said that online learning is deceptive, and not at all helpful in preparing their child for real life’s challenges. They attribute this to the fact that online learning systems are computer in nature, so they would, naturally, be more ‘cold’, ‘emotionless’ and ‘robotic’ than actual authority figures, be that a teacher, job interviewer or judge. They whole-heartedly believe that face-to-face learning is the only way to go, and, as much as I like online learning, I believe face-to-face learning also has its merit, as well.

To follow up on that, the opposed propose that another major reason that online learning is, by nature, better, is because it, along with teaching children the core things in life, may also teach them some general knowledge-related things, whether it be related to pop-culture, social studies, or any other kind of subject. They feel that their children also need to learn some extra things, in order to give them some common sense, as well as make them knowledgeable enough to survive in the real world. Seventy-five percent of the USA’s economy, which is the biggest in the world, is the pragmatists, who whole-heartedly believe in this idea to the fullest. I fully support this idea, as do several members of my family; we believe that, without a little bit of extra knowledge, even the smartest of people will not be able to achieve success.

On the other hand, the ones who oppose this, and make up twenty-five percent of the USA’s population, are strongly against this interpretation of the subject. Why? Because they believe in the fact that all this general knowledge, especially that pertaining to pop-culture, inspires perversion in a young child’s mind, distracts them from their main-course, and brings them only pain and depression in their life. They have protested against this for as long as they can remember; and, now, they have directed their anger towards online learning, for indirectly promoting the same thing. I do remember my mother not enjoying any of the Internet-information that online learning provided me with, and urged me to stay away from that section; although I initially refused, I, in the end, decided to come to terms with what she was telling me to do.

Lastly, the people who greatly support online learning point towards its interactivity, usability and interesting features, which would require the children to utilize less energy, and, at the same time, acquire a great amount of knowledge pertaining to the subjects that the teachers teach at school. A survey taken in 2011 revealed that eighty-five percent of the children in Asia have benefitted from this easier method of studies. These parents strongly believe that technology has resulted in a great amount of advantages for everyone in the world, students included, and so applaud online learning for achieving a great deal for their children. Online learning has helped my brother a lot due to its features of interactivity, usability and interesting features, which also results in my trust for it as a whole.

And, yet, the persistent pursuers of prohibition are quite content to stand firm to the contrary, stating that the very minimum amount of energy usage will result in the children’s laziness, and unwillingness to put in any physical work. These Asian adults are firm in saying that their children, the fifteen percent from the survey, have benefitted far more from face-to-face learning than the rest of the eighty-five percent have benefitted from online learning. It would not be much of a surprise that they clearly value physical education a great deal, and wish for the students to learn it, as that physical energy could very well help them out during their job, every one of which requires that raw power. I would humbly agree with this, as my parents have always taught me that it is, indeed, needed to be successful at any job.

To sum it all up, I am more in favor of online learning, than I am of face-to-face learning. Put it simply, the interactivity of online learning endears it to me in many ways, especially as compared to face-to-face learning, which, although not that bad itself, quite very much pales in comparison to the rich, riveting virtual world that online learning creates. Also, online learning gives much more freedom to acquire some general knowledge, which is something that very much intrigues me, and which I have yet to see be taught in face-to-face learning.

 

About froebelianwriters

I am an English Language teacher teaching O'Levels Edexcel and CIE A Levels at Froebel's International School, Islamabad. I am also working as a Subject Specialist Literacy consultant for the same school. Writing and reading has always been a passion and I try my utmost to instill these habits and hobbies in my students as well. I can be reached/contacted at fabbas227@hotmail.com or 03365287335 Happy reading!

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